Here is what we've seen so far with regard to FB "buying likes". We started an FB advertising campaign about 1 week ago. We ran two ads..one of which ties to a discount promo campaign we are working. There are some holes in tracking...but we never can track everything.
Immediately we got a surge in traffic to the smb websites (pc and different site for mobile). Mobile traffic relatively exploded. It seems pc traffic went up a bit. Mobile traffic is more than twice the recent norm.
As soon as the mobile traffic exploded we added the promo discount message to the front of the mobile page. It wasn't there day 1.
Now we have gotten a relative explosion of form leads off the mobile site (compared to previous periods). Our leads in general come from web forms and phone calls. We have pushed away from the sales staff doing "too many" questions about origin of finding us from the form leads or phone calls. They focus on trying to make sales. and less on finding out how people found us. (that is an admittedly bigger hole in tracking). We know it. The staff does not ask if a person is calling us on a mobile and if they just saw FB or the site on search or anywhere else.
In the last 7 weeks with heavy promotional discounts we have increased our effort to sell and close fast. (to take advantage of discounts).
That has worked remarkably well. We've had tremendous volume...far more than past Octobers and Novembers. We've had huge volumes of sales and closes within first day to within 7 days of first contacting the smb. That has never been our pattern.
I'm going to have to check into the mobile form leads and track to sale to see if we can "assign" a reasonable and estimated value to the payback off of mobile and presumably off of the FB campaign. It looks like it will payoff but I haven't taken that time consuming effort yet.
Meanwhile over many years this smb has probably had a ppc payback of about a range of $5-10 earned for every $1 spent. That has been a great payback and ROI.
I doubt we'll see or calculate FB payback at that rate but we'll see.
meanwhile we are getting a surge of "likes" in FB. I also suspect it will increase "name" and "branding" recognition in the market place. I suspect that will help over time.
I'll see if we can at least show a reasonable and probable payback to the FB campaign after looking at more of this week's activity.
In our case though, its not just the "buying likes" its attaching the ad campaign to a clear promo discount.