Sometimes it’s not enough to just ignore a scam email. Here’s a short tale of a facebook scam targeting country music fans.
The world of internet marketing is often referred to as the wild west, and for good reason. You see, in this world we have white hats and black hats. The good and the evil. Those with the law and those outside the law. Now I operate our business on the white side. I employ responsible marketing techniques and quality content to reach a group of fans that I care passionately about and consider myself one of.
As you know, I am the owner and lead editor for the successful country music news site CMNB. We get several scam or spam-like emails every day wanting to buy our subscriber lists or market to our facebook fans or take some other kind of advantage of the content and subscribers we have accumulated over the years. Most times I ignore these, but today I just couldn’t. A few months ago I ran across a facebook fan page for “Country Music Nation” through a generic “If you like Zac Brown Band” sponsored ad and thought it odd that the page did not link to an outside URL, did not have any news stories in its’ feed, and did not show any other signs of real content. It did, however, already have over 5,000 “likes”. I wondered what the purpose of this page was. Now I know.
The owner of the facebook page sent me the following email:
My name is Jack Somers. I own/run Country Music Nation on Facebook. We have 520,000+ fans. Each post typically gets 300,000 – 500,000 views on Facebook, and roughly 3,000 – 5,000 actual click throughs to the target website.
I am looking for a partner who can provide Country Music related news and updates for my fans at Country Music Nation ( http://facebook.com/CountryMusicNation ). I am in talks with GAC for something similar, but I wanted to reach out to a few smaller publishers such as yourself first to see if that made more sense. I looked through your blog, and I really like the content!
It is obvious that you put a lot of time into CMNB. What a deal with me would do is basically drive an additional ~16,000 unique visitors per day to your site (assuming you post to your site 4 times per day). Many of these people would then sign up for your email list or whatever other lead captures you may have. I could set it up so that it automatically posted any updates to your RSS feed to my Facebook page.
In exchange for promoting your site and giving you the targeted traffic (99% of my fans are in the US, and they are all country music fans), all I’m asking is $700 per week. With 28 posts per week, this comes out to $25 per post, which is roughly 1 cent per unique visitor click, or $10 per thousand unique clicks to your website.
Would you be interested in this? Please let me know as soon as you can, as I am looking to move forward with someone on this pretty soon.
Here is my response:
Thank you Jack for your seemingly invaluable offer. However selling placements within your facebook stream is a direct violation of facebook’s terms of service and will lead to account termination, which would then make that investment worthless on our part. Furthermore, by creating a generic niche page with no intention of providing original and unique content, you are misleading your followers and subscribers, which is another practice that I nor my company is interested in participating in.
I’m sure it was your hope that you would build this overnight following of “fans” and turn a quick dollar by duping an uneducated blogger, so I really hate to disappoint you, but my readers deserve more consideration than that. I will gladly take my 5,000 plus engaged and interactive passionate fans who found our site through its’ quality content over your 500,000 fans who were garnered through misleading ads and shady internet marketing tactics any day.
Shauna “WhiskeyChick” Castorena
For more on selling inclusion in your facebook stream visit
*Update: As of 10/29/2015 CMNB nor any other site that I work on has paid to increase its viewership on any social network. Our current “Like” count on Facebook is over 364,000 and still growing. CountryMusicNation still has their facebook page, and just over 4 Million “likes”. They don’t have a partnership with any major country news outlets, and instead had to build their own primary site. They still spend a fair deal on Facebook ads to maintain and increase their viewership.