Usocial claims to have taken $4,000 in orders within hours of launching a service that sells friends and fans on social networking site Facebook.
Leon Hill, CEO of usocial, who has been offering Twitter followers for sale since July, told iTnews that within hours of announcing the service, he had received thousands of dollars worth of orders.
"[The announcement] coincided with lunchtime in the US, which was about 3am our time. I went to sleep and got up 7am and I had already taken $4,000 in sales," said Hill.
Hill denied that his company created fake friends or used a massive mailing list to get results. Instead, he said, his methods were relatively straight forward.
"We do what anyone else could do if they had the time to do it. We look for whatever industry the client is in, for example, one client is in the automotive industry and sells performance car parts, and is looking for people interested in performance motoring who are looking for parts for their car.
"We search Facebook and look for people who are already friends or fans of usually more than one person in that industry because that shows they have a strong interest in that industry. Or we find people that are talking about [that industry]. Then we simply promote our client to that person," said Hill.
Hill explained that the next step was to tell the target about the client and then let them choose whether to follow/add that person or not.
"So not only are we providing our client with a targeted friend or fan on Facebook, we are also getting people who are in the industry who said yes, I want more information on this person or yes I want to be their friend or fan. This makes marketing to them very, very easy and it makes the conversion rates really high," he said.
Hill claimed that potential followers or friends were not offered any incentives to follow his clients. He said people were generally surprised by how much work goes into the service.
"A lot of people think we send mass messages but we don't. We send one message per person. People don't see how much work goes into this. Everything we do is done by hand. It is all done manually," Hill said.
Hill admitted he has tried using scripts and other software to automate the process but he said the social networking sites were very efficient at spotting this kind of behaviour.
"Twitter and Facebook are very good at cracking down on people using scripts or pieces of software to increase their fans or followers. I tried nearly every piece of software or script out there, I even paid companies to build me one and the longest a piece of software lasted before Twitter got the account closed was a week and a half.
"Obviously, If I want repeat business I can't have my clients accounts closed after a couple of days or a week. It defeats the purpose," he added.