Jo Tilsley spends about half an hour on Facebook each evening, chatting to friends or catching up on what people are getting up to.

But she also manages Positive Paeroa's page on the site, and the 41-year-old says it's a great way for businesses to market themselves.

"If you can't beat them, join them," she said.

Ms Tilsley, who is "in a relationship" on the site, was one of the first of her friends to get a Facebook account a couple of years ago. She thought it would be an easy way to stay in touch with people.


It's now revolutionised the way she communicates with people.

Before Ms Tilsley got an account, she would text or call people if she wanted to speak or to organise an event. Now she almost exclusively uses Facebook.

"I do a lot of private messaging. I don't put a lot of personal stuff on my wall, I actually like to keep my life as private as I can on Facebook.

"I use it for messages and organising catch-ups and personal plans like, 'are you home at the weekend? I'm coming for lunch' and that sort of thing."

She manages to control the urge to pop on Facebook during the day at work.

"I'm far too busy for that carry-on. I think it's a bit excessive that I go on every day."

As town promoter at Positive Paeroa, Ms Tilsley also controls the organisation's Facebook account.

But she wants to change how it's used to make it more of a promotional page, rather than one that's used by the community to chat to one another. She hasn't had the chance to do so yet as she's only been in the job about six weeks.

Short of friends? Pay just $365 for 25k of the cyber variety

Do you want 25,000 Facebook fans to "like" your profile? All you have to do is pay $365 to an American website.

Businesses selling Facebook "likes" and Twitter followers online are getting more common as social media become an increasingly popular marketing tool. But social media expert Simon Young said the sites shouldn't be trusted because even if all the claims for additional fans and followers are true, it's just a number.

"Relevance is an issue. Marketers need to be able to turn that interest into what they need for their business, whether that's purchases, positive brand perception, or a better customer experience," he said.

Facebook itself has been trying to crack down on insincere fans - at the start of last month the site's security team said it would remove "likes" gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users or purchased bulk "likes". "A 'like' that doesn't come from someone truly interested in connecting with a page benefits no one," the site said in a post.

One of the sites selling Facebook fans is It offers different packages - 1000 fans for $47, 2000 for $72, 5000 for $121, 10,000 for $194, and 25,000 for $365. So far almost 1360 have taken up the offers.