Fake Facebook Likes Alert!? – A video about fake Facebook Likes just recently caused a massive stir. The reporter revealed that he had legitimately purchased ads on Facebook, and those ads lead to an impressive increase in his page’s following. Taking a closer look at these Likes, he discovered that a huge part of these fans were obviously fake and could be attributed to so called “link farms.” (Here is the sobering clip, in case you haven’t seen it.)
Unsettled by these revelations, we took a good look at the fans of our client’s Facebook pages. First we revisited the demographic stats and were relieved! We did not find huge numbers of followers from suspicious locations. – It took us just a moment to realize: Why should we? Precise ad targeting to close and relevant target groups had always been a cornerstone of our Facebook advertising efforts. The video claims that even so you will end up with fake likes. So we started digging into individual fan profiles. We searched … searched … and finally, yes, found suspicious profiles. But honestly, we needed to dig quite a bit for it. They are the exception, not the rule.
It is clear that fake likes are a problem. Followers that never engage with you limit the visibility of your posts to your real fans. So, should you just give up on Fakeb… aah … Facebook? No! The return that we see from Facebook for many of our clients is a clear signal for us to keep encouraging companies to be active on social, regardless of possible fake likes.
What we need to do is to shift our focus from gathering large amounts of followers to engaging more of our followers. The attached article, How To Beat Fake Likes, puts it this way: “Likes are a vanity metric, engagement is king.” So, should you stop building your following on Facebook until the social giant provides a way to eliminate fake followers? Again: No! But if you use ads to gather fans, target very precisely! Determine clear geographics. Don’t target to giant interest groups like “People who like vacations,” instead target your ads to people who, for example, like specific shops, bars or beaches in your area.
Finally, use the power of boosted posts. If you create great content, spend a few dollars to distribute these posts to more of your followers and their friends. Real people have real friends. You won’t see a massive boost in “Likes” of several hundred per day, but the people that decide to follow you because they saw a helpful, funny, or beautiful message from you are certainly the people that are open to engaging with you in the future!
Hopefully, Facebook will provide a way to filter out fake accounts from your fanbase down the road. Until then, the only thing you can do is to focus on a personal and authentic experience for your real fans. They will appreciate (you for) it!
Do you want us to take a look at your social efforts and give you recommendations on content and strategy? Our Social Media Quick Check is still on special through the month of February.