Facebook is Getting Rid of Fake Likes
If you ever bought fake “Likes” for your Facebook Page, then prepare yourself, because you might see a dent on your fan count soon. On Friday, the social network announced that it will “take action against suspicious Likes.” Here’s what the Facebook Security team had to say about the matter:
When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand’s content. As such, we have recently increased our automated efforts to remove Likes on Pages that may have been gained by means that violate our Facebook Terms.
This change isn’t expected to be too drastic. According to Facebook, “less than 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by our terms.” Facebook’s security team didn’t reveal any specifics as to how they will remove fake Likes. All they said was that they have improved their automated efforts to eliminate Likes that were brought about by compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes.
The blog post furthers:
These improvements to our site integrity systems benefit both users and brands alike. Users will continue to connect to the Pages and Profiles they authentically want to subscribe to, and Pages will have a more accurate measurement of fan count and demographics. This improvement will allow Pages to produce ever more relevant and interesting content, and brands will see an increase in the true engagement around their content.
Where Fake Likes Come From
Fake likes can be obtained from various parts of the web. A quick Google search for the phrase “buy Facebook Likes” will give you several companies that sell Likes and followers. Fake Like sellers are also rampant on Fiverr.com, an online marketplace that lets people buy and sell goods and services for $5. The amount of promised Likes vary from one seller to the next, but most sellers can provide thousands of fans in just a matter of days, for five bucks.
Those in the fake Facebook Likers business are able to spread fraudulent Likes through a number of ways, including duplicate and undesirable (spammy) accounts.
According to CNET, Facebook estimates that 4.8% of accounts are duplicated, while 1.5% are undesirable accounts. In other words, out of Facebook’s 955 million monthly active users, around 45.84 million are duplicate accounts, while 14.32 million are undesirable.
How to Deal with a Compromised Account
Aside from duplicate and undesirable accounts, a big chunk of fake Facebook Likes come from compromised accounts. You may not be a spammer, but there’s a chance that others have gotten a hold of your account to use it for Page liking purposes.
To determine if your account has been comprised, click on the “Likes” section of your Tiimeline and check if there any Pages in there that you do not recognize. If you do see such Pages, be sure to notify Facebook right away.
According to the Facebook blog:
To help protect yourself in the future, please be aware of suspicious links and visit www.facebook.com/hacked if you have any reason to believe that your account may be compromised. We also highly recommend that Page owners vet any business that offers marketing services to build your Facebook presence, to make sure that these companies are using only legitimate practices, which do not violate the Facebook Terms.
Moral Lesson: Real Likes Can’t Be Bought
Of course, it should go without saying that buying Likes is a big no-no on Facebook. Real engagement cannot be bought. Page owners that purchase Likes merely for show or ego-boosting purposes are doing more harm than good. For one thing, they may face serious consequences if Facebook ever decides to penalize Pages that have fake Likes.
Another reason not to buy Likes is that fake fans ruin your insights and analytics. You’ll have a hard time keeping track of your real fans if you have a bunch of fake ones on your Page.
Additionally, having a lot of fans doesn’t guarantee that your posts will show up in people’s News Feeds. You need genuine engagement and shares to make your content go viral, and this cannot be accomplished with a bunch of fake Likes.
Remember that the “worth” of a Facebook Page isn’t determined by number of Likes. A Facebook Page is only as good as the fans that it engages or converts.
If you really want to garner a lot of Facebook fans, start with delivering a great product or service. This is the core of your business and it’s what you bring to the table. If your product or service isn’t up to par, then no amount of fans (fake or otherwise) will save your business. That’s why if you’re having problems with your main product or service, then you shouldn’t even be thinking about social media yet. Fix those issues first, and then work on your social media marketing.
An important point to remember is that real fans are gained through outreach and actual conversations. Unless you’re Lady GaGa or you own a brand that’s basically a household name, don’t expect fans to magically come to you. You need to go out there and engage with people in your industry. Be friendly and helpful. Talk to them. Answer their questions. Let them know you exist. Social media is all about socializing, so do a lot of it.
Getting users to hit the Like button after all, is just the first step. Once you get people on your page, you also have to work on keeping them engaged. Aside from posting relevant links, be sure ask questions and conduct polls to encourage conversation. Additionally, people are more inclined to share images, so it’s best to add a lot of images into the mix.
Finally, remember that your efforts to gain more fans shouldn’t be limited to the Facebook website alone. Strengthen your overall online presence by publishing blog posts on a regular basis, optimizing your site for search, and participating in forums or other social networks.
Image credit: birgerking on Flickr