A Guide To Deleting Fake Facebook Page Likes

, Another rant from , 8 Comments

For anyone who has visited my site before, you’re probably aware that I talk about Facebook quite a bit – in particular all the scams, tricks and other dodgy parts of it that I think more people should probably be more aware of.

In fact, on more than a few occasions I’ve delved into the specific topic of fake and purchased Facebook Likes. (here, here, here and also here)

To many, fake Likes and purchased page followers may not seem like a big deal at all, but to the pages and businesses who use the Facebook platform to reach and touch a greater audience – especially those now investing in paid Facebook campaigns – these fake likes are proving to be quite a lot of trouble. So much so that this recent video about how Facebook themselves were utilising fraudulent and irrelevant likes in their own product offerings, had gone viral and alerted more and more people about the harm of purchased Likes. (it’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t seen it yet).

A quick summary of Why Fake Facebook Likes are a bad thing

In the olden days (a couple of years ago), Facebook likes were little more than a badge. Something pages and businesses collected to show the wider audience ‘Hey look, we’re popular’. Not too many businesses or pages had fully comprehended how to utilise a Facebook audience, let alone monetise one.

“The number one thing to understand about Facebook marketing is that the quantity of followers and likes is not the metric that is important, it’s all about the quality and engagement of the follower”

As the platform grew – as too did the ability for it to make its shareholders a crapload of money – the sharing algorithm changed. Gradually the pages you liked began to influence the content that your friends saw in their newsfeed. As this viral reach extended, businesses in particular became acutely aware that this was a chance to get their product or service in front of a wider audience. Not only that, but they could do so via the greatest marketing channel available – peer recommendations.

And so the great scramble for likes began.

Yet what many page admins did not understand was that quantity was not the metric that was important with Facebook marketing, it’s all about the quality.

Having 10,000 fans in India is great, but they’re not going to buy anything or visit you if you’re a furniture store in Sydney, Australia.

A lot of businesses were now realising that their massive collection of likes were actually just noise; noise that was preventing their message reaching their actual customers.

“It is estimated that only 8-12% of all Facebook users who have liked a page (with 300+ followers) will actually see an update from the page in their newsfeed.”

What seemed like a great idea to build-up that little number next to the thumbs up icon was now actually extremely detrimental to their businesses ability to be successful on the worlds largest social media channel.

So how do you get rid of the noise 

How do you Delete Fake Facebook Likes from your Facebook page?

In your page admin panel there is an option to ‘See Likes’ located on the left hand side of you Admin analytics panel.

It will look similar to this.

See Facebook Page Likes

Clicking this option will show you a list of all the people who have Liked your page. It will then also give you the option (with the little cog icon) to remove or make and admin. Hitting remove will essentially take the Like off your page.

Delete Facebook Likes

You literally have to go through each like and determine if they are or are not a valid lead. And if you have 1000 followers on your page, this can take quite a bit of time (and often resources). Pretty tedious huh.

The downside to this option is that eventually Facebook stops providing you with the option to ‘see more’, which means you have to stay on top of managing your list as early as possible. This appears to be primarily due to an individual accounts privacy settings.

How Do I see all facebook page likes

Unfortunately, individual Facebook privacy settings prevent you from seeing all users who like your page.

But how do you determine a Fake Like?

This is the tricky part. And understandably even trickier if your page operates in a country that is known to dominate the Fake Facebook Like industry (EG: India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea etc.).

Determine your audience

The best way is to find out which likes your should hold on to is to determine who your real audience is. Majority of businesses will serve customer either locally or nationally. If your business fits this demographic then you’ll need to go through your like list and remove users that are not located in your serviceable area.

“If you’re an Australian-only software company, then you probably don’t have too many customers in Bangladesh. It’s a pretty safe bet that removing these likes will not negatively affect your engaged user base.”

You can often see a users location by visiting their profile. This will be determined by the individual users Facebook security settings, but is the best option available at the time of writing this article.

If you are a global company, then this is going to be quite difficult. But the next point should help a little bit.

Figure out your engagement

You can use your Facebook Analytics panel to determine who your most engaged users are. There are all sorts of great info available within your page analytics. Give it a look. Determine which fans are actually interacting with your posts and which are completely disengaged. Then delete the users located within the disengaged locations.

Facebook Page analytics

The Facebook Analytics options has all sorts of cool data to help you determine your most engaged followers.

Sure, you might be getting rid of some opportunities, but if they are engaged and actually did Like your brand, then they’ll come back of their own accord.

Run a targeted campaign/status update

As a worst case scenario, if your engaged users are too integrated with non-engaged users and you don’t know who to keep and who to get rid of, you could post a pre-emptive status to these locations via status targeting letting them know to you’ll be culling down the list. Alternatively you could also cull everyone from this location and run a paid Facebook fan-gating campaign that targets the location you just removed fans from. The campaign will encourage users who actually do like your brand to re-like, ensuring your users are better engaged and more valuable.

It’s not much fun huh?

Hopefully you didn’t succumb to that irresistible opportunity to ‘buy 10,000 REAL Facebook likes’ for $50 from that random email you received one day or the 500 likes for $5 from Fivrr, but if you did then there is a good chance you’re gonna have a few late nights ahead of you cleaning house.

Facebook likes should be earned, not bought. The ultimate marketing goal should be to reach an audience who actually want to be engaged with you or your brand, after all they’re the users that are most likely to result in an actual sale or lead.

A Facebook like is someone’s personal online tick of approval. A personal recommendation that Facebook has made sure from an algorithmic perspective will find its way into your friends newsfeed. Peer recommendations have been the most successful marketing tool for the past 80+ years. Yet each disengaged and irrelevant like you fill your page with, the more you devalue that recommendations ability to work for your brand.

In Summary – Don’t Buy Facebook Likes!

The days of collecting Likes and measuring the amount of likes as a business KPI are done. With the way Facebook works at promoting content currently and in the foreseeable future, always prioritise and engaged user over a number increasing next to your little thumbs up icon at the top of your page.

“Treat your Facebook fan list as if it were a social CRM. Delete the non-engaged, non-responsive leads as you would from any other business funnel. Dead leads are a waste of time and money.”

A social media manager now needs to be more than just someone who posts pics and replies to comments. Your business needs to keep a close eye on exactly who is liking your page. Treat your Facebook fan list as if it were a social CRM. Delete the non-engaged, non-responsive leads as you would from any other business CRM or funnel. Dead leads are a waste of time and money.

Remember, a like is nice but a customer is better.


Who the hell is Daylan Pearce?

Daylan is a digital strategist for branding agency Principals. Looking after digital and customer experience projects, Daylan has been featured in The New York Times, News.com.au, B&T, ProBlogger and more. He once ate 13 McDonald's cheeseburgers in under 5 minutes, but strongly advises against anyone else ever trying that. He also feels slightly odd when writing about himself in the third person for blog biography summaries.


8 Responses

  1. Nic

    April 7, 2014 4:15 AM

    I just wanted to add some more insight to your post, which I think points out a lot of good information.

    Sadly someone (an ignorant friend trying to help me?, a competitor trying to harm me?) signed my FB page up with one of these fake Facebook “likes” companies. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on (I am new to FB) but I knew something was wrong because I’d get surges of 100s of likes at a time. I only wish I had started deleting them immediately.

    I was finally able to find the source website for these likes looking at my Insights panel. I went to that webpage (addmefast) to ask them if I was “subscribed” to their service.

    I was even scared to give them my FB page or real email address because I had no idea who they were. I didn’t want to post that I had fake “likes” in the FB forums because I was afraid MY page might get banned. All in all it was really a helpless feeling that someone can just hijack your page like that.

    In the end, it took four days back and forth with Addmefast to determine that my FB page WAS on their subscriber list and then they made me post a code on the “About” section of my FB page in order to prove that it was MY page. They don’t require proof that someone is the FB administrator before they add your page to their service.

    I guess it’s “impossible” because they help people get “likes” from all of the social media outlets. I must say that Addmefast seems like it’s set-up to be a legitimate service but it’s inherently impossible for anyone to get real likes that way – they are all fake FB accounts. It seems like they did in fact “unsubscribe” my FB page from their account but I’ve also stopped posting on FB. I’m going to wait 2-4 weeks before I post again and then I’m going to try my best to be vigilant to check who’s liking my page.

    The biggest problem – your recommendation to cull a list is not possible at all:

    1. FB only lets you go back to the last 300 or so people who have liked your page. That comment from FB that you can only see the people whose settings let others you see whose liked their pages is not true. I contacted 5 of my friends/family who have FB accounts but basically have not used them and asked them to open their privacy settings. They do not show up on my page Insights as “likes” but they do show up on my list of my own friends who have “liked” my page.

    Several other people in that comments thread also said they could only go back and delete the last 300-350 likes.

    So basically, you can only go forward. I think what they do is allow you to see the last few hundred so what I plan on doing moving FORWARD is to be vigilant as to who comes on my page in the future. I’ll need to check then and be careful. I would never run a general FB “likes” campaign.

    Your suggestion to let people know you are going to cull your page is just useless given the above since you cannot go back to delete them. And, since lots of these accounts are fake, they’re definitely not looking at their timeline and clicking on anything in that sense so they’d never see any post you’d promote.

    Final thoughts:

    Sorry this has been long but your article was sound but I hope this adds relevant information to it. I would just finally say:

    1. I would only run a targeted FB post to existing people who’ve liked my page – since as we know FB will only show posts to a small percentage of people who’ve liked the page. Even then, I’m not sure what I’d do. I can only go forward with my few 1000 extra “likes” from fake accounts but at least they won’t be clicking on anything if I do a new campaign.

    2. I genuinely wonder to what extent FB has control over these fake “likes” when someone pays for one of their campaigns. I hate to be skeptical but it makes you wonder if they’ve got their own set of 10-15 million fake “real” accounts that they can insert as a percentage into campaigns. How would we know? They’d just set them up carefully and block their profiles completely…

  2. Marie

    April 7, 2014 5:48 AM

    Please help. My page has just had 4000+ fake likes and I want them deleted!!! I started individually deleting them when all of a sudden FB won’t show me any more than 5 names in the list!! I cannot figure out how to get them to appear again to delete them.

    • Chris

      April 9, 2014 4:30 AM

      Same thing happened to me, except 2600 likes… I’m not able to delete any of them, as the likes list won’t even load anymore…


  3. Jon Syvertson

    May 13, 2014 12:39 AM

    I think facebook should create some kind of way for us to purge / delete facebook likes if they are believed to be fake or un engaged. I can’t go through and get rid of bad likes.

    The problem is that once you get the seemingly bogus likes, it goes against you. If you get on that one way street and don’t target your ads well enough then you can really be messed up and you can’t get off the street.

    Facebook needs to deal with this.


  4. Breggen

    May 13, 2014 8:14 AM

    First a comment with a question.
    I wish the entire list of people who like your page was visible to you as a page manager and searchable. Why doesn’t Facebook allow this and will they in the future?

    Now some questions.
    Under the “see likes” option for your page there are the subcategories- banned, irrelevant, subscribers, valuable, and admins listed. Banned and admins are self explanatory.

    What significance does “subscribers” have now that the subscribe button no longer exists? Will people who click on the “get notifications” button be listed under this category?

    What are the categories “irrelevant” and “valuable” supposed to show? None of my pages show anything under these categories.

  5. Liad

    June 10, 2014 11:23 PM

    Hey everyone!
    I’m currently suffering from the same problem which I deleted a few hundreds of likes and then couldnt see the “see more” button.

    I read about an option which records deleting a user and running it reapetedly but seem like facebook responded to this kind of hack by blocking it.

    Any new insights or practical ideas to deal with my 2000+ redundant likes? I’m stuck.