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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.