Twitter's Controversial Algorithm Changes: What They Mean for Your BusinessTwitter Vs. Facebook: Which One Is Better for Promoting Your Brand?3 Free Twitter Tools PR Pros Can't Live WithoutSocially Stephanie: Social Media for the Automotive Industry
Get Schooled by YouTubers: Content and Business StrategyHow to Build Your Brand on YouTube and Reach New CustomersThanks to Google, YouTube Is Now a Viable Channel in Any Social Media StrategyHow to Maximize Your YouTube Views and Subscribers [INFOGRAPHIC]
Technology & Data
New IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesHarnessing Mobile Users: The Power of Big Data in Social AppsMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
- Social Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Fake Facebook Likes Are Killing Social Media
Posted on September 13th 2013
There will always be some people in any system that will try to game that system and ruin it for everybody else, half the time without really gaining anything for themselves in the long run, though some companies can profit in the short term. But in the end, it will always fall apart and the negative publicity will sink anyone who tries to cheat.
A recent example of fake Facebook likes had to do with a particular charity. It’s been common practice for a while now for hackers to gain access to Facebook accounts and then use those accounts to “like” businesses that the individual didn’t have any interest in. Some businesses, and charities, will pay marketers for generating Facebook likes. The problem is that some other ‘businesses’ take advantage of this by using shady and illegal approaches like hacking people’s accounts. A recent organization called the “Charity Engine” fell afoul of this problem recently.
Stealing from Charities
The Charity Engine has an aim of trying to raise money for charities by taking advantage of unused processing power in people’s PCs and then selling that ability to other organizations that would need it. The company spent tens of thousands of dollars getting to half a million likes. Then, it turned out that many people who had liked the charities page didn’t have any personal information, and had just wandered around Facebook, liking random pages. It soon became obvious that the likes weren’t real, that they didn’t represent interest in any serious way, and instead were just a way for criminals to scam money from those who though they were getting real marketing.
Fake Marketing is Bad for Everyone
The problem is, scams like this one hurt anyone connected to social media marketing, including the criminals who perpetrate it since they destroy directly the credibility of the system. Measures like “likes” on Facebook are supposed to be an accurate way to measure interest in a particular product or brand. If people start to doubt that this is the case, then social media marketing quickly becomes ruined. If no one believes these measures have any power or any truth to them, then marketing becomes impossible. Marketers can’t sell their efforts to businesses, and businesses can’t benefit from the advertising.
The Best Approach
The truth is that people won’t ultimately stand for cheap tricks. Many people have developed ways to tell when “likes” on Facebook are happening naturally and when someone is trying to game the system. That’s why sites like Webds and others can be of help. They do things the old fashioned way, by actually creating real support, real hits, and real traffic. This leads to real increases in sales. However you do it, you can’t trick your way into real interest in the end, and you can only do the hard work to reveal the inherent value of a site and product. This is exactly why having a trustworthy company, with a proven record to do marketing is so important in the face of events like these.
This is a guest post by Lilly Sheperd, a freelance writer who shares her thoughts on various blogs. When not blogging she likes to play netball, ravel and read a lot, especially about technology and social media.