Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Can you believe it? There are actually FAKE LIKES and spammers on Facebook? This is crazy town. I digress. I hope this isn't news to anyone in the marketing world. We have been dealing with this issues for years.
Let's setup some context. I happened across this story from BBC that reported "Facebook deleting fake "likes'; independent data suggests." The findings are based on research released by Pagedata, an independent Facebook page metrics and trends website. According to the site, many of Facebook's more "liked" pages suffered a major drop in number on Wednesday of last week.
According to the BBC: "The move follows the social network's admission that 8.7% of its users are not "real" many having been set up by spammers who use them to artificially make pages appear more popular."
Yes... my dear reader... you know exactly what we are talking about. The billboards, banners, and emails that promise multitudes (even millions) of fans for the small price of $59.99. It's all fake.
Facebook is taking new precautions by announcing a crack-down on the illegitimate activity and fake "likes." The newly improved features released by the world's largest social network will remove the "likes" gained by spam and malware.
This news story and the subsequent removal of thousands of fake "likes" reinforces our research and opinion that qualified subscribers, fans, and followers are extremely important to the health of any digital marketing campaign.
As we detailed in our Facebook X-Factors research report (SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS #5), the key to marketing on Facebook is fun. Survey after survey, Facebook is the only destination where consumers link “fun” and marketing” together in the same sentence. By engaging consumers in an entertaining fashion through simple posts, brands can humanize themselves in ways far beyond that of other marketing channels.
When it comes to one-to-one marketing however, consumers are split over whether they want direct marketing communications on Facebook or not. In SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS #10, The Meaning of Like, we determined that nearly 40% of the consumers who click the “like” button on a company’s Facebook page do not think that their action should give that company the right to market to them via their News Feed.
While consumer attitudes are inconsistent about how prevalent brands should be on Facebook and fake Facebook "likes" abound, this is not a reason for brands to shortchange their investment in the platform. First, some consumers really want to interact with brands on Facebook— in fact they expect to find brands engaging there. Second, Facebook is driving the sharing of brand- related content in ways that positively impact sales. So while it may not be a pure, one-to-one, direct marketing channel, Facebook is evolving in ways that will keep it high on marketers’ priority lists the foreseeable future.