Just this last week, much to the dismay of social media managers everywhere, company Facebook pages saw a dip in the number of likes they had. Facebook is making efforts to make those numbers more accurate by removing likes from users who have been inactive, which includes “memorialized and voluntary deactivated accounts.”
For obvious reasons, nobody wants to see those numbers drop online. Marketing teams work hard to grow a company’s stats. In this day and age, a strong online presence bolsters an organization’s perception of popularity and appeal. But here’s the thing: that popularity and appeal needs to be real, which means making sure your page’s fans and followers are legitimate fans and followers. There are plenty of services that provide fake likes for a fee but companies should resist the temptation to purchase fans. The reasons:
- They will never become real customers
- It’s easy for people to find out if you have fake followers
- They weaken your brand
- They will weaken your reach
- Social networks will take action against accounts that have fake followers
If you’d like to find out if a Facebook page’s fans are fake, here are some telltale signs from our friends at SocialBright:
- Sudden spike in followers, then a flatline
This is a good indicator that likes have been purchased from a service. This can be very detrimental in the long run when it comes to a company’s reach. The more fake followers you have, the fewer real followers will see your content because of the Facebook algorithim.
- Low page “Talking About This” – TAT or pTAT Score
18,000+ fans and only 13 people “Talking About This”? Now this in and of itself doesn’t mean likes are fake. It could mean a post is just boring. But chances are something fishy is going on.
- Dodgy followers/fans with low/distinct activity
Take a quick look at some of the fans on the page. Do they have any personal images up or are their profile pictures of things like cartoons and pets? What kinds of things are they sharing? Just news and commercial flyers instead of personal posts? Lastly, how many individual friends do they have? If there are no personal touches on a page and very few friends, it is likely a fake page.
Besides these signs, there are other ways to find out how legit a company’s social media presence is. A quick Google search will bring up additional online tools and apps to make your sleuthing a little easier.