Combating Fake Likes Starts With You

What’s more important to you: the number of likes you receive on your post or page, or the quality of the people who like your content? At first glance it might seem like the two are one and the same – post good content and the likes will come. However, there are some people and businesses out there who value popularity over content, vying for larger numbers rather than fostering a growing community. Rather than engage with existing customers, they opt for a shortcut: buying Likes.

To the average user, the business of buying Likes on Facebook might seem like a rare and shallow practice, but in reality it is rife amongst small businesses who don’t understand the nuances of social media. Yes, a larger number of Likes will give you an air of legitimacy, but you must understand one thing: fake likes cannot be undone. Not without Facebook’s auto-filters catching them and deleting them. And in the long run, it will only hurt your businesses, because social media revolves around one core mechanic: being social. You can’t be social with dummy accounts.

So what does a typical fake Like account look like? At first glance it will look like a normal user with a profile picture, cover photo, an about section – all the trappings of a real live person. But take a look at their timeline and you will notice one trend: the account has hundreds, maybe even thousands of pages that it Liked but hardly any personally posted content. These “interests” the account has accrued has no rhyme or reason, as they are used and reused until they are flagged and deleted.

How does this harm your business? Facebook’s algorithms take into account many deciding factors in your followers’ demographic, including age, gender, geographical location, and interests. By analyzing this data, the site decides whether or not your posted content is relevant to them, which in turn affects your organic reach (unpaid visits/views dished out to your followers). If your followers are mostly fake, then you are reaching, or attempting to reach, fake accounts. You will find no business there. As a result, your engagement suffers, and your overall page suffers.

What can you do about this? Just don’t buy Likes. You’d literally be throwing money away by actively participating in a scam. While you’re at it, file this under “worst practices”.