Sunday, 13 December 2015

How to Spot Fake Likes on Facebook




I was going to update my previous post about fake followers with this added information but I’ve rambled on a bit so I thought it best to do a new post so you don’t get too bogged down. In my previous post I barely (if anything) touched on Facebook. So I’m remedying this here. I should also point out that Bloglovin’ and Youtube also have fake followers. I might do another post about this but my knowledge is limited here so if you know about this please let me know either by commenting, tweet me or email, thanks! 


How to check for fake followers/likes on Facebook


If you think a page's likes are suspiciously high check their interaction versus their Likes. You can do this by clicking on their likes and you’ll see how many people are talking about it, their total page likes and new page likes.





The percentage of interaction can be worked out by how many people are talking about it compared with how many likes they have. I’ve seen someone with over 5000 likes with 10 people talking about it (Facebook describe talking about as likes, shares, comments, tags etc). So this person’s interaction is only 0.059%. Now of course that could mean people just aren’t engaging with the content, it doesn’t automatically follow that their purchasing fakes. But it does raise concerns, that is a very low level of interaction for what on first appearances looks like a popular page.


Similarly, how many likes does a single post get? If a page has several thousand likes you'd expect there to be a reasonable amount of likes and comments per post. If those are low (or indeed none at all) it raises suspicions. Again, this in itself doesn't automatically mean the page has fake followers but if you're looking at the factors I've outlined here and my other post you'll get a more comprehensive picture as to whether someone is purchasing fake followers.


Another thing to check is where their fans originate from. This very useful article about fake likes on Facebook links to a site called FanPage Karma this provides lots of insights into a pages reach, followers etc. It’s really useful if you want to see who’s interacting with your own page and should be very helpful in growing your page organically. One of the things it allows you to do is see a page's likers by top country. (It's under the Influencers category)



According to Business Insider (ref Social Media Examiner) the countries with the highest number of fake accounts are Chile, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Brazil and the Philippines. This information with low interaction would give a clearer picture as to whether the page has fake followers. 


Fanpage Karma can also be used on other accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and even Pinterest to give all different metrics and insights into your own visitors, most successful posts (and least successful) as well as a whole host of other metrics. It seems like a really good resource for bloggers.

While it can look good to have thousands of likes on a fan page Facebook will penalise pages with fake followers. Real fans won’t see the pages content in their feed due to Facebook’s algorithms essentially rendering the page with fake likes invisible. This will have a serious impact on the pages real growth and real engagement. For real growth and higher engagement rates fake fans should be culled as all they’ll do in the long run is damage your page on Facebook.


I found this article of View the Vibe really interesting. There’s a worry that brands will return traditional media rather than continuing to work with bloggers. And who would blame them? If brands are paying bloggers whose following is largely fake it makes terrible business sense to continue to work with bloggers, and eventually brands will stop working with legitimate ones. Fake likes and fake followers seriously erodes trust, and the harder it becomes to detect those that are faking it means that we'll all get tarred with the same brush.



What are your thoughts on fake followers? Should we out the bloggers who buy them?
Should we as bloggers be regulating ourselves?



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3 comments

  1. I don't know if they'll stop working with bloggers altogether, but I definitely think brands will stop paying as much attention to social media stats when deciding who to work with, because its starting to become pretty meaningless, really. Not only do people buy followers, they also go to great lengths to manipulate them: I'm a member of a few Facebook groups for bloggers, and they're are so many threads for people doing like-for-like or follow-for-follow that it made me stop trusting the stats altogether - when people will spend hours of every day leaving fake comments, or following blogs they will never visit, just so that someone else will do the same for them, it means you can't really trust anyone, which is a shame for people who do have genuine followers!

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    Replies
    1. yes, I completely agree. I see the follow for follow thing a lot on Instagram too, it just looks so desperate. Hayley from London Beauty Queen said that she thinks there will be a big change is 2016, something needs to change, it can't continue like this as it's just undermining genuine bloggers, big and small.

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  2. Nice photo :)
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    Maria V.

    ReplyDelete

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