Jul 17, 2012
A recent BBC feature pointed out how online marketers are increasingly becoming wary of fake Facebook “likes.”
“A BBC investigation suggests companies are wasting large sums of money on adverts to gain “likes” from Facebook members who have no real interest in their products,” reports Rory Cellan-Jones, citing companies that have seen their fans as “suspicious” because of the number of pages they have liked, and their online identities.
“They were 13 to 17 years old, the profile names were highly suspicious, and when we dug deeper a number of these profiles were liking 3,000, 4,000, even 5,000 pages,” says social media marketing consultant Michael Tinmouth. He adds that most of these seem to have come from the Philippines and Egypt, with many identities appearing to have been made up.
“The fans you get from advertising may not be genuine, and if they are genuine are they people who will engage with your brand?” adds a marketing executive who has likewise had a disappointing experience with Facebook advertising.
Facebook has decided not to refund any payment for such ads, because the company believed these campaigns should specify a target group. All of these companies have access to Facebook’s analytics which allow them to see the identities of people who have liked their pages, yet this has not been flagged as an issue,” says a spokesman.
With the Philippines being cited as a source of the fake “likes,” will the issue affect how companies market their products locally, and the country’s reputation as viable online community for engaging consumers?J. Angelo Racoma is a technology and automotive journalist and blogger. See more of his work at e27.sg, Android Authority and Tech Wire Asia. Follow him via Twitter at @jangelo.