Wed, 2016-07-06 15:17

We’re all hoping to get more people interested in and talking about our brands on social media, but sometimes the methods brands use to achieve these goals can have disastrous results. Opting to pay for fake “likes”, or even targeting a Facebook ad poorly can hurt your social media presence.

Sometimes, in an effort to look more credible and popular on social media, brands will purchase fake followers. While this may increase your follower count, it also shoots you in the foot when it comes to acquiring new legitimate followers. Facebook only shows your posts to five percent of your followers, and if you have more fake fans than real ones, odds are the fake accounts are going to be the ones seeing your posts. This means fewer real fans seeing (and sharing) your posts.

Even paying for a legitimate ad on Facebook can cause a page to accumulate fake likes. Many brands that pay to advertise their pages on Facebook notice an increase in likes, followed by a rapid decrease in engagement.

This happens because their page is being advertised not only to their target audience, but to fake accounts from click-farms as well. Fake accounts made in click-farms are programmed to press “like” on tons of pages so they look like real people and don’t arouse suspicion from Facebook. When a brand pays to advertise a page or boosts a post, they are expanding their audience not just to potential customers, but to fake accounts as well. And when one fake account clicks “like” on a brand’s page, more fakes from the same click-farm are likely to follow.

Although it seems like fake followers and click-farms are all over the place, ready to encroach on your brand’s good name, making smart choices on social media can keep you in touch with your real potential fans. Here are some tips for keeping your brand looking good on social media:

Target your ads wisely. Choose to target ads toward specific audiences, like friends of people who have already liked your page, or people in specific locations. This way, fake accounts won’t encounter your ads and all your interaction will be genuine.

Post great content. One of the best ways to reach new fans is through your current ones. If your content is awesome, your readers will want to share it. Give them informative and entertaining content, and they’ll pass it on!

Use Facebook’s tools. A lot. Facebook offers tons of tools for marketing your brand. You can remarket to people who have visited your site already, target people similar to your current fans, and see how different ads performed. Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal next time you’re creating an ad.

Take a good look at who likes you. If the people liking your page have mostly blank profiles, have no interest in your niche, and are from overseas, those profiles are most likely fake. Remember, fake likes mean fewer genuine fans see your posts!

It’s easy to focus on how many likes your brand has on social media, but don’t forget the most important social metric: engagement. How your fans and followers interact with your content is the real measure of how your brand is doing on social media. While it’s nice to have lots of followers, quality over quantity rings true here. It’s better to have a hundred fans who genuinely enjoy and engage with your brand than a thousand fans who aren’t even real people.

Written by
Hannah Dean
Online Marketing Expert

A Native Texan living in sunny Los Angeles, Hannah has a passion for for helping organizations get their message to the right people. She is a master of filtering through the noise online and producing results. When she's not marketing she can be found writing music or getting really excited about all kinds of pets.