After being a community manager for several years, I know as much as anyone that we measure growth each week by creating content that gets fans to essentially Like, Share, Comment, RT or Reply. Study after study has shown that the more people engage with a brand, the more likely they are to buy it. But what if some of these fans are “fake”?
For years, Facebook has been plagued by a growing number of “dummy” accounts were that were created for one purpose: to inflate the number of “Likes” (aka, fans), a metric that many still value above all. Designed to take advantage of the system, these fake accounts have not only affected engagement numbers and important Facebook statistics, but they’ve created major spam issues – a complete nightmare for any community manager.
Inspired (perhaps) by its IPO, Facebook thankfully made a move to purge its platform of phony profiles in late 2012, deleting all accounts that were duplicates, fraudulent or or spawned from malware. As it cleaned house, fan numbers on many Pages experienced major decreases. Those who had accumulated the most typically lost the most.
According to various contacts at Facebook, a large majority of its brand Pages they host have already been scrubbed. As a community manager, this is a tremendous relief because it means that all of my “Likes” are from genuine fans who can help my brand grow. No longer will companies have to worry about the ‘quality’ of their fan base in regards to ‘fake’ Likes, and instead will be able to better focus on programs that will further reach the ones they have.
Now if we could only get them to stop messing with EdgeRank…
Image from Mashable.com