The BBC has conducted an investigation into Facebook ‘likes’, valued by many businesses who interpret them as a sign of their increasing popularity. The study has found that there may be an issue with fake or spam Facebook accounts clicking ‘like’ on companies’ Facebook pages.
Facebook has become a popular way for companies to advertise in recent years, and ad campaigns are often set up to attract as many ‘likes’ as possible for the company. These campaigns can be very costly, and results may not be as positive as they appear.
It is thought that around 54 million Facebook profiles are fake ones, set up in some cases to befriend people for financial gain. Some of these profiles are allegedly set to ‘like’ a huge number of other pages, as part of the spammers’ strategy to create convincing profiles.
The BBC conducted its research after being contacted by a marketer who had noticed a large number of suspicious-looking Facebook profiles, including many profiles from overseas which were ‘liking’ a vast number of Facebook pages.
Facebook can be very useful to businesses in building up a genuine list of customers and offering a unique way of interacting with them. By using high-quality content, written by professional writers, companies stand the best chance of attracting a genuine following. This investigation supports the move that many companies are making towards gradual, authentic building of online relationships with customers, which is more likely to improve sales in the long term.