Fake Likes

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Article from Entrepreneur Magazine: With Social Media, Fakes Are a Real Problem for Your Business

Some companies and celebrities are so desperate to increase their popularity on social media that they are hiring click farms (see related article) to boost their likes, fans and followers.  Click farms sell likes, follows, views, ratings, etc. on various social media platforms and use cheap manual labor to inflate these numbers.  It‘s not surprising that companies are tempted to buy fake likes.  For example, a video on YouTube with millions of views may get even more views simply because it already has a lot of views.  However, it’s a very shortsighted approach as the article points out.

Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool.  I believe that the groundswell generated by authentic engagement can be far more valuable than a high number of likes.  Higher levels of engagement such as real people sharing real stories with their friends, family, etc. about a product or service can build brand awareness, drive ROI on social media marketing and even increase customer loyalty and repeat business.

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4 thoughts on “Fake Likes

  1. I think this is clearly a case of quantity over quality. It might look nice to have a lot of people “liking” or following your pages and accounts, but there is no point if they are not fully invested in it and unlikely to take action down the line.

    I know someone who has a tremendous amount of likes on his Facebook page for a film production he is currently working on. However, he failed to engage them consistently and when it came to launch a crowdsourcing campaign to raise the budget for the film. Out of his proposed $35,000 goal, he only managed to get about $300 in the first two weeks. The inflated amount of likes did not manage to help him reach the intended goal. Meanwhile, I have seen other such campaigns with far fewer likes manage to reach budgets because there was more personal engagement with the followers and when the time came to get them to act, they were more invested.

  2. I’ve never heard of the term “click farms” before but I find this to be a very interesting topic. I wonder what steps Facebook has taken, if any, to stop click farms. Should this be banned? Should companies be able to profit from manipulating users?

    “Click farms” seem similar to reading false reviews of restaurants on http://www.yelp.com. Can reviews be trusted anymore?

  3. I have read before that a lot of wannabe celebrities create their fanpage and buy a bundle of likes from these “click farms” companies. There is really nothing wrong with the legal and moral aspect if they decide to do this. In a bad case, the customers will overvalue the cost of a product or service and end up paying a lot more than they should.

  4. I totally agree with David -Jsalajar15 – nd Ndo2 on this. “Likes” in the social media are deceptive. They are not necessarily indications of some potential market size. The use of “likes” in the social media must be scrutinized by any media producer or any entrepreneur who employs the social media to test the market. “Likes” in the social media seems to be instant feelings of people about some aspects of what they see. It doesn’t get to win their interests so that there is a follow up and a matching purchase/participation.

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