Back in 2012 the technology correspondent at the BBC, Rory Cellan-Jones, created his own online business that he titled “VirtualBagel”, a site that was built to hold absolutely no value in terms of obtaining the attention of Facebook’s users. The outcome of Cellan-Jones’ bogus business was intriguing to say the least and questions began to arise surrounding the usefulness of Facebook’s page advertisement scheme and whether or not it could potentially be causing more harm than good. A recent video from YouTube user Veritasium illustrated how Facebook could be making the most out of failing businesses on their site.
There are currently two different ways to obtain Facebook likes for your business and Veritasium’s video describes them as being “legitimate and illegitimate”. You can acquire likes from online companies that use “click farms” or you can take the legitimate approach and use Facebook’s advertising opportunity.
Cellan-Jones’ VirtualBagel managed to acquire over 16,000 likes after he made the most of advertising through Facebook but he noticed that not everything was as it seemed. It turned out that the vast majority of VirtualBagels attention had not come from the expected locations, such as the US and UK. Instead, most of the bogus business’ attention was coming from isolated locations across parts of Asia. So who was actually showing affection for his page about Bagels?
Derek Muller, the face behind Veritasium, noticed that his own page was also acquiring similar kinds of attention when he tried advertising through Facebook. Whilst his likes were going through the roof, he noticed that activity on his page was stalling and this encouraged him to discover where his “fans” were actually coming from. He found respectable appeal in some European countries such as Austria but the amount of inactive fans he had in places such as Egypt, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia was quite staggering.
The problem with acquiring fans through Facebook’s advertising scheme is that they can’t filter who actually decides to like your page. Whilst Facebook have attempted to delete hordes of “fake” users in the past, Facebook pages are still flooded with likes that have originated from click farms. What’s worse, Facebook will monitor a posts attention to see if it’s worth promoting and this isn’t going to work for you if you’ve got countless amounts of fake users following your page.
Muller titles his YouTube video “Facebook Fraud” and there’s a pretty good reason for it as well. Facebook are actually benefitting from how click farms operate as they achieve revenue every time you get new fans and choose to engage with them. Muller created another page that was similar to VirtualBagel in that it was simply unlikeable and not worth the attention, yet it still managed to get a pretty significant following. Muller claims in his video that click farms probably like pages they aren’t paid to like to seem more genuine.
Facebook won’t let you delete likes that most would deem completely irrelevant, so you’ll just have to work around them once they’ve been acquired. Facebook’s lack of support is down to the fact that they would have to admit that they get serious revenue from fake clicks should they ever decide to remove them. Facebook benefits from this in the long haul and we are ultimately left to struggle with unwanted attention that we’ve essentially paid for.The moral of the story is simple; Paid likes will damage your Facebook advertising campaign, whether they’re legitimate or illegitimate. The pointless expenditure simply doesn’t provide you with what you’re really looking to achieve, which is a group of genuine fans to help promote your business.
Why not pursue our free consultation service here at Artemis Internet Marketing? We are experts in all things SEO and we are fully accomplished in providing online businesses with strong and productive social media campaigns.