How Facebook Deals with Companies that Buy #FakeFans

Watching the Channel 4 Dispatches programme about companies that buy Likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter, I thought this graph would be of interest.

Fake followers

Watching the Channel 4 Dispatches programme about companies that buy Likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter, I thought this graph would be of interest.

Fake followers

This graph, from a previous client, shows what happens when Facebook culls fake accounts – which it does from time to time.

We were unaware that this client had previously ‘bought’ 500 Facebook fans, but when almost exactly 500 fans mysteriously disappeared, it was pretty obvious.

We set about increasing their fan engagement through natural means – by publishing great content and running regular activities – but it was interesting to see how pointless buying fake fans or followers is. Twitter performs regular culls too, so this seems to be a common clean-up practice.

If I had been monitoring this company on behalf of a competitor, I would have been very tempted to publish the graph with the company name included. Let that be a warning to the fakers.

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5 comments

  1. Jeremy Adam Walt Reply

    It is disturbing the levels individuals go to, to cheat a system. Nice post, hope those ‘would be warriors’ who want to cheat a system take a good look at themselves before they embark on a mission that backfires.

    1. Luke Brynley-Jones Reply

      Yes. I think Facebook are actually more on top of this problem than Twitter. Given the recent backlash about trolls on Twitter, though, I expect they will start to regulate accounts more in future.

  2. Jon Morter Reply

    I have some stories and graphs that would melt the insides of your eyelids

    I also have numerous agencies and brands that must be quaking right now

    1. Luke Brynley-Jones Reply

      You know me Jon – I’m all for melting eyelids 🙂 Seriously, if you can share them I’d be happy to run a follow-on post.

  3. Kevin Verigan Reply

    I’ve found few examples of businesses that have bought likes and actually benefited; for example, sometimes ‘getting the ball rolling’ on a new community may be helped by the number of fans you have, the thinking being that a busy community is more appealing than a small one.

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