Social media presence is key to consumer engagement. It used to be anyway.
In today's marketing landscape, if you don't exceed a certain number of Likes or Followers, your brand must not be doing too well.While marketers scrummage around and fiddle with innovative strategies to increase social media presence and gain more Likes, they are also uninformed that a chunk of its #s are fake.
Twitter reported that 98% of its tweets are from fake accounts. Facebook Likes are not far off from that grave pile figure either.
Facebook's ad space can be sold as 'Suggested Posts' and 'Suggested Pages', catered to small brands who need to drive traffic and build brand awareness. The platforms is affordable and ideal for SMEs. However, in a recent release by Facebook, it cited that 11.2% of its 1.23 billion users are fake or duplicate accounts.
Why is that a cause for concern? Advertisers paying Facebook money for legitimate engagement are cheated with fake likes and followers, notably coming from countries like India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. Furthermore, Facebook has no means of controlling or preventing these duplicates or faux profiles from being created daily.
In a recent report by SocialBakers.com, it revealed that Facebook is in fact pursing the dubious likes. Nearly nine per cent of its accounts were discovered to be fake in which were deleted. What's nine percent of Facebook's members count? 83 million.
During the wipe out, some brands and celebrities reported lost some 30,000 - 50,000 likes within a day.
In a recent viral video posted by filmmaker, Derek Muller, he revealed results of his experiment with defective likes on Facebook. Muller created a Facebook page and paid USD$50 to promote his site, in which he received over 70,000 fake account likes.
A+M managed to speak to Siang Ng, account director from TBG Interactive on his views regarding this these findings.
“This is a digital problem that is yet to be solved by social networking sites."
Ng said: "Ads are good and to identify fake likes is by noticing the quality of engagement among brand and followers on the social networking site. He has noticed that some brands have huge followers base but only a 2% to 5% of engagement rates on their sites. “The number of fake accounts in Malaysia is decreasing drastically as brands move towards content marketing in order to strengthen their social network engagement and maintain a quality reach among fans, which helps build brand recognition."