Facebook is Targeting Spammers
Brand pages on Facebook should prepare themselves for a 1 percent decrease in likes as the company begins to address a longstanding problem of likes accumulated through malware, hijacked accounts and the deception or purchasing of users.
While brands that do not directly engage in such deceptive practices to boost their likes will be less affected, many legitimate brands go through third-party companies that purchase likes in bulk without the knowledge of the brands that have hired them.
Some companies are unhappy with the sudden change because they have noticed their likes dropping significantly without explanation. One percent becomes a significant number when a page has millions of likes. The main complaint has been Facebook’s lack of communication and transparency about the issue.
However, Facebook has added a note explaining that the action is actually to the advantage of brand pages. With Facebook taking steps to ensure that likes are all by genuine users, brands gather more accurate demographic information about their customers. In turn, brands can generate content which is better targeted to their customers.
Facebook insists that the removal of genuine likes is extremely unlikely based on the algorithm they have developed, which includes detecting red flags like a huge number of likes in seconds.
Some feel this doesn’t bode well for social media as a future vehicle for advertising. Others agree that Facebook is on the right track by making it possible for pages to better interact with their customers. Facebook recently introduced a new system that breaks down demographics for brands by such aspects as age, location, relationship status, education and gender.
Ultimately, by cracking down on spammers and fraudulent methods of accumulating likes, Facebook is creating a truly organic base of consumers for each brand. The total numbers may drop but the each of the numbers remaining will represent an actual person with whom the brand can genuinely engage and market to based on who that person is.