Why Your Business Is Losing Likes On Facebook

Share

Losing likes on facebook

For better or worse, “Likes” have become the leading barometer of marketing success on Facebook.  So businesses throughout the world invest heavily in generating as many “Likes” as they can and use a wide range of strategies to increase their numbers.  For most, the focus is on consistently producing high quality content, reaching out to targeted consumer audiences, and finding innovative ways to stimulate user engagement.  But many others have also been using more underhanded techniques, such as posting “Like” solicitations on Fiver.com and creating fake accounts in order to artificially inflate their Like counts.

Unfortunately, these so-called ‘fake Likes’ have become a serious problem for Facebook, which sells advertising on a pay-per-click basis and must guarantee the integrity of the marketing services it provides.  So in an effort to eliminate fraudulent Likes, the social media giant recently began cracking down on fake accounts and cleansing the site of anyone they consider to be in violation of their Terms and Conditions.  But while the intentions were certainly well founded, the results have caused quite a stir in the Facebook business community.

Dramatic Drops

Though Facebook announced that the new initiative to eliminate fake “Likes” would only affect about 1% of the site’s total Likes, some users have reported losing likes on Facebook with quite drastic drops that they claim are unwarranted.  Amongst the top most Liked Facebook Pages, Texas Holdem Poker saw the most severe losses, but these only amounted to about 0.15% of their total.  Of course, users who engaged in intentional Like inflating campaigns lost thousands of illegally obtained credits.

There have also been reports of 30% losses by users who claim to personally know everyone who liked their page.  Reports like these seem to indicate that the crackdown may have resulted in accounts being eliminated unfairly, but the severity of the problem has yet to be substantiated, and users are being urged to contact Facebook’s customer service if they feel they have been unjustly hurt by the purge.

False Accusations

As the crackdown stripped millions of users of their highly valued Likes, it ruffled more than a few feathers.  For some, it revealed the underhanded techniques being used by the apparently dishonest social media consultants they paid to run their marketing campaigns.  For others, the purge is being seen as an act of fraud by Facebook itself.  A few cases have come to light wherein users were stripped of Likes after having used Facebook’s PPC advertising services, calling into question the legitimacy of the site’s sales practices.  Users are asking (and rightfully so!) how fake users could be clicking on the site’s sponsored advertisements?

The Beginning of the End?

Losing likes on Facebook

Yet another, far more troubling trend is also at play here.  Likes can disappear for two reasons, either;

  1. Facebook eliminates the account, or
  2. The user deactivates it.

Surprisingly, a huge number of Facebook users in the US and UK have been doing just that.  As ‘TheGuardian.co.uk’ recently reported, millions of Americans and Brits have abandoned Facebook in the past six months.  Meanwhile, there has been a 5% drop in the average amount of time US users spend on the site each day.  Could this be the beginning of the end for Facebook?

Despite Facebook’s putative decline in the US and UK, it is nonetheless gaining momentum in South America and India.  With over a billion people living in India alone, a rapidly developing nation where widespread internet access is still yet to be firmly established, it seems Facebook’s overall user base is in little danger of decline.

The implications of this south-eastern shift could have an important impact on the business landscape of Zuckerberg’s brainchild.  As user demographics change, some companies will inevitably find the site less and less effective as a marketing platform, while others, particularly international companies, will surely see business boom.

In any case, and despite the negative effects it may have had for certain users, businesses should see the recent ‘fake Likes’ crackdown as a positive change for their favourite social marketing site.  Even those who lost many Likes, surely haven’t lost many real customers.  Meanwhile, for all those using Likes as the measure of their marketing success, it seems Facebook has just made their barometer a bit more accurate.

Had you been losing likes on Facebook due to the getting rid of fake accounts? Are you one of the ones who has left Facebook recently? If so, why? Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

Image by ‘mkhmarketing’ [Source]

About Hannah Connor

Hannah works for vouchercloud.net. You can learn more by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

  • Andi the Minion

    Hi Hannah, I have lost a lot of respect for Facebook, they do not seem consistent with much of their actions and opinions. I see very little action on our Facebook page and have considered abandoning it, I now prefer to work with Facebook groups. If it wasn’t for groups I would have easily left Facebook altogether, believe me when I say I was ‘that’ close. I was considering it daily!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Andi,

      Don’t think you are alone with your views on Facebook. Feel a little let down by them since they floated the company on the stock market. I don’t mind them trying to make money, as they are after all a company, BUT they seem to be doing it at the expense of user engagement.

      I hate the fact that you now have to pay to be able to share with people who liked your page, of which you may have spent money on Facebook ads promoting your page in the first place.

      In my view Facebook is far from dead as they still have billions of users, however I do think that they are shooting themselves in the foot. They had such a monopoly over the market, but they are making it easy for Google+ (and others) to make gains on them. Will be interesting to see what they do in the next year or two.

  • http://www.yepididi.com/ Helena

    very good. I have also been bothered by some of the pages on facebook. And now I understand why they no longer appear many more

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Helena,

      It is good that they are trying to clean up fake accounts that were inflating like counts. I just hope it doesn’t affect some of the innocent people that Hannah mentioned in her post.

  • John Banks

    I have ignored FB from a marketing perspective for a long time until recently when I hooked up in a Group. As for likes I am learning the ropes with this now. Fake likes are worthless – although I will admit I did purchase a couple of hundred for a brand new (not the labradors) page I have just set up. This was only to get the ball rolling and I expect them to vanish soon – but it does not bother me as it has well exceeded double that number now.

    Great post – thanks!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi John,

      Facebook groups are great and one of the reasons why I’m still using them (I know I’m not alone in that opinion).

      Don’t think you are alone by purchasing a few fake likes in the past. If I remember rightly, a few big name celebrities were found out to have used them (Justin Bieber), but now they are useless. Having said that, with more SEO emphasis on social interaction, I see it continuing in some way or another in the near future.

  • Clair Trebes

    This is a really interesting post – I think that a LOT of people who were so easily lead into the whole “buying” likes are now seeing the negative side of things. With careful planning and a little bit of learning you could actually spend your money in a far better way with Facebook adverts that will actually target people who are really interested in what you are doing who will like the page, and will be likely to stay likers of the page, rather than an account be deactivated by Facebook.

    I spend a LOT of time advising people that buying likes might look good at the beginning, but really you may aswell take your money and set fire to it – none of us have money to burn, so why not invest it in a better way that could prove more fruitful longer term.

    100 likes who share and are active are worth SO much more than 1000 likes who are all fakers ……

    Great post and i will be sharing now :)

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Clair,

      So true – “100 likes who share and are active are worth SO much more than 1000 likes who are all fakers…”. People still see the number of followers as the most important thing, but it’s the interaction that’s the key. Much better to have a small handful of active people rather than hundreds of silent ones.

      Cheers for sharing Clair :)

  • Teresa Hunt

    There is something else going on. Like disappear of the page, but the person (real people, a lot of whom I know) have not unliked. the page still appears in their likes on their page but not on my band page. I have reported this several times to facebook. sometimes there is immediate misreporting. the people icon at the top has a list of the latest likes, but when you go to ‘see all’ some of those are missing. (again real people). It is very very odd and am beginning to think it is facebook itself.

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Teresa,

      Your not the only person that has noticed this. There has been quite a few reports of problems with Facebook pages (especially likes), definitely think it’s a problem with Facebook itself.

      It could be that they are making some changes behind the scenes, but they need to be careful that they don’t put people off from using them. Google+ is gaining on them!