At Fortune Marketing, we run Facebook ad campaigns and sponsored posts for our own page as well as for our clients’ pages. There are a few ways to do this: you can choose to target only people who like your page, people who like your page and their friends, or you can customize a whole new audience based on demographics, interests and likes. As marketing consultants we usually opt for the last – thinking we are getting a highly targeted reach of our marketing content and promotions to a whole new audience. But time and time again, we’ve noticed most of our likes (that we are paying for) are coming from people who are obviously NOT part of the target audience we carefully selected. The most blatant example: we choose to show our content only to U.S. audiences, yet a majority of our likes come from India, Egypt and other non-included countries.
So what’s going on? Is Facebook scamming us? Why are we paying for targeted ads but not getting what we paid for?
In an article by Jim Edwards of Business Insider, “Facebook Advertisers Complain of a Wave of Fake Likes Rendering Their Pages Useless”, the author claims the fake likes come from “click farms attempting to make their abusive accounts look real by clicking on legit ads.” And, he adds, “there is little Facebook can do about it, despite trying for years to find a solution”. Jim’s suggestion is to avoid targeting “problem countries” where a majority of these fake likes come from.
Our ads don’t target those countries, yet we still get fake activity on our Facebook posts from those countries. So what gives? The official Facebook help page gives a whole list of “valid reasons Pages get likes outside of their target audience” – none of which apply to our use of company pages or paid ads. So they are not valid at all.
Derek Muller became interested in fake likes on Facebook when he invested in Facebook advertising for his own company, Veritasium, and noticed a huge number of fake likes So he investigated and posted his findings in an eye-opening video, “Facebook Fraud”. Derek’s conclusion is that all Facebook advertising is a waste of money.
While I agree that MOST Facebook advertising is a waste of money, we have had some success with Facebook ads – but only when we target people who like our pages and their friends.
So the moral is: invest in Facebook promoted posts and ads wisely. Pay attention to the activity you’re getting, dig a little and see who they are and where they come from. And if you aren’t reaching your intended audience suspend your campaign right away. There is no use paying for fake likes; after all, the point of likes is to engage prospective clients, and fake people will never buy from you.
If you would like help attracting the right customers and investing in the right marketing contact Fortune Marketing, we’d be happy to help.