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Facebook-unlikeBy Michael Brandvold @michaelsb of Michael Brandvold Marketing.

I have said a number of times you shouldn’t buy Twitter followers or Facebook likes because you aren’t buying real fans, you are just buying a number. Quite often you may be buying a fake account. Well I thought I would share a real example of someone who did buy some Facebook likes and the results of that purchase.

I am going to change the name of the artist, but this is all real data. I did a consultation call with Lyndsey last year and in reviewing her online world I suspected she might have purchased some YouTube views, Twitter followers and Facebook likes. When I asked she confirmed she had. Six months after the call Lyndsey contacted me because she was concerned because she was losing Facebook likes. So I did some research.

Looking back over a month of stats I noticed there was no significant increase in unlikes to the page. Actually most days she had 0 unlikes. Looking at the data I saw that people are not actually clicking unlike. In the last month only 4 people have clicked unlike. In the month prior only 3 have clicked unlike. You can view this data on your Facebook Insights Likes page. So people actually clicking unlike was not the cause of the dropping number of likes. My initial feeling was she was losing likes as part of an overall Facebook housecleaning of fake accounts. This seemed to be confirmed by the fact she had large numbers of likes in foreign countries such as Mexico, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India.

Lyndsey is a local artist from Arizona. Facebook over the last couple months had been deleting fake accounts, which in turn drops the like counts on any pages that had purchased likes. It is very likely this is what is happening, the purchased likes are being deleted. Those likes were never real people, they are often stolen or fake accounts. Facebook is just dong some housecleaning. Here is a link to a article about Facebook deleting fake accounts, http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/26/facebook-fake-accounts/

I counted at least 2000 likes that I suspected were fake accounts.

Here is a list of the top countries that Like the page: (remember Lyndsey is a local artist in Arizona)

  • 2,759 United States of America
  • 1,156 Mexico
  • 326 Bangladesh
  • 197 United Kingdom
  • 163 India
  • 48 Indonesia
  • 40 Philippines
  • 39 Canada
  • 36 France
  • 35 Brazil
  • 32 Spain
  • 29 Turkey
  • 21 Italy
  • 20 Egypt
  • 19 Azerbaijan
  • 18 Chile
  • 17 United Arab Emirates
  • 16 Hong Kong
  • 15 Nigeria
  • 14 Pakistan

I would expect to see the top cities for Likes to be Phoenix and regional to Phoenix. But below are the top cities for likes:

  • 1,122 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
  • 511 New York, NY
  • 443 Los Angeles, CA
  • 272 Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 198 Seattle, WA
  • 144 Miami, FL
  • 144 London, England, United Kingdom
  • 137 Dallas, TX
  • 122 Houston, TX
  • 61 San Diego, CA
  • 54 Denver, CO
  • 53 Chicago, IL
  • 52 Washington, DC
  • 49 Las Vegas, NV
  • 46 Chandigarh, India
  • 45 Brooklyn, NY
  • 41 Atlanta, GA
  • 34 Paris, Ile-de-France, France
  • 34 Superior, CO
  • 29 New Delhi, Delhi, India

All those likes from Mexico, Bangladesh and Indonesia will never talk about Lyndsey, and they will actually hurt her because Facebook saw 6000 likes but only 30 people talking, Four months after this analysis the number of likes has fallen from 6200 to 1800 with 48 people talking. It appears that all the purchased likes are disappearing. Of course you won’t get a refund on the money spent on buying those likes.

The total likes is not what is important. Very few people are actually talking about Lyndsey. This will only increase by developing a full content strategy of what you post EVERY day, and engaging with fans as they get more involved. But, engaging with REAL fans. You can’t engage with fake accounts.You want people talking about you. This is how you grow and get more fans. in Facebook’s analysis (EdgeRank) it says you are not interesting and your followers don’t like your content. The result of this will be Facebook not displaying what you do post to those who actually did like your page. So in the end you lost your money, you lost those fake likes and you actually hurt your ability to communicate with your real fans.

 

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