The Dirty Truth About Facebook Page Likes

facebook likes

Have you ever wondered how some Facebook pages end up with so many thousands of likes? Simple, they’re fake. In fact, fake Facebook likes are becoming the new norm, especially for those who have ever given Facebook money to promote their page. Once you read this post, you will look at Facebook in a whole new light.


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If you’re a freelancer, blogger or running a business, you’re going to have a Facebook Page. It’s practically a given. Of course, the whole point is to get likes, lots of them. And for many of us, as the likes pour in we rejoice thinking, “It’s working, this is great!” If you’ve paid for Facebook ads you’ll see the like numbers grow by thousands and you may feel like you’re really taking off. Wrong.

Here’s a little experiment. Go to any FB Page with an a huge number of likes (let’s use Fashion Magazine and Kinfolk Magazine as examples). By clicking the button that displays the number of likes you can see the page’s basic demographics, including its most popular city. What you should see here, is the target city of your choice i.e. if you’re based in New York, you may see New York as your main city. However, if the most popular city is Bangkok, Thailand, or Cairo, Egypt, or Dhaka, Bangladesh, you’re shit out of luck my friend.

The unfortunate side effect of the vast popularity of Facebook pages are click farms, which are basically sweat-shops for page likes. A service offered to those Facebook page owners who are eager, nervous or otherwise impatient for a large number of likes in a short time. Why should I care? You may ask. It’s not like you’re paying for bogus likes, right? Well as it turns out, it doesn’t matter. Your page is part of the system, because unless these bogus page likers find a way to cover their tracks, Facebook’s filters (which detect a disproportionately large number of activity coming from one specific location to another specific location) will block them. The solution? Like as many random pages as possible, that way there is a large volume of likes going everywhere, not just to the one page that paid you $500 for 40,000 likes.

click farm
This is the only scenario in which Facebook can detect that likes are not legit, a large number of likes coming from one specific place to another.
By mimicking the like pattern of a normal user, and liking a lot of random pages across the world, the click farm avoids detection.
By mimicking the like pattern of a normal user, and liking a lot of random pages across the world, the click farm avoids detection.

What does this mean for you? Potentially, that thousands of random click-farm employees in Thailand or Egypt are liking your page. At this point, you might think, Great! The more likes the better! Why should I care where they’re coming from? Well you should care, because Facebook is not a public space. Unless you pay Facebook, your posts will not be seen by everyone that has actually liked your page. It is only seen by a minority. The problem is, by default Facebook shows your content to a sample percentage of all your likers. If the majority of your likes are coming from people that don’t actually like you, don’t want to purchase your product, or engage in your content, then what’s the point to begin with?

This is why as your likes grow dramatically, you will find that paradoxically your user engagement takes a nose-dive. The more likes, the less people share and comment on your posts and click your links, so you might as well stop posting. Though they may like your page, no one in Bangkok actually cares about your fashion photography portfolio, or new line of organic makeup. As a freelance artist, or young business owner your objective shouldn’t be to get as many likes as possible on your page, but to reach your very specific target audience. From your perspective, it’s actually better to have 5000 highly engaged users, than 50,000 likes from people who will likely never even visit your page again.

In other words, the Facebook page “likes” system is totally broken, and though it may work for you (as in the case of The Gentlewoman Magazine and Frankie Magazine), it will only work if you do it the old school way, without paid promotion, paid Facebook ads or click farms. So stop paying for Facebook ads right now, stop promoting your posts and generally feeding that system. It wont actually do you any good.

Natalia Borecka

Natalia is the editor in chief and publisher of Lone Wolf Magazine. She founded the publication in 2012.

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