Advertising on Facebook certainly sounds like a smart move, but in reality, is it?
Facebook is used by billions around the world. Every day millions upon millions of users log in, post something undoubtedly witty or cringe over photos of a night they’d rather forget. And every single one of them will ‘Like’ something at some point. It could well be an advertisement or company brand page, but the chances of that being true seems to be very slim.
At least, that’s according to some original research by Derek Muller, from YouTube science communications channel Veritasium, who discovered that Facebook’s legitimate Facebook ‘Like’ offers seem to be no different from the illegal ‘Likes’ you can purchase from ‘clickfarms’.
It would seem that paying Facebook to increase your reach actually just sees them spreading it to users who generally like absolutely everything, most likely because they’re being paid to. This, in turn, means that once you purchase ‘Likes’ on the service you’ll then need to buy distribution-boosting promotional slots so your content reaches further due to your inflated ‘Likes’ crashing your engagement statistics.
One fact brought up in the Veritasium video is how the US Department of State spent a whopping $630,000 to gain 2 million page ‘Likes’. However they then saw engagement rates crash, with only 2 per cent of users being engaged.
Veritasium quickly proved this point true by setting up an entirely new page, deliberately made to be an utter waste of space, and paying Facebook for ‘Likes’ – which it got. It’s also interesting to see how clickfarm workers will also like pages unpaid, just so they can cover their own tracks – helping boost Facebook page numbers without Facebook getting suspicious about the process.
It’s worrying stuff, especially if you have a page and want to have it expand outwards to reach a new audience. With teen Facebook usage falling off a cliff, news that Facebook could well be ripping off it’s own customers to profit big-time will surely do nothing more than shake confidence in the social network’s future as an advertising and engagement platform.