My Facebook “Likes” Disappeared

Facebook LikesHave you seen an unusual number of Facebook likes/followers disappear from your brand page? You may be wondering…

– Is there a technical glitch?

– Did our company say or do something offensive?

– Are people really leaving Facebook at such a rate?


Who Stole My Facebook Likes?

None of these are likely (although a technical glitch is always in the realm of possibilities). The more likely scenario is that those followers were not human to begin with! During their quarterly earnings report, Facebook admitted to approximately 8.7% fake accounts on their network. That’s 83.09 million accounts if you’re doing the math. All those fake accounts are bound to have an affect on some real companies. Shortly after the report, Facebook announced it was starting what it called “improvements to its site integrity systems.” Since then companies of all sizes have been asking themselves, “Where did all of our likes/followers go?”


Cleaning House

The impact of Facebook’s massive house cleaning efforts has been being felt by companies of all sizes and in all industries for months. When the site improvements were first announced it took only two days for accounts like Zynga’s Texas HoldEm Poker to loose almost 200,000 Likes, pop star Lady Gaga lost about 66,000, and “The Simpsons” dropped about 21,000. All this due to fake Facebook accounts.

Now in March of 2013, we’re continuing to see signs of Facebook’s improvements to its site integrity systems. Smaller businesses that may have unknowingly allowed bots to replace humans are watching in horror as hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of “likes” vanish overnight.


How Did We Get Here?

Many businesses mistakenly believe that the number of followers (Likes) a Facebook page has is equal to the number of potential sales they will derive. This is a false assumption. For some this false assumption has led to poor decisions and misguided advice from both client and social media specialists. Clients leaned on their social media specialist to get them more followers/likes and social media specialists who didn’t know better, or didn’t know how to explain that this was the wrong metric to look at, found ways to make the numbers.


Where Do We Go From Here?

When it comes to social media, the quality of likes, fans, followers or connections matters. The number of followers obviously has a role as well. After all, if you only have only follower, even if they are of the highest quality, it is unlikely that you will achieve your social media goals.  The point is, when thinking about social media followers, likes, fans or connections, you should never sacrifice quality for quantity. Period.   


Further Reading: Interested in learning how to determine if a Facebook fan page has fake fans? Read Pam Moore’s excellent post on the subject. She also reveals tools that can help you determine if you have robots or people following you on Twitter! I’m happy to say I have 100% people. Thanks for following @Listen2You :).



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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.