Identifying and Removing Fake Facebook Fans
How many of your Facebook followers are fakes? Facebook estimates that over 83 million of its users are fakes. Of those, about half are duplicate accounts while about 15 million are spam accounts. Whether you “bought” followers to help your page look good or have a bunch of fake followers who want to spam your page, identifying and removing the fakes is a good idea. Why?
For starters, fake followers don’t engage with your page. That lack of engagement matters. If most of your fans are fake and not engaging with you, your content will be less likely to be shown to your real fans.
For example, let’s say you have 10,000 fake fans and 10 real fans and you post an incredibly viral picture that’s sure to generate lots of likes and comments. When you post it, 10,000 fake fans won’t click that like button simply because they are fakes. Even if your 10 real fans like the post, your engagement level will be minuscule. Now, what if you had just 10 legitimate fans and posted that same photo? Even if just five liked it, your engagement level would be 50 percent. Thus, when the other five legitimate fans log in, they may actually see your post in their news feeds because of the earlier engagement.
Here’s another reason to remove fake Facebook fans: Facebook is practically all-knowing. With all of its algorithms and insights, you can bet Facebook will figure out that your page is loaded with fakes. Your page could be penalized due to guilt by association.
How to Find and Remove Fake Fans
If you bought fake followers, then you may be able to identify the fakes based on their join date or other attributes such as age and gender. Log into your page, click the Fans icon, and then click on See All. Scroll through the list and visit the profiles of your followers. Does the fan appear real? Relevant? Active? If not, remove him or her by clicking Remove.
Signs a Fan Might Be Fake
According to an infographic posted on Seomworld.com, 97 percent of fake profiles claim to be women (as opposed to 40 percent of real profiles) and 58 percent claim to be bisexual (as opposed to 6 percent of real profiles). Fake profiles tend to tag photos at a much higher rate than real people (136 tags per four photos compared to just one tag for every four photos). Fake profiles also tend to have hundreds of “friends,” yet few status updates, if any.
How to Avoid Future Fake Fans
While it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid fake followers, you can take some preventative measures. Obviously, you should never buy followers. When running social contests, make sure to carefully target them to your desired audience. For example, a general contest with a highly desirable prize might attract fake followers attempting to game the system whereas one that is targeted to your specific audience with a relevant prize should be less attractive to opportunists. While you’re at it, periodically look at the profiles of your new followers in an attempt to sniff out the fakes.
You work hard to attract followers to your Facebook page. Purging your fan base of fakes takes time. However, if you have a large amount of fakes, doing so could be worth the effort.