Facebook adverts to increase ‘likes’ are not ‘liked’ by the BBC

Facebook has recently come under scrutiny in a BBC report over the value of their Facebook ads. If your company uses Facebook ads to increase your brand profiles ‘likes’, this is certainly a report for you.

Many small businesses and high profile brands are paying significant amounts of money on Facebook ads with the aim of getting their Facebook page out to the masses to increase sales and revenue. Nevertheless, one experiment has shown that after running a number of Facebook adverts, the value of the return of the ‘like’ may be of little value at all.

The BBC created a Facebook page for VirtualBagel – a made-up company with no products.

The number of “likes” it attracted from Egypt and the Philippines was out of proportion to other countries targeted such as the US and UK.

A BBC spokesman commented, “While we had been targeting Facebook users around the world, all their “likes” appeared to be coming from countries such as the Philippines and Egypt.”

“They were 13 to 17 years old, the profile names were highly suspicious, and when we dug deeper a number of these profiles were liking 3,000, 4,000, even 5,000 pages,” he said.

It was also pointed out that a number of profiles had names and details that appeared to be made up. One Cairo-based fan called himself Ahmed Ronaldo and claimed to work at Real Madrid.

One profile, going by the name Agung Pratama Sevenfoldism, showed his date of birth as 1997 and said he had been a manager at Chevron in 2010, which seems highly unlikely.

Facebook played down the issue of fake profiles. “We’ve not seen evidence of a significant problem,” said a spokesman.

“Neither has it been raised by the many advertisers who are enjoying positive results from using Facebook.

“All of these companies have access to Facebook’s analytics which allow them to see the identities of people who have liked their pages, yet this has not been flagged as an issue.

“A very small percentage of users do open accounts using pseudonyms but this is against our rules and we use automated systems as well as user reports to help us detect them.”

Do you run Facebook adverts? Have you experienced an increase in ‘likes’ from fake profiles as a result? We would love to hear of your experience.

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