Facebook has a problem with phony accounts, bots, spam and a bunch of bad practices that sink the engagement rate for Facebook business or personality pages. The problem is well known and documented, and now Facebook wants to work aggressively to stamp out the fake likes.
Time and again we learn Facebook has some pretty terrible engagement rates. For pages with just 1,000 fans, the rate is 0.6 percent, and the percentage only gets lower as the number of fans increases. A big part of this low engagement rate is that bots — or even professional like-clickers — generate the most likes, but engage the least.
The low engagement rates are bad news for Facebook. Businesses want a good return for content created. If most of the content meets bots or fake likes, they’ve wasted both their time and money. Facebook’s blog post on the topic details their methods for fighting back.
We also limit likes per account to make spammers’ operations less efficient. When like activity gets unusually high, we take additional steps to make sure the likes are legitimate, such as asking for additional verification. Ultimately, it’s a combination of approaches rather than a single technique that helps us stay ahead of the spammers.
However, other data from Solve Media shows that bots are becoming more prevalent, especially in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) vertical, which is a primary market that takes advantage of Facebook marketing. The problem is, while Facebook may be redoubling its efforts to cut out spam, bots and fake likes, it may be too late.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and while it has seemingly limitless resources, “Keeping Facebook Activity Authentic” is a long and uphill battle. It may be the case that Facebook and the other networks can match pace with spam, but it’s unlikely that they’ll ever get out ahead of it.