It’s no secret that having fake fans on Facebook is bad for a lot of reasons, and that Facebook is penalizing and targeting fake likes.
Unfortunately, not everyone knew that fake fans could hurt their Page when they first signed up and purchased the now-notorious fake likes. Some think that it’s a legitimate marketing strategy, and others think it’s worth the risk.
The good news is that if you’ve purchased fake fans and fake likes on Facebook, it’s not all over for you and your Page. It is possible to remove them. It can be kind of a pain, but you can do it.
If you have fake fans and likes on your Facebook Page (and it’s possible to have them even if you didn’t purchase them), then you’ll want to remove them immediately.
Why You Want to Remove Fake Fans on Facebook
Fake likes (and the “fans” behind them) on Facebook are tempting. I completely understand the allure—you spend $100, you get 10,000 likes, and your Page looks popular and exciting.
Unfortunately, this is hardly the reality of the situation. While you will see a big increase in the number of your fans, fake likes have a hugely detrimental effect overall.
We’ve talked a lot about why fake likes are bad in the past, particularly in this post here. For those who haven’t read about it yet and want a quick rundown, here’s the gist of why fake likes aren’t good:
Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to prioritize different Pages’ reach in users’ Newsfeeds. As we all know, organic reach is declining, and most users only see a small amount of what Pages post on their own timelines.
Part of how EdgeRank determines your priority and how much your posts get seen is by engagement, which is actually weighed pretty heavily. What this means is that if you have a large number of fans (say, perhaps due to fake likes) but relatively low engagement, your reach is going to decline even further, keeping your real fans from seeing the content you post—content they actually want to see.
One thing to always remember is that fake fans will almost never give you any kind of engagement. Most fake likes are just that—entirely fake, and are profiles created just to go through and like Pages, all available for purchasing.
One thing to take note of: just because you haven’t purchased fake likes and fake fans doesn’t mean that your Page doesn’t have any. Some of the more “high-quality” sites that sell fake likes will also like other Pages to help bolster up the profile to make it seem more real. Ultimately, with these profiles being fake, there’s no hiding it. Keeping an eye out for any profiles that flag your interest on your Page can help you detect them if they’re there.
How To Remove Fake Fans on Facebook
Particularly if you have a lot of fans but really low engagement and you know you have fake fans, you want to find them and remove them immediately. It does take some work, but in the long run, it’s exponentially worth it.
To remove fake fans and fake likes on Facebook, just follow these easy steps:
1. Find Them: It makes sense that this is the first step in deleting fake likes. You have to find them in order to remove fake fans.
In order to see a full list of your fans, you’ll start at your Page. On the right hand side, you’ll see a tool bar that says “This Week” and displays the number of new likes you’ve gotten, the post reach, and videos watched. This will help you quite literally find them on our friends list.
Actually identifying them is a bit harder, and there’s no perfect way to 100% know for absolute certainty that you’re definitely looking at a fake fan. But there are some common characteristics to look for, and these are often highly reliable and very telling (not to mention relatively easy to spot). They include:
- They have an extremely long list of likes—and we’re often talking thousands of likes. Sometimes they make sense (someone interested in football and Peyton Manning, for example) and sometimes they don’t (someone who has Pages likes for hunting next to eating vegan).
- Their personal information seems off. Has someone liked your Page who is not anywhere near your audience? Does the information you can see on their Page seem a little fishy?
- The “fan” is from a country where fake likes commonly hail from. While there are thousands and thousands of legitimate users coming from these countries, most fake likes tend to come from Brazil, Chile, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.
Because most fake likes tend to come from the countries listed above, in order to start flagging fake likes quickly, you can search your fans with geography targeting (using Facebook’s Graph search) to see if you have any likes from them quickly.
2. Report Them: Once you’ve found them, you want to report them. This is really more recommended than an actual step. It helps Facebook to flag down fake accounts and get rid of them, and in the long run it can help other marketers, too (especially the ones who never paid for the fake likes and ended up getting them and then getting affected by them in collateral damage).
When you’re looking at their profile, if you scroll over to the right side of the cover photo, you’ll see an option for a drop down menu. Here you can report or block the user. If you can tell it’s a fake profile, hit report, and proceed to the next step.
3. Remove/Block Them: You’ve reported them, and now it’s time to get them off your Page.
Go back to their listing as a fan on your Page, and choose remove. This takes them off the list of your fans. By going back to the list, you’re making sure that you’re removing them from your Page, and not blocking them from the standpoint of your personal profile.
This is often effective enough to get rid of fake likes and fake fans; since they’re fake, they often won’t notice you’ve deleted them and won’t be back. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, however, you can see how to block or ban them completely here.
If you have fake fans on Facebook, it’s definitely time to remove them if you haven’t already. If you don’t, you risk decreasing your reach further and having a lower priority given by Facebook.
Even if it means you’re losing out on fake fans you purchased, it’s a larger investment to remove them before it backfires on you. Facebook is removing fake likes on their own—it’s best to get rid of them yourself so you don’t get penalized if you’re losing them either way.
Don’t forget, fake fans and fake likes can still affect you directly even if you haven’t purchased any. It never hurts to check your Page’s list for them every so often.
Have you ever purchased fake fans on Facebook? Have you made sure to remove fake fans from your Page? Let us know what you think.