Fake facebook likes on the rise
Gone are the days when companies relied on the power of genuine user generated content to strut their way to popularity on social media.
Newly published research Gartner says by 2014, 10 to 15% of brands’ social media fans, likes and reviews will be fake.
In other words, the amount of likes and fans will be paid for by the companies getting endorsed.
So, when you click on a facebook page and see a staggering amount of likes, do not take that number for granted.
Analyst Ed Thompson says that this trend is not new at all. It is almost the same as paid reviews and automatically generated interactions. Instead of climbing up the steps to recognition, companies are choosing the sleazy way to do it, he said.
Another example of this happening was the discovery of Mitt Romney’s US Presidential campaign having thousands of fake twiter followers, after which the director of Romney’s campaign, Zac Mofatt, said the campaign had nothing to do with that.
An emerging trend that is also being exploited is having companies pay people to review their products on social media.
But while this portrays a certain lack of transparency, this is not going to go down in a few years.
At some point, Gartner says, companies will eyeball their options and steer clear of this deceptive advertising.
What will happen of social media as a trusted source? Will it still be trusted in a few years’ time? Maybe interactive users will choose to navigate, chat and sift through only a handful of trusted sources.
Or another solution would be to counteract these kind of deceiving pages by flooding sites with positive reviews, rather than negative critiques.