If you’re trying to build a brand on Facebook, beware.
I really wish Veritasium had made this video two years ago. Please watch it before you give Facebook any money:
What this means, basically, is every time you make a post and advertise it to reach a bigger audience (paying good $ to Facebook to do this, btw), it’s pretty common to get fake likes and fake followers. These come from click farms using spammers trying to hide their tracks, or using bots, or, as reported by researchers at McGill University’s school of Computer Science, just taking advantage of loopholes in how Facebook works.
What’s so bad about fake followers, you ask? Let’s say you think you have 80,000 followers and only 10,000 of those are really interested in you. Is that so bad? After all, they’re not hurting anything, right? Well, the next time you go to post an announcement on your page, or share a video, or try to communicate with your audience in any way, Facebook will only show that post to a subset of your followers. No surprise there – that’s what they do with all your posts. That was the subject of Derek Muller’s first video about Facebook, before he realized just how bad the problem really was:
So here’s the real kicker: If you have mostly fake followers, they’re the ones who are going to see your exciting new post. Only a small fraction of your real followers will ever hear from you. That’s why, as time goes on, you get less and less of a response from your followers on Facebook. Because most of those people aren’t really your followers.
Of course, if you want to reach more people, you can just give Facebook more money. Which in turn, will result in more fake likes and fake followers.
So what’s the solution? We came up with the bright idea of deleting the obvious fakes (people, for instance, who never post but just seem to “like” a lot of things. These are people who work in click farms.) We got down to about 10,000 followers, and now Facebook won’t let us delete any more. They turned off our “delete followers” function. We’re stuck with what are certainly a bunch of fakes, with a few genuine followers mixed in.
We’re this close to scrapping our Facebook account altogether.
We could start fresh, and NEVER give Facebook another dime in advertising. This means losing all of our genuine followers on Facebook, but at least we wouldn’t be shouting into the wind anymore.
If we were to start over, we can’t use the name Socratica (someone else is using it), and apparently we won’t be able to reuse our current Facebook name, SocraticaStudios. Any suggestions? SocraticaReturns? SocraticaStrikesBack? SocraticaTheMovie?
PS Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean we’re giving up or giving in. This is just another dumb scam that wastes everyone’s time and money, and we think everyone should know about. If we can save anyone from making this same mistake, it will make us feel a tiny bit better. We won’t waste any more time thinking about the videos we could have made with that money instead of giving it to Facebook for sham advertising.
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