(via NYTimes.com) Quite a few businesses have been complaining about Facebook ads, especially the prevalence of “fake likes.” The network’s policies prohibit the buying or selling of likes — sometimes through “click farms” in developing countries that generate likes from fake accounts for a fee — but many users do it anyway in the hope that lots of likes will encourage Facebook’s algorithms to increase the reach of the ads they buy. More likes can also increase the perceived credibility of a page.
There are two problems with fake likes. If a business buys ads from Facebook and the ads generate likes from people or accounts who aren’t really interested in the business, advertising dollars have been wasted. And if a business accumulates likes that aren’t genuine on its page, they can also diminish the effectiveness of further Facebook advertising. That’s because when those doing the liking don’t actively engage with the advertiser’s page — through clicks, likes, shares, comments — it can signal Facebook’s algorithm to decrease or even just not increase distribution of the ad.
Continue reading on NYTimes.com: When Advertising on Facebook Can Be a Waste of Money