How Many of Your Facebook Fans Don’t Even Exist?
You might think that you’re pretty safe out here in Cyberspace.
But the latest hushed midnight whisperings suggest that the internet is fast developing into quite a cosy new home for these ghostly spirits from the past.
Some of them might even be fans of your Facebook Business Page…
Could there really be any truth to these haunting rumours that some of your own fans may not actually exist in our physical plane?
And could Facebook really be guilty of generating artificial LIKES for your business page, perhaps even from the dormant accounts of people who passed on years ago?
I’ve never been a big believer in ghostly spirits myself.
Old Bert, our resident caretaker, seems utterly convinced that Martin Print H.Q is haunted, but I’m not so sure.
He insists that when he’s prowling around the printing press down below late at night, he often catches sight of a strange spectral figure with a pained expression on its withered face.
He’s even tried lighting a few candles and communicating with it to see if he can help find peace and closure for this poor tortured soul.
I don’t really have the heart to tell Old Bert that he’s probably just catching reflections of himself from the shaving mirror that the printing guys keep down there for emergencies.
However, the problem with ghostly Facebook spirits seems to be a slightly more authentic problem for proud owners of Business Pages.
In recent weeks, some very suspicious activity has been spotted on the biggest social networking site of them all.
Online ghost hunters have been monitoring some particularly spooky incidents in their own Facebook news feeds, and some of the answers remain shrouded in mystery.
One keen Facebook user was taken by surprise when he saw that a very good friend of his had LIKED a certain corporate Business Page.
This seemed very odd, because the good friend had always publicly hated the corporate identity behind the page.
But perhaps the oddest thing of all about this seemingly innocent LIKE was the fact that his good friend had actually passed away over six months earlier…
Here’s another completely true story from one of my own good friends;
Years ago, he set up a fictional Facebook account using a completely imaginary identity.
There was nothing dodgy about this at all; it was purely for the benefit of some silly Facebook game.
He could earn extra gold coins (or something) by getting somebody else to sign up to the game. None of his real friends were interested, so he had to make one up!
He only used this fake account for about a week, until he eventually got bored of the game.
He never bothered to delete the account (he couldn’t even remember the log-in details after a short while!), so it was just left hanging around on his friends list for three or four years.
Imagine his surprise when, quite out of the blue, he noticed in his news feed that his old creation had suddenly taken on a life of its own, and had started LIKING Business Pages all over the place!
My mate strongly suspects that all these Business Pages may have recently paid for advertising or promoted posts…
There are a whole stack of other weird and creepy tales out there to take your pick from.
Facebook enthusiasts are frequently noticing that their friends are LIKING some quite bizarre pages…but when questioned about it, their friends claim that they have never pressed the LIKE button, and have felt compelled to quickly pop over to the page in question to hit UNLIKE!
Then there’s the curious riddle of all those fans who seem quite keen to LIKE your page, despite being light years away from your target audience.
For example, the Martin Print Facebook Page is naturally targeted at Australian Small to Medium Sized Businesses, as this is the sector that we proudly serve with our cool custom printing and sizzling free offers.
Yet, whenever I pay for a Promoted Post, I always seem to attract a big chunk of likes and comments from people on the other side of the planet who would never do business with Martin Print in a million years, and wouldn’t even be eligible for any of our offers.
A cynic might conclude that these are just artificially generated LIKES from fake accounts, designed to make me think that my Promoted Posts are getting a strong response, whilst encouraging me to pay for my next one…
Well, first let’s look at the allegations that are being raised here by some of the critics that have experienced this paranormal activity;
1) Facebook is taking control of dormant accounts (from former users or even deceased users) and using them to create false LIKES for Business Pages who pay for advertising or promoted posts.
2) Facebook is LIKING posts on your behalf without even asking for your permission first!
Again, it is alleged that this is purely to boost those LIKES for paying Business Pages.
3) Facebook is artificially generating LIKES from completely bogus accounts associated with people who have never even existed!
What do Facebook have to say about all this?
Well, with regard to the plague of Facebook ghosts, a spokesperson from the company has claimed that there is a half-logical explanation for dead people LIKING pages.
Apparently, if the account of a deceased user doesn’t get ‘memorialised’ (which would involve a friend or family member informing Facebook that the user has passed away) then Facebook will naturally assume that the user is still alive and will keep on ‘recycling’ and ‘re-publishing’ LIKES for months and months after the user clicked the LIKE button.
As for all those users who claim never to have pressed the LIKE button in the first place (very often for pages that they would hate or at least have zero interest in), the spokesperson suggests that these people may have pressed the button by accident, possibly when playing around with a mobile device.
It’s not quite as convincing as we might have hoped for.
Could it be that Facebook is really trying to cheat us all with fake likes from ghost accounts?
To be honest, I would be incredibly surprised if that was the case.
Facebook may have done some strange things in the past, but blatantly trying to ‘con’ business page owners in this way would risk jeopardising their entire reputation and would probably develop into the biggest online scandal of our generation.
It just doesn’t ring true at all. It would surely be far too ridiculous.
One slightly more realistic explanation is that some of the above oddities are somehow being carried out by external third parties who are working for their own mysterious ends.
But even this theory still doesn’t deliver all the answers.
In fact, a big part of me suspects that even Facebook themselves don’t really have all the answers just yet…
The ghost hunters and enthusiasts out there are still doing their best to dig up more concrete answers to this conundrum, and the Martin Print Blog will naturally bring you the latest twists and turns and revelations in this haunting story.
But in the meantime, to put your mind at rest and ensure that you don’t have nightmares, I should point out that the overwhelming majority of your Facebook fans are very likely to be real people.
Not strange apparitions. Not fictional characters. Not people who passed away months or years ago.
Just real, solid people who can be converted into real, solid customers!
But it might still be worth keeping an eye out for that tiny percentage of fans, likers, and commentators, who may turn out to be far less than they first appear…
Have you spotted any strange activity on your own Facebook Business Page?
Please do share your own chilling Ghost Stories below….