As Facebook continues to make changes to its algorithms, making advertisers pay more and platform users see less, many business owners become increasingly disappointed with the course of things.
Your average Facebook user is destined to see pieces of content the platform thinks they’d enjoy. This is based on big data. You and I have shared things with Facebook: either checking in at an event, posting a selfie with a celebrity, a controversial or perfectly conservative article, an opinion, a memory or maybe liked a business Page or a friend’s comment. Every activity is recorded and categorised.
The recorded and catgorised data is pulled together and serviced to an advertiser when an ad created.
The data we give away is in our hands. We can give it away, not give away or manipulate it.
I, for example like many silly pet videos on Facebook making sure yet another pet video welcomes me once I am scrolling through my feed. No doubt Facebook has a lot more quirky data on me. However, Facebook makes it their priority to show me the furr-larious videos anytime I am logged in.
This type of manipulation trains the algorithm. Facebook always shows me more of what I have already liked. This makes my Facebook usage more predictable, a lot easier; however also limiting as I never get to see the opposed content.
While I am training my Facebook feed to show me more pets, there are people who are working hard cheating the system.
The difference between training my feed to show me cats and others manipulating their content and engagement to bump up their posts in other people’s feed is in the intention.
I train my Facebook to show me things I want to see on Facebook. Some people purchase fake engagement on Facebook to force the algorithm to place their content higher up in the showing up priority. Often the content is poor and wouldn’t gain any engagement otherwise.
There are two problems with cheating that affect those who cheat and those who don’t. It affects everyone, in fact!
Firstly, appearing in people’s feed doesn’t mean they like what they see. If the content is poor, it will be ignored and can also be flagged and reported to Facebook. Secondly, the more cheating takes place, the stricter new updates will be. Facebook must make sure that your average users, like you and I enjoy spending time on their platform; thus, making it harder to cheat. New algorithm updates tend to annoy those who were cheating to start with. The vicious circle never ends. Unless you end it!
Every single individual can create a change. You are in full control of what you share, post and like on the internet. You are in full control of choosing your own ethics as well.
While some people trying to cheat the algorithm, there are others who openly engage in highly unethical and sometimes illegal activities online. Such activities cripple the overall trust in marketing, robbing many business owners of their opportunity to grow.
I’ve been a member of several business Facebook Groups from the day Groups became accessible to public. Recently, I’ve made it my mission to spend a lot more time with members of different Groups, helping them where I can, while gaining a better understanding of social and business trends. They are also awesome places for making friends and uncovering con men and women.
The members of one of the reasonably large Facebook Groups regularly share dubious content cohorting in different illegal and unethical digital activities.
One day I really had enough and decided to speak up.
And here is why you should too!
Within a few first minutes, over a thousand of people agreed to exchange fake reviews with one another. I visited several Facebook Business Pages to be astounded by the gravity of this phenomena.
People were giving each other 5-star reviews. None of them have ever dealt with any of the businesses or even met any of these people.
People clearly didn’t care that by leaving a 5-star praising review of an unknown to them business they were damaging their reputation. I could easily track back each single person engaging in this highly unethical activity.
As a social media strategist and a marketer myself I am aware of the damage these fake reviews make to the marketing industry. Less business owners are trusting of good advice observing the wrong doing so often.
As a consumer, I am now unsure which business reviews are true and which are lies making my buying experience more challenging.
There are literally no winners!
Fake likes, fake reviews or fake news are that – FAKE! They bring no revenue, no trust or authority but disappointment, wasted time and money and damaged reputation.
I am pained to see so many people willingly stepping into the wrong.
I am hopeful through that as we speak up more often and confront more people we will eventually change the world.
Truth matters. There is no benchmark without it. We must exercise critical thinking. And we must fight for the truth.
If you’ve noticed or experienced any unethical, illegal or wrong doing on the web do not silent away from it. Speak up. Confront. Remain kind. Remain true to yourself.
The rant is over.
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