‘Like-Farming’ Is Here, So Marketers Beware
USA Today is warning consumers that the most popular content on Facebook could be a scam. And on Friday, it was the publication’s most-read article. So marketers, if you’re already having a hard time with organic reach, it’s about to get even worse.
This comes from the article that rated higher than a knife being found in O.J. Simpson’s house: “Scammers have found a simple way to fly under the radar during the early phases of their operation,” writes Kim Komando on Friday for USA Today. “The story they originally post to Facebook has nothing dangerous about it. It's just a regular story that anyone might post. Only after the post gets a certain number of likes and shares does the scammer edit it and add something malicious.”
Here’s what marketers can do to retain consumer trust during any “like-farming” fear:
- Trusted Brands Can Display the Brand. Consumers will be looking for posts they don’t trust. Komando says anything appealing purely to emotion may be suspect and avoid liking those posts, as they may change and become malicious. She suggests consumers look through the posts to see if they’ve changed and she warns that even pages may be suspect. “A scammer might set up a page for ‘I love puppies’ or what appears to be a worthy company or organization,” she writes. “It puts up enough content to get a lot of likes, then switches the content to spam and scams. Once you've liked the page, everything new the scammers put up goes on your News Feed and, in some cases, your friends' feeds, as well.”
- Avoid Nebulous Calls to Action. Posts asking consumers to like veterans, babies and political stances are popular with consumers and very popular with scammers, she says. Also, don’t promise consumers will get a prize for liking a post, because consumers fell for a sham post that promised a share of lottery winnings for likes.
- Be the Tortoise. Continue to do good work providing relevant information to consumers and don’t worry about the hares who go viral once and die. Make it to the finish line and get the conversion. Besides, many marketers already curtailed their clickbait efforts when Facebook announced it would reduce organic reach for those posts.
Will this move marketers to more paid Facebook ads? Will marketers move off of Facebook?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: 2 Tips for How to Handle Facebook Killing Organic Reach