There’s been a rush of late for agencies and marketing people embedded in companies to get higher numbers on their Facebook Pages to justify their time/money spent being all amazing social media ninja-y for clients.
As long as systems are in place that reward people for numbers, gaming will happen. If you just look at numbers only as a company, you will get gamed by some agencies. It’s actually easy for a business or a model to get 100,000 fans on Facebook very quickly. Or 30,000 Twitter followers. Or even more traffic to your client’s website after you “worked” on it.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a computer to human being interface. You write a mini-program and it gets executed by human beings for a few pennies a go. The example of the 10,000 sheep a few years ago is great. In World of Worldcraft and other games you can hire people in net cafes in the developing world to gold farm for you: Play the game for hundreds of hours to build up you points in the game so you don’t have to.
And so now we have the same for Facebook Fans, Twitter followers and so on. There are probably 1000s or 10s of 1000s of people in developing countries sitting in net cafes who are paid to create GMail acccounts, Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts and then are tasked to Fan or Follow accounts. Automated scripts can create traffic surges to sites or manual refreshes are done. All in the name of numbers. The same people who run dump and run spam campaigns are also hiring out their Fan services.
It makes sense (if you are morally compromised), sad sense that agencies in Ireland are boosting their own numbers in order to tell prospective clients that they will use their huge followings to get them traffic and fans too. The trouble is as Facebook does their purges, all those zombie accounts are killed off and off you go and start again.
How to spot bullshit:
Look at the Facebook Page without logging into Facebook. Is the Irish or UK company big in Malaysia and India? Look at the comments left on the Page, if any.
Look at the Twitter account. Same number of followers and following? 40,000 of both. Software is used to follow any account that auto-follows back. Zombie Twitter accounts. Check their bit.ly type links. Generally they get about 14 clicks, bit lame for 30,000 “followers”
I’m not pointing out the services but there are a lot out there where you too can avail. But hurry, the gaming has already moved on to Quora.
Forget about numbers
No, really. Get real people. That should be the endgame. Find genuine fans, be genuine with them. That spreads faster than fakery.