The scammers believe these followers can be monetised through advertising or by gaining the entrant’s personal data, which on Facebook can contain a lot of valuable information, and then selling it on to unscrupulous users.
Brand owners and their agencies need to be on their guard, constantly searching for users of their brand name or similar – fake promotions are often run under variant names of the known brand, so ‘McDonalds’ instead of McDonald’s’ or Land Rower, hoping no one will notice the difference. Here are some examples of how they manage to trick the public.
The posts below look very similar but the one on the right is actually fake. It uses a bit.ly web link rather than a genuine brand site and has only a few hundred followers compared to the hundreds of thousands that the real one has which is a big clue, but often overlooked by consumers.
This Facebook page misspells Primark as Pirmark (amongst several other spelling mistakes) and offers a £50 coupon to everyone just for sharing a comment. Too good to be true, and it totally is – but that didn’t deter 5,000 people from Liking it.
Do your homework ! Even though the post doesn’t pretend to from Tesco’s, the Tesco branding is very prominent and they are a bit behind the times, seeking to celebrate the launch of Tesco’s 30th store, when they have over 3,000. And is the prize £500 as in the headline or £650 as in the body copy !
This fake Argos promotion may look realistic but take note that it is from Argos UK rather than just Argos, and there is no blue tick beside the brand name. The link to a real Argos catalogue product is confusing too, but the fact that there are no T&Cs gives the game away.
But brand owners also need to be aware of fake entries from some of the estimated 81 million fake Facebook profiles that exist. Some may be have been created for the user’s pet dog, but most are pure fake and run by AI or Bots and can seriously interfere with the real worth of a promotion. . Facebook is seeking to eliminate fake accounts, just as it is doing so against Fake news but more emerge every day.
So, what can you do to protect your brand?
For help with planning and implementing safe and successful social media promotions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 203 325 6000.