Facebook is inarguably one of the most famous platforms for strengthening social relationships and establishing new ones. In fact, we are able to extend our social circle indefinitely even without us having to leave the secure confines of our homes or offices. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous individuals and organizations are tarnishing the inherently good social aim of Facebook by engaging in Facebook marketing that spreads fake news or information, victimizing a lot of people and possibly affecting legitimate businesses in the process. The social platform is not happy about it and has decided to ban pages that share fake news. In other words, these organizations or businesses can no longer advertise on the popular social network.
If you’re wondering why unscrupulous individuals are using the popular social media platform to spread fake news, just consider the following numbers:
- 2.01 billion – The number of monthly active users for the month of June 2017 which is a 17 percent increase from the same period of the previous year;
- 1.32 billion – The number of people who log onto the network every single day in June 2017;
- 1.74 billion – The number of Facebook users who utilize their mobile devices to log onto the service;
- 5 – The number of new Facebook profiles that are created per second;
- 19 out of 25 – The number of females who are active users of the social media platform;
- 33 out of 50 – The number of males who are active users of Facebook;
- 83 million – Number of Facebook profiles that are fake;
- 20 – The average number of minutes that people spend visiting the social media platform;
- 510,000 – The number of comments that are posted on the network every minute;
- 293,000 – The number of Facebook statuses that are updated every minute;
- 136,000 – The number of photos uploaded to the platform every minute;
- 4.75 billion – The number of content pieces that are shared every day;
- 20 – The percentage of page views occurring on Facebook in the US;
- 16 million – The number of local business pages that have been created by May 2013; and the number keeps growing; and
- 42 – The percentage of social media marketing professionals saying that Facebook is very important in growing the business.
The foregoing figures underscore the growing importance of Facebook marketing in today’s highly competitive business environment. Just imagine the fact that there are 16 million local businesses that have their own Facebook page and this figures are as of May 2013, more than 4 years ago. Additionally, the mere fact that, on a monthly basis alone, more than 2 billion individuals worldwide log onto the social media platform. These visitors are spending an average of 20 minutes a day is proof of the importance of Facebook as a means of propagating information. Moreover, in the United States alone, for every 5 websites visited by Americans, one of these happens to be Facebook.
These numbers are very enticing – especially to businesses. It just goes to show that Facebook is a gold mine when it comes to sourcing potential customers.
Now, imagine if a particular business, individual, or Facebook page is going to spread false information or fake news, millions of people will be potentially exposed to such pieces of false information.
Why Is Facebook Worried About Fake News?
Spreading news and sharing information is not inherently bad. Such is the very nature of Facebook marketing where businesses use the social media platform to connect with their customers and encourage potential customers to try out their services and products without really selling anything outright.
Serious social marketing professionals like those at Unofficial use Facebook and other similar social media platforms to engage with their followers. They create invaluable information that followers may find very useful. It can be an infographic, a useful how-to video, an entertaining and informative e-book, or any other content that will entice followers to ask questions and learn more about the content that was shared. This builds confidence and trust in the organization which can help strengthen or build their online credibility and reputation.
One thing should be clear at this point: Facebook marketing is all about building longer lasting relationships with your followers and engaging them in more meaningful and truly beneficial ways. This can only be achieved by providing invaluable content that is based on facts, has value, and has nothing to do about making a sale.
This is where many of the unscrupulous organizations and entities are failing. They fail to understand the implications of what social marketing is all about. For them, it is all about generating more followers which they can redirect to their websites for conversion into customers. And one of the best ways, albeit not necessarily the morally and socially correct ones, to get people interested is to fabricate stories, make them very spectacular but with a certain degree of plausibility.
This has been going on even before the use of fake news and fake stories in the run-up to the elections in November 2016. However, because of the sudden proliferation of unverified, unsubstantiated, and baseless news and stories being posted on Facebook during the election campaign period all the way to the election day itself, the social media platform had to make a stand.
The phenomenon has prompted Facebook to tweak its News Feed algorithm and coordinate with credible fact checkers to vet disputed stories and ultimately flag them as fake. This makes it especially risky for unscrupulous entities to keep on spreading fake news on the social media platform, unless they don’t mind getting banned from using the social network.
Marketing on Facebook is a very useful tool in growing your business. However, because of the growing incidence of fake news and stories being spread through social media channels, the platform has clearly taken concrete steps to penalize those who continue to subvert the good intentions of the social network. If you have a business and would like to know how Unofficial can help you with your SEO or Facebook marketing, contact us today!