Like Farming & Fan Fishing

23 Dec

Like Farming & Fan Fishing, this practice is quite common around the world, especially in the United States. And just as I thought everybody knew, I see friends of mine who are actually veterans in social media fall for these cheap sleazy tricks.

So let me explain what these Like Farming/Fan Fishing is and what is their modus operandi. Like the name suggests, the intention of these posts is to gain as much page likes through viral-able contents that usually promises insane good-to-be-true incentives, prizes or sometimes asks people to support a cause (which mostly involves a tear-jerking story or a ploy to get you curious).

The biggest Like Farming are in the auto industry. Why? Well, its because: a.They can afford to buy the finished product, b.The product it represents will make people go nuts if they are told that they could get for free, and c.Because the car industry are mostly idiots when it comes to social media.

rangeroverfarmSo here is a recent sample on the left.

A page called Range Rover 4×4 is offering 2 Range Rovers for the first time ever (shocking) on facebook by simply liking the page, liking the content, commenting and sharing on your wall. Now, why the f@#$ would a brand like Range Rover do that? A brand that has a reputation and image to uphold will just randomly give away their car to anyone where it will most likely land in the hands of someone that does not fit their target market requirements? Making it (the campaign) useless to use as future advertising tool.

Of course, this will go viral. People will want that car and follow the steps blindly, liking the page, sharing the contents, etc. And their friends, well, its human nature to not pass up a freebie opportunity, they’ll do the same thing and before you know it its viral and they’ll have hundreds thousands of likes.

To make it convenient, the winner will be notified on facebook, directly through personal message. For seasoned social media admins alike, they know that product pages cannot message other facebook users directly. This should be a big fishy clue for many, but for the general public, it seems legitimate.

Now, what is the MO; modus operandi or motive behind these Like Farming/Fan Fishing. Obviously its to get as much Like/Fans on a facebook page as it possibly can. The more fans it generate, the higher it will sell. The more engagement/comment/like it gets on its posts, the less facebook’s bots will think its a fake account. Yes, those steps supports this, and most people fall for it and does it blindingly. Well greed is a powerful thing.

Now then, you are probably thinking; “what good is a page that has a brand’s name but doesn’t belong to the brand? The brand already has a facebook page, so why bother?”

Well, when it comes to cars, social media and the vastness of the USA, most marketing people in the automotive industry has been to one of those seminars where they are preached about social media, and those guys are just plain blind about it. In the US, there are so many car dealerships that represents a brand and would like to also own a social media. So, the owner of that page can simply find the nearest Range Rover dealership with no social media and sell them a page that has hundreds and thousands of fans. A second option is to sell that page to an agency that represents a dealership or maybe even the big brand itself. By a simple flip of acknowledging the main page and registering it under one user of the same social media, you can actually combine the page and move those new fans into the existing social media.

There are other methods of what they sell these pages for, such as spamming, hacking, etc. Since you are a fan, after a few months they can either spam you with contents, or even trick you to download stuff and telling you that you have won something. Its devious, and my advice is to dislike those pages.

Like Farming & Fan Fishing have shown to have big disadvantages, such as the long dormant inactive fans who liked once, engage once and forget. These fans will be fans who are counted as has no interest and won’t likely receive any updates unless its a paid one. GM is such a company that found out about this the hard way, accumulating large number of fans and later found it expensive to activate them as most have been dormant fans on facebook.

So, if you should find some posts shared by anyone thats too good to be true with only so little effort, then its probably a Like Farm or Fan Fishing scheme.

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