Fake Facebook Accounts Harm Merchants’ Bottom Lines

Feb 26, 2019

Worldwide, Facebook has more than 2.3 billion users. The Silicon Valley social media platform has used its number of users to lure advertisers to its pages. However, it wasn’t until recently that it came to light that a staggering number of its users include fake Facebook accounts, which were set up by spammers and scanners to break the rules or mislead people. What these fraudulent accounts have done is tarnish the social media platform’s reputation, busted merchants’ social media campaigns, and eroded the trust of many users and customers.

Background on Fake Facebook Accounts

Last year, Facebook disclosed the number of fake accounts it took down each quarter on its transparency page. According to its page, Facebook removed more than 2.8 billion fake accounts during a 12-month period that ended in September. Prior to this, Facebook reported that no more than 4 percent of its active users were fake. That is a big jump from the 25 percent to 35 percent of fake accounts it took down in the most recent reporting.

What This Means for Businesses

In the light of the many fake accounts, merchants that use Facebook to engage with customers and garner new ones likely need to start rethinking their strategies, their followers, and the money they spend advertising on the site. Without making some changes, they are at risk for losing all they worked to gain.

Fake Accounts Hurt Businesses

Fake accounts or followers hurt businesses that are trying to engage with their customers and it negatively impacts the user experience. As this continues over time, more people will distrust the information they are fed online and on platforms.

This can be especially harmful to small businesses or newcomers who managed to gain a healthy following. People may look at a business with tens of thousands of followers and assume it was manufactured in some way.

Ways to Prevent Fake Accounts from Impacting Business

So, as more information comes about fake Facebook accounts and other counterfeit accounts on other platforms, there are things you can do as a merchant to save your social media marketing campaign. Steps to take:

  • Don’t Buy Followers: If you have 100,000 followers, but you get only a few dozen likes or shares a day, your customer base will know something is up. Using bots are an easy way to increase your number of followers, but in the end, they do more harm than good.
  • Make Engagement a Priority: Every merchant wants record-breaking number of followers, but that figure does not prove your success. What will help you keep and gain customers is how you interact and engage with them. If you provide valuable content on social media, they will engage with you. What they provide will give you instant referrals and offer insight to other products and services they may be interested in the future.
  • Make Followers Feel Special: Show customers the perks of following your feed. Offer them special promotions, host a contest, or spotlight them in a certain way. Do your best to show your audience that you are there for them.

The Last Word on the Issue

Facebook and other social media platforms are valuable tools for businesses. They can promote businesses’ products and services, share company culture and its charitable work, offer giveaways, and reach customers at more personal levels. All of that changes when fake accounts are added to the mix. It creates distrust, confusion, and can ruin a brand. As Facebook continues to address counterfeit accounts, it is imperative that merchants pay attention, do their parts to address any concerns, and not fall into the trap of bots and bought followers.

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If you need payment solutions for your business, then turn to eMerchantbroker.com (EMB). EMB offers ACH transfers, merchant accounts, and a state-of-the-art payment gateway. Apply online today.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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