“Likes” are highly valued by many big businesses. By “liking” an advert, the user will get notifications on any information posted by the company on its Facebook page.
But the BBC has been contacted by one marketing consultant who has warned clients to be wary of their value, and carried out an experiment that backed up his concerns.
A security expert has said that a large number of Facebook profiles is fake that is made to spread spam.
Adverts form a vast portion of Facebook’s revenue.
Earlier this year Facebook revealed that about 5-6% of its 901 million users might be fake – representing up to 54 million profiles.
Graham Cluley of the security firm Sophos said this was a major problem.
“Spammers and malware authors can mass-produce false Facebook profiles to help them spread dangerous links and spam, and trick people into befriending them,” he said.
Facebook, however, has claimed that the social network does not see evidence of a ‘wave of like’ coming from fake users or ‘obsessive clickers’.
Mr. Culey believes that the statement is merely to downplay the issue.
BBC’s investigation team created a fake Facebook page by the name of Virtual Bagel Ltd, a made-up company with no products.
The number of “likes” it attracted from Egypt and the Philippines was out of proportion to other countries targeted such as the US and UK.
One Cairo-based fan called himself Ahmed Ronaldo and claimed to work at Real Madrid.
Facebook has faced a payment dispute with a client with regards to advertisement.
Micahel Tinmouth, a social media marketing consultant, paid for a Facebook advertising campaign for a number of small businesses and initially was happy about the number of ‘likes’ the ad had received. However, later his clients became concerned after looking at who had clicked on the adverts.
While they had been targeting Facebook users around the world, all their “likes” appeared to be coming from countries such as the Philippines and Egypt.
Facebook told the BBC that Mr Tinmouth appeared to have sent out scattergun advertising to a global audience without specifying a target group.
Facebook claims that not many advertisers have raised concerns over the results of their advertisement on Facebook.
“All of these companies have access to Facebook’s analytics which allow them to see the identities of people who have liked their pages, yet this has not been flagged as an issue.