Stop faking it!

I’m sure we’ve heard this kind of conversation before. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how you feel about it. There is no other option but to follow Facebook’s rule: Don’t use fake Facebook profiles as your page admins.

Fake profiles are fictional accounts such as:

Facebook defines fake accounts as profiles that are knowingly breaking its rules (i.e. spammers) or those that are set up incorrectly (i.e. someone setting up a Facebook profile instead of a Facebook page for a business).

Back in the day (5+) years ago, many organisations and agencies set up alias profiles so that the whole team could access the business page when needed.

They were setup because people didn’t want to connect their own personal Facebook profiles to their organisation’s business page. Some thought that page fans would somehow be able to see what they’re posting (i.e. breakfast pics, selfies and holiday snaps) on their person-profiles. Others may not have had their own Facebook profile. Using the fake account was just the norm back then.

Page admins also turned to alias profiles because they didn’t want to be inundated with notifications out of office hours.

Useful tips below:

  • Disable your notifications on the ‘Facebook Pages’ app.
  • If that worries you (or you suddenly get FOMO) then your Social Media Strategy should outline a systematic approach to when you would check and engage with your accounts out of office hours.
  • Utilise Facebook Business Manager so all your notifications land in your work e-mail address.
The risk is simple…

If you have a fake profile and it’s the only page admin for your business page, then Facebook Algorithms WILL spot them and close the alias profile. This results in a very awkward moment when you no longer have access to your business page. Facebook will also question the authenticity and transparency of your business page … Bye bye alias Facebook profile, hello P45.

All this could happen without warning.

In a nutshell – only real profiles stand a chance of surviving Facebook’s cull.

Facebook Community Standards says…

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:

  1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
  2. You will not create more than one personal account.

Facebook Community Standards says:

“Authenticity is the cornerstone of our community. We believe that people are more accountable for their statements and actions when they use their authentic identities. That’s why we require people to connect on Facebook using the name that they go by in everyday life. Our Authenticity Policies are intended to create a safe environment where people can trust and hold one another accountable.”

As you can see above, it’s clearly against their terms and conditions.

Mark says…

Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg confidently told the media that “we’re taking down more fake accounts than ever.”

Facebook took down 2.2 billion fake accounts between January and March 2019, a record high for the company. Facebook’s also eliminated 1.7 billion fake accounts from July to September 2019.

R.I.P Fred Jones

Like I said earlier, it used to be the norm for Facebook page admins to set up ‘work’ accounts so that everyone in the organisation/agency could access and manage their company’s Facebook Business Accounts.

Meet Fred Jones (RIP). This was his profile picture that our design team whipped up. Fred also had a special friend called ‘Surjit’ who was also an alias profile. The design team created ‘Surjit’ (also R.I.P) as an alias profile to test social media creative (banners, timeline images etc). Fred and Surjit used to poke each other all day long…until Facebook ended the romance.

He was set up as an alias profile within a creative agency I used to work at to allow everyone in the team to access the agency’s page.

Once Facebook went all in on clamping down on fake profiles – the agency page along with FRED was deleted by the platform – overnight – without any warning.

Next steps

Step 1: Make a real person a page admin.

Step 2: Always have at least two (real) admins for your page. That way, if one (super) admin leaves, then the other admin will still have access and be able to manage your page.

Better yet, use Facebook Business Manager.

  • You can manage your business page without going through your personal profile – Business Manager sits on a separate domain
  • You can sign up with your work e-mail address
  • Page notifications will land in your work e-mail address inbox
  • Super admins can manage several pages in one place, including various roles and permissions for other page users.

What unusual alias profiles have you come across?

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