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Fakes and Bots Do Nothing Good For Anyone.


Speculation has been made that over 20% of the profiles on Facebook and 33% on LinkedIn are not real people. How do you protect your business and yourself from falling for the shenanigans of these actors? We are going to show you some tips that you can use, but before we do that, we should discuss why there are so many. Several companies, mainly overseas have a litter of profiles they use to interact with each other to throw off advertising numbers, if the publication boasts a million subscribers but no one really interacts, chances are you met an army of bots. Bot profiles are not tied to any real human being, they will have clip art pictures, and no interaction on their public social footprint, the advertising sales guys have been hip to that for years and several are guilty of making their robots interact with each other to make something appear popular. Fake profiles are more sinister, these are profiles that are tied to a human being posing as someone they are not. These types of profiles can throw off your advertising budget, and could cause you to speculate future forecasts off of tainted numbers.



Cracking the shell


There are a few things you should do, starting with viewing their profile. Even if it is a familiar name or profile picture, make sure you look at their profile, Their public profile will show some pictures, and some will show mutual friends or their friend's list.


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Warning signs

  1. Profile picture - Reverse image search the picture, this does two things, it shows who might really own the picture, and it will show how many profiles it is tied to, A dead giveaway sign is if John Doe is using Dale Earnhart's profile picture as his own. Is there only one public image? These images should have the same person in them over several pictures.

  2. Nothing in the "About me" section, it seems like common sense that if the profile is not a business page profile, that there should be SOMETHING about them in the about me section. I like seeing if there are life events.

  3. New Profile, let's face it, we have been dealing with social media for years, new profiles are a tall tale sign that someone was either hacked or dodging drama from an ex. New accounts that have nothing established but approach you to fund a business are scams. Sure, there are people that have a "professional profile" vs a "private one" but if they are not out here doing dirty deeds they shouldn't have anything to worry about and the social proof of a real profile would make their customers feel better.

  4. No one tagged or liked any public pictures, this is where it gets interesting, when you see one that appears real, and you are breezing through their public pictures, try finding if there is a common denominator of people that give the pictures a thumbs up. When you check those, if you are on a bot or fake profile, the people leaving the thumbs up are going to be the real people behind the profile or more bots.

  5. If it seems suspect, leave it alone- This seems like it would go without saying, but if you chase down fake profiles or bots to follow your page, you are doing yourself no favors. Bots do not buy and fakes don't either. Furthermore, with the new algorithm in Google, Facebook, and TikTok, the fake profile could cause your profile, and your business profile to become shadowbanned.

  6. Before you accept them, message them if you are still in doubt. You should especially do this if you get a friends request from someone who is already on your friends' list. Over the last 12 months, there has been an uptick of people cloning profiles to satisfy personal vendettas and scam unsuspecting people on the internet.

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It is social media, not "sell me whatever" media.


In conclusion, if you know that you have found a fake profile, or a bot, you should report it to the admin of the social media platform, in most cases, the profile will be removed. Facebook will do an identification validation on suspect profiles if enough people are reporting them.

Reporting fake profiles helps everyone in the community to enjoy safer interactions. I am sure you would agree, it's better to do business with people you can get to know. In my opinion, you should not do business with anyone that is not willing to work with their real profile.


Reporting Fakes and Bots

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/help/1753719584844061/?helpref=uf_share


How to report fake/impersonating accounts on TikTok?


  1. Go to the profile of the fake / impersonating account you want to report.

  2. Tap on (on top right of the screen)

  3. Tap on the flag to “Report”

  4. Select “Report account”

  5. Further Select “Pretending to be someone”




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LinkedIn


https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/61664/report-fake-profiles?lang=en


SnapChat


https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/a/report-abuse-in-app


Twitter

https://help.twitter.com/en/safety-and-security/report-twitter-impersonation


Google


https://support.google.com/docs/answer/2463296?hl=en





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Cash Flow Issues Become Moot With More Customers

One thing every business has in common is that they do not survive without customers. Regardless of whether you serve the public or only a certain type of client, without more of them you cannot grow. The biggest complaint of business owners is how to beat the bank on advertising dollars. These next rounds of tips are set to help you to make your ad dollars go substantially further. Not all programs work for everyone, your results may be better or worse than these examples given, so modify any that you choose to use for your business.


Share to win with a live drawing


Metromedia does this contest often, and it seems to work well, here is how it works. Buy a $100.00 Visa gift card. Now, go to Facebook, make a video that you are having a share to win contest, and how it works is your current fans share your page on theirs and tag friends, for each friend that follows they get an entry, and so does the friend. Run the contest for one week, and let them know there is no limit, they just have to prove it. You will get messages with screenshots, tagged on posts, and new followers will share with their circle. I use ticket rolls like those that you see at carnivals where I put their name on each ticket they qualify for and put it in a bingo ball troth and draw live on Facebook. You should do your drawing on a Saturday afternoon, where most people are off, use the event tool in Facebook to run your drawing live, you will see plenty of them in there. Build some hype and run a special on something and discuss that before the drawing. You shouldn't do this contest more than one or two times in a year to prevent people from unfollowing to just follow again because they are trying to win something.


Small groups on Facebook


Contacting administrators of small groups on Facebook and asking if they would accept a small payment to have a pinned post or announcement of your business is also a great tool. I find the best luck in groups that fit my target audience and are not familiar with my business. Usually, fifty bucks will get the job done, and depending on the group, you can get this done often cheaper. Now Metromedia owns or manages over 100 groups across the country. The reason that it is important to work with groups over the marketplace is the group members are more likely to interact, and when it is an announcement in a group, all group members get push notifications.





Pick up the phone and ask


This may sound redundant, and it may be redundant but we bring it up because it simply works. Picking up the phone and talking to prior clients, potentials, and lost sales from the past. People, situations, and needs change, you never know, that sale you need may be right at your fingertips.


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The following section are links to other Metromedia Branded Company Vendors We Think You Should Check Out






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This week is all about saving you time and money. We are working with the following parties to bring you these holiday deals!

Coupon Rollout Schedule

Monday- From Metromedia FMB site (this), Tuesday, The Funded Project Wednesday- Madison County Community News Network Thursday - The Metroplex Marketplace


Want to catch them all? Follow The Madison County Community News Network on Facebook,

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or Catch them all on Circle City Magazine!

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Already?


Thanksgiving is Thursday and for many families, what is supposed to be the best time of the year turns into the most stressful time of the year. Christmas of 2021 has its own set of challenges, and they are not the same ones we had in 2020. This year, the statistics show inflation is up over 6%, the highest in thirty years, but the prices in the stores tell a darker story. Many retailers faced paying two to seven times for wholesale merchandise, with having to pass the hike down. This is a direct result of our shipping and logistics system, not just in the United States, but across the world. The hiccup from production caused the hiccup in shipping, and the results are displayed in the stores.


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Pace Yourself and Pocketbook


If affordability is the issue on holiday spending, start a cash saving. For instance, if you are paid weekly, get in the habit of putting $20 in a jar each week. You probably have tried that, but something comes up, there is a way to do it. Ask your bank about setting up a holiday savings program. Have them take a pre-set amount off each deposit and place it in that account, if your bank does not offer that, then set it up with something that does. If the cash does not show to your deposit, you are not going to miss it. At five dollars a week, you would have $260 in a year. At twenty dollars a week, you would be hitting black Friday deals with a grand in your hand. This is a marathon, not a sprint.


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Bake some cookies for those that you only see at the Holidays


We all have that relative or friend that we only see at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Buying gift cards, getting photos and everything is costly enough. A few Rubbermaid containers, along with some good ole red ribbon with a dozen cookies will probably mean more because you took the time to bake them.





Remember the reason for the season


There are many reasons to celebrate the season. But remember what they are to you. Find peace with yourself and others.

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Happy Thanksgiving!


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