There are an estimated number of about 170 million fake profiles on Facebook. They are created by Like Farms who sell fictional fans for Facebook pages. Facebook has now declared war on such fake profiles.
Facebook officially announced that they are removing Page likes from inactive accounts. Hence it may well be that the number of your Facebook likes will decrease in the upcoming weeks. Even if you did not buy any fans, it is possible that there are Page likes from profiles that are no longer active.
At the moment Facebook informs its users with the following announcement in Facebook Insights:
There is a similar development for Instagram: Here inactive and fake accounts were removed already in the end of 2014. Several celebrities like for example Justin Bieber lost a massive amount of followers due to this change.
The following graphic shows the decrease of Instagram followers by profile size, based on 3500 Instagram profiles:
For Facebook we have to wait and see how big the impact of the update will be. We recommend investing in content marketing instead of buying likes. Social networks are constantly improving their ability to identify fake profiles. In addition, real fans that interact with your posts are much more valuable. Focus on an organic growth of your social media reach!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your social media strategy.