• Want to thank @Udandi for posting the original blog that inspired me to start looking in to this!
• Overnight, their Facebook page gained over 33,000 fans – while the majority of the United States was sleeping. Is that even really possible?
• One of the “girls” has apparently quit. Quit? Already? It’s only been two weeks? I have to think that she wants out because she wants nothing to do with the lies and behind the scene scams.
Within 2 weeks, a Facebook page called “Crock Pot Girls” has gained over ONE MILLION likers. Very impressive especially when you compare their success to other pages – and consider they are 3 stay-at-home moms that just wanted to share their crock pot recipes.
Do a search for “crock pot” on Facebook and there are plenty of other pages, but the only one that even comes close to this new page has a mere 71,000 fans.
You’ve got pages like “Hungry Girl” that are wildly popular and even have books for sale and they only have 400,000.
The cooking sensation tv show that is hosted by Rachel Ray, only has 680,000 fans on Facebook.
With numbers like this – I can’t help but ask – what the heck is going on?
After a bit of digging around, and taking a closer look at who is behind the Crock Pot Girls, I have a sneaking suspicion that there is more than meets the eye here - literally.
A guy by the name of Chase Shelby is the one that their website is registered to. Chase is a brother-in-law to one of the “girls” and Chase is what he likes to refer to as an “SEO expert and affiliate marketer”. He owns two other domains, ChaseMarketingProfits.com and StephenvilleInternetMarketing.com, and his internet marketing packages start at $149.95.
Okay? So? Well, according to a blog post on She Posts:
Chase linked to a blog post by Lorne Fade, who specializes in affiliate marketing and SEO, and not the white hat kind. Fade’s post extolled the benefits of using a Facebook bot to virally grow fan pages that funnel into affiliate marketing sites. The first paragraph of Fade’s article: “But hey aren’t bots against facebook [Terms Of Service]?! Simple answer. Who cares?”
When I first read this, I wasn’t really sure what the “Facebook Bot” was that was being referenced. From Wikipedia, here is what they say it is:
Internet bots, also known as web robots, WWW robots or simply bots, are software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. The largest use of bots is in web spidering, in which an automated script fetches, analyzes and files information from web servers at many times the speed of a human. Each server can have a file called
robots.txt, containing rules for the spidering of that server that the bot is supposed to obey.
In addition to their uses outlined above, bots may also be implemented where a response speed faster than that of humans is required (e.g., gaming bots and auction-site robots) or less commonly in situations where the emulation of human activity is required, for example chat bots. Recently bots have been used for search advertising, such as Google Adsense.
Hmmm…now I might be on to something. I read through the Lorne Fade post and found out that you can actually BUY a BOT to use on Facebook. I am not sure I understand exactly what it does, but from what I am gathering, the BOT will help you add friends (or fans in this case) and through some affiliate marketing, you end up getting PAID MONEY for each click.
So, did Mr. Shelby use a BOT of some sort to run automated tasks that helped these ladies gain the unbelievable number of fans they have – and make a TON of money in the meantime? I am not accusing anyone of anything, but I will definitely be watching their page carefully over the next few days and also keeping an eye on the news to see if anything in this social media, viral phenomenon is truly uncovered.
If this isn’t some kind of BOT that has worked behind the scenes and these 3 ladies have truly gained over a million fans in just a few short weeks – then a huge high-five to them. What an accomplishment. However, I really feel this just can’t be true. Here are a few of my other thoughts behind all of this.
1. If you have over a million fans on Facebook, it seems like you would have a pretty big following on Twitter as well. However, these ladies only have around 250 followers (and their avatar is still that default “egg”).
2. I really have to question if all these people that are posting on their wall really LOVE their crock-pot as much as they all say they do. I mean, I like cooking with mine, but I don’t LOVE it.
3. I do think there are lots of legit fans on this page. For one, I was a legitimate FAN (or at least I think I was). I saw that a few of my friends had LIKED the page, so, just like I do many times, I LIKED it as well.
4. If you go through their fans, and look at the profiles of many of these people, they have nearly empty walls on their own pages – except for the mentions about Crock Pot Girls. This seems so strange to me. All these people would have these pages on Facebook and never post anything UNTIL they found Crock Pot Girls???? I am not buying it.
5. With that many fans – and the attention of that many people – I would have imagined that they would have had a website up and running by now. They have posted a few times over the past few days about how they are “working on it”. Again – I don’t buy it. If they wanted something live, they could have had something live by now to help solidify their existence. But even tonight, after hitting one million fans, there is still no site.
6. When I go to their page, it says that 6 of my friends are fans. 6? Over on my wall a few minutes ago it said that I had 25 friends that were fans! Where did they go? Hmm…I am thinking that maybe a BOT might have added a few – or made it look like a few were added. Not sure about that!
Crock Pot Girl Fan Count as I end this post: 1,018,046.
Two hours ago is when they hit 1,000,000.