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Is there still value in chasing a Facebook Page Like, for brands?

24th April 2018

 
The titled question is one that is pretty difficult to answer, and divides opinion.
 
Our view? Well, we don’t advocate the chasing of Facebook Page Likes. But we can see why some still do.
 
Easy to see why it’s a question that’s difficult to answer, right?
 
So in this post, we’re going to lay down 6 points to help you firm up your own view on this long-standing social metric.
 
Here goes…
 
 

1. The News Feed Algorithm

Unsurprisingly, it was first introduced as a way to filter the news people saw in their feed. People would get served content based simply on what they had ‘liked’, and what Facebook thought they would like, based on their likes – make sense? But once brands got into the mix, there was simply too much content for users and not enough time for them to see it all. So the news feed algorithm was brought in as the answer.
 
It seems to be constantly changing.
 
It’s latest iteration, sees Facebook going back to its roots. And prioritising content from friends and family, and specifically content that creates conversation.
 
And so that brings us nicely onto our next point…
 
 

2. Engagement at the post level is more important than likes at the page level

The liking, sharing and commenting (conversations) on posts are what will dramatically help improve a posts reach. Simply, Facebook seems this as worthy content that more people should see – and so will respond accordingly through their algorithm.
 
Engagement at post level is what Facebook use when accessing page performance – far more so than Page Likes.
 
 

3. Unfollow feature

To help people further filter the news/content that appears in their feed, Facebook introduced the unfollow option.
 
This means users may like your page, but decide to unfollow it so as to not see any content from you. Liking the page tells Facebook this is the sort of thing they are after – and shows other users too – but that they aren’t interested in hearing from the brand.
 
If your follower count is significantly lower than your page like count, then there is something wrong. It’s likely the content you are putting out needs to be reviewed.
 
And if that wasn’t enough, here’s point number four…
 
 

4. Organic reach is dead.

There’s no doubt you’re probably fed up of hearing this by now. But Facebook is very much ‘pay to play’ for brands these days. And so it should be seen as a media channel.
 
1000 page likes? You’re looking at reaching 10 of them organically.
 
When you look at it like that, all those page likes don’t really mean that much.
 
Or do they? Rolling on to point number 5…
 
 

5. Social Proof

Now there is one pretty big reason as to why Facebook Page Likes can be justified – social proof.
 
How often have you looked to qualify an event, brand or destination by simply jumping on over to their Facebook page to see how many page likes they have? We all do it. And we can’t help to be influenced by the numbers we see.
 
Depending on your brand, on that basis alone the objective of increasing page likes can actually be said to be worth it.
 
To really judge the page in question though, as we previously mentioned, you need to scroll on down and see the engagement they are getting at a post level – this will tell you so much more.
 
Those in favour of chasing likes will also say inviting people to like your page helps with awareness. But we think a better way to build awareness is through content based boosted posts and website click campaigns.
 
We’re just not fans of ‘buying likes’ – we think they’re better earned, and in the long run far more effective.
 
 

6. A Vanity Metric

Bases on the previous point, others will argue and say that Facebook Page Likes is just a vanity metric. Again, for reasons we’ve previously highlighted:
 
1. A page like is nothing unless they are ‘following’ the page too.
2. Even then, organic reach means you’ll reach less than 1% of people who ‘like’ your page.
3. And the Facebook Page Like now plays a very small role in the Newsfeed Algorithm – importance is engagement at the post level.
 
 

Conclusion

Hopefully that’s given you a quick overview of where we think we’re at with the Facebook Page Like. And how, based on your brand, objectives and budget you should approach it.
 
It wouldn’t surprise us, if we soon see the removal of the Facebook Page Like – with ‘Follow’ taking its place.
 
Great content, targeted well. Then the likes should come rolling in.
 
if you need any help with the above, you know where we are.
 
Until next time…
 
Rima
 
 

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