Facebook introduced the like button in the early part of 2009. Right away, marketers were told the key to success on Facebook was a strong brand page with lots of likes. A few years later, Facebook reduced traffic to brand pages, and likes became harder than ever to get. If your flow of new Facebook likes has slowed to a crawl, don't worry about it. Here are the surprising reasons likes don't matter as much anymore and what you should be thinking about.
Not a Free Marketing Channel
Wow, you can set up a fan page for your business, get people to like it and drive tons of traffic to your site for free! Well, that might have been the case in 2010, but it didn't take long before Facebook changed the algorithms for organic reach to free fan and brand pages. Was it a bait and switch? Not really. In the end, Facebook is a business and not a free marketing channel.
Drop in Value
One reason not to worry about likes anymore is that their value has decreased.The real action on Facebook is in the news feed, not on fan pages, and Facebook announced they were going to decrease the amount of promotional content there. Many brands found the organic traffic to fan pages dropped drastically. That means paid advertising is more effective than trying to use organic discovery. Facebook advertising can be an effective way to boost brand awareness and increase engagement on your Facebook page.
"Likes" Don't Translate Into Business
Having a lot of likes doesn't always translate into more or better business for your page. Social Samosa quoted a study that found only around 1 percent of users who like a brand's Facebook page ever interact with the content. For example, if you have 100,000 likes, only 1,000 people are reading, engaging with and sharing your content. That limits your exposure to new fans and prospective clients. Every industry is different, but you should focus instead on increasing content variety and user engagement.
Facebook Is Stronger As A Branding Channel
It was fun while it lasted. Oreo, Turner Network Television, AT&T, Grey Poupon and many other brands adroitly leveraged all the traffic Facebook sent them in the early days of company pages — in fact, Oreo has built up more than 26 million likes. Despite Facebook's changes, it remains a valuable branding channel.
So, what likes do matter then?
Although Facebook likes matter less than they once did, that doesn't mean they should be completely forgotten about. The reality is that Facebook is now a pay to play environment. Having page likes on your business page will increase your organic reach on posts, however, most of the people who like your page won't see your organic content. This is why targeted boosting is essential to those businesses who want to take Facebook seriously. Targeted boosting delivers your post to the people you want to see it, as well as people who like your page and is relatively inexpensive. To learn more request a consultation with one of our social media specialists!