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What Facebook likes really mean and why you should care

May 12, 2015 | Social Media Marketing

In isolation Facebook likes mean very little. However coupled with engaging posts, well structured advertising and a reason behind it all they can be very helpful for your business.

Yup, you heard us – it isn’t enough to just have likes and not do anything with them, and by that we mean do things badly.

For people wanting to get the most out of their Facebook likes there are a multitude of things to do.

Ensuring your posts are relevant and engaging to your audience is key. If they are not, then your audience is less likely to like your page or your posts and your engagement will drop.

Facebook has some best Page practices for you to follow and we suggest taking a look at them. Here they are in dot point form for those that don’t click links;

  • Post consistently
  • Target your posts (very handy – look into it!)
  • Keep images and text you post ‘fresh’
  • ‘Boost’ important posts
  • Publicise exclusive promos and discounts with ads
  • Connect to your audience with words AND pictures (including both in most of your posts is good practice)
  • Review your post performance (to understand which ones your audience engage with most)

As you can see you must ensure that posts to your page achieve something. Posting for postings sake isn’t enough these days with Facebook honing in on ‘click-bait’ articles and images, making them less likely to show up on peoples feeds and n reality would probably only gain you a spike in engagement (if they are good) and a few page views or likes.

Over sharing, under sharing, posting click bait articles, not posting any articles at all, only posting images, posting no images… these are all things that will affect your post reach and the number of people who see and like them.

Navigating Facebook and gaining likes is not a simple process anymore, like any type of marketing you have to WORK for it and having a clear strategy and understanding of who your audience are and what they like is a key success factor in making Facebook and its seemingly mythical ‘Like’ work for you.

Some things we suggest you try posting are:

  • Interesting articles that you wrote or you have found that link directly with your offering and engage your audience.
  • An offer or discount that your audience will be interested in that links to your website where they can claim it.
  • Information about your brand’s personality, something that you find funny or interesting that will appeal to your audience and give your brand a more ‘human’ aspect.
  • Information that links out of facebook to your website somehow be it your blog, or new product range that will entice your audience to then look through your website and possibly purchase something.

Then there is the the ‘facebook zero’ myth. Engagement and reach is down on Facebook pages and posts compared to past years, we know that. Even facebook knows that stating in a recent blog post that their new changes may affect some people’s pages negatively

“The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline. Overall, pages should continue to post things that your audience finds meaningful”

But this does not mean it is dead, it just means that things are different and a little more difficult – for some people.

Facebook wants people to see interesting things, they don’t want peoples feeds to be flooded with click-bait and BUY NOW posts from businesses as that will lessen peoples enjoyment on their platform and drive people away from using Facebook, let alone your businesses page.

A lot of people are saying that facebook has killed organic reach but from the numbers below from Agorapulse Barometer based on audience size (per post) we can see that this is just not true:

  • Fewer than 1,000 Fans: 25.1%
  • 1,000 – 10,000 Fans: 13.8%
  • 10,000 – 50,000 Fans: 10.0%
  • 50,000 – 100,000 Fans: 9.8%
  • More than 100,000 Fans: 7.7%

In reality it should be easier for smaller businesses with less likes to engage with their audiences – if they’re doing it right.

Okay cool, we get it, (you say) but what about the likes? Why are they still so important other than making us look good?

We have one word for you – advertising.

Yeah, we know, ‘We hate Facebook advertising! It costs so much money and doesn’t do anything, and what do likes have to do with advertising anyway?’

Facebook likes help you group your audience into nice easy to target bunches so you can advertise effectively.

It’s so much easier to target someone who already likes your page then to target someone by their interests.

People that are already fans of your page are more likely to convert, so why wouldn’t you invest in advertising to them?

The key to making the most out of your facebook likes is to have a strategy, for your organic posts and your paid posts and advertising which takes time and effort.

So we suggest investing the time (and money if you have it) into gaining more Facebook likes IF you are going to do it properly and not because they are some holy grail that you supposedly have to have to be successful in this day and age.

If you see Facebook as a viable advertising space for your business that you will use correctly to direct more traffic to your website and increase sales then go ahead, but if you don’t or don’t want to spend the time ensuring that this is what it is for you and your business then maybe you should steer clear.

Remember – you don’t always have to do what everyone else does. For some businesses NOT being on Facebook works just as well.

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