How important are Facebook Likes?
With organic reach meeting new lows and paid ads becoming a must for business owners, we wanted to find out whether a Facebook like was still worth it, in today’s environment. We tweeted some of the experts to hear their thoughts on this very topic.
Firstly, let’s give some background. A Facebook like used to be worth a lot more to business owners. Every Facebook page like meant a wider audience would see their posts. However, with a record number of businesses on Facebook and a shift to paid advertising becoming the norm due to the social networks algorithm changes, the value of the Facebook like has become questionable. No longer does a like or previous likes on your page guarantee you space on those users newsfeeds for free. To reach your current likes or new ones in the same numbers you had two or three years ago, you’ll likely need to boost your post and pay for it.
I mean you test your best content by targeting it purely at page fans. This helps you determine what content gets best ctr @LYFsolutions
— Cas McCullough (@casmccullough) August 8, 2015
Cas believes Facebook likes are worth it, as you can target audiences with your content, and determine what will deliver the best return for any post you decide to boost or increase ad spend later on.
Buffer‘s spokesman Danny also shared the view that likes were still worth it.
@LYFsolutions I think FB likes are still a great source of engagement and can help posts gain a lot of popularity 🙂 -Danny
— Buffer (@buffer) August 8, 2015
Facebook likes according to Danny can deliver record engagement. We’d argue that this would only be the case if your likes are made up of people who have an interest in you or your product/services. That is, they represent your target audience.
However, their spokesman Erik also declared that Facebook likes were not a priority for them. This could be because they rather focus their spend on sponsored posts to reach a wider audience, or (possibly both) they want to deliver high-quality content to those who already like, engage and follow them.
@LYFsolutions Getting likes on Facebook isn’t our focus. Driving traffic and serving our followers is. – Erik
— SocialMedia Examiner (@SMExaminer) August 10, 2015
@LYFsolutions Heard back! Likes have value if they are people who are your target market, it’s a way to build media and reach them later
— Digital Marketer (@DigitalMktr) August 10, 2015
So it seems while the Facebook like itself has dwindled in value, it can still deliver results for pages. The key message from the experts is that the likes should be representative of your target market. Secondly, that you use your audience to engage with, and as Cas pointed out, take it further by utilising the results to determine what content can drive the most return for your goals, whether click through rate or conversions (sales/expressions of interest). Thus, quality Facebook likes still have value. So you should probably avoid generic ad campaigns or like ladders and focus more on how to reach your audience.
Until next time, be social.