February 5, 2015

The Value of Facebook Likes


I’ve had numerous clients and potential clients come to me over the years and say “How much is it to be number one in Google?” or “I am working with someone now to get me Facebook likes.”

These people are going after the wrong thing for the wrong reason.
You do not want to be #1 in Google and you do not want a lot of Facebook “likes.”

You want sales.
You want donations.
You want downloads.
You want subscriptions.
You want results.

facebook-likes-fiverrIf you want Facebook likes as an end and not a means, you can buy them (sample ads are on the right).

Don’t get me wrong, there can be value in being number one in Google (even though most search results are personalized and most searches are unique). There can even be value in having a lot of Facebook likes.

However, these are means to an end, not the outcome you are trying to achieve.

Recent changes in Facebook have caused marketers to estimate that business page posts only get to 1-2% of the users who have liked your page.

To reach your audience on Facebook, you need to pay Facebook.

What is more, it has been suggested that with Facebook’s new algorithms, if you have low quality “likes” which are not engaging with your page, your costs of advertising on Facebook will go up.

Facebook is a way to engage with your audience to build your credibility and trust. A large fan-base can instill a feeling of legitimacy – “Hey, these guys have a lot of fans. They must know what they’re doing.” However, if the page does not have an engaged audience, the large number of “likes” becomes suspicious and sabotages your objectives both to people and to algorithms.

If what you offer gives people what they want and has true value, you will not need to pay for “likes.” You will gain more exposure and “social proof” of legitimacy as people share what you post. This might even get you on the first page of Google in addition to lots of Facebook “likes.” However, with the direction that Facebook is going, for people to see what you are posting, you will need to pay to promote your posts.

Paid advertising can be done very creatively and intelligently. Today I saw an ad on Facebook advertising a hotel on bookings.com which I looked at yesterday (see screenshot below). By retargeting on Facebook, your ads can target an audience that is already interested in you, has had some level of engagement so that you can take them to the next step of your marketing funnel.

Isn’t that what you really want from Facebook?

Not likes.


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