Social Media ROI: The Truth About Facebook Likes
In my first post about social media ROI, I touched upon the difference between social ROI and social value. Understanding the difference between the two is part of the next step, which is determining which numbers matter in your social media campaigns. Today we’ll take a look at Facebook, and one of its most often misunderstood metrics: The Facebook “Like.”
Most of Your Facebook Fans Never See Your Updates
If you think your brand is succeeding on Facebook because you have a lot of likes, it’s time to think again. Facebook reports that on average, only 17% of your fans see any of your updates. This is largely because of a Facebook algorithm called EdgeRank, which determines which updates show up in feeds and which ones go the way of the dinosaur. If you signed up for our email newsletter, then you learned this week about the three major components of EdgeRank, and learned how you can gain an, ahem, edge, over your competitors*. EdgeRank is a key part of understanding how to reach your audience. In fact, I would argue that it is just as important as the status update you decide to post and the photos you share. If you don’t know how EdgeRank will treat the content you are marketing, you’re wasting resources.
Once the basic concepts of EdgeRank are out of the way, you will truly understand that the number of “likes” you have on Facebook means very little. Sure it looks good and it’s a number that resonates with the C-Suite. In all actuality, that number is highly deceiving, and not just because of EdgeRank. Rather, it’s because of a column that appears in your Facebook Insights telling you how many people choose to hide all posts by your page. I wrote a post for Social Media Today about this exact metric (and a few others) that you cannot afford to ignore. Essentially, when your fans hide all of your content, they are opting out of ever seeing your content again, unless they remember you and decide to opt-in. Trust me, you’ll be surprised when you see this number.
You Can’t Buy Love. Or Loyalty.
There are many social media agencies who can promise you thousands of fans in a few days with a financial investment. We are not one of them. Sure, we could go out to a dimly lit alley of the social space and buy you a ton of fans from some sketchy character in a trench coat, but why would we waste your money that way? We wouldn’t. Facebook advertising works very well, and we recommend it in many of our campaigns. But these are highly specific and precisely targeted to your ideal demographic for a particular purpose. As such, we can demonstrate tangible qualified growth.
Don’t buy your “likes.”
There are “Likes,” and there are “Likes”
There are two types of “likes” on Facebook. One is when someone decides to “like” your brand page, and the other is when someone “likes” a post by your page. Despite being so much a part of Facebook that the word “like” has taken on an entirely new meaning, these two metrics are weighted minimally in the grand scheme of social media ROI. As mentioned above, someone liking your page really doesn’t mean a whole lot. Similarly, someone liking a post doesn’t mean nearly as much as someone commenting or sharing one of your posts. This, again, falls within the realm of Facebook EdgeRank basics.
Instead of worrying how many people like you, worry about how much value you are providing. If you continue to provide value that isn’t all marketing, that encourages a transparent, open, and authentic conversation, you’ll not only see organic fan growth, but you’ll be building a community. Building a loyal community around your brand is the single best thing you can do for your social business.
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