Losing Inactive Facebook Likes is Just Like High School: So Stop Worrying
by Al Gomez
March 12, 2015
in Social Media
Just last week, Facebook announced on its official page that they will remove memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts from Page Like counts. So for the following weeks, business pages may experience a slight dip in Like counts. While a lot of people think it’s great (say yes to more accurate data at last); most are worried that this might affect their rankings and engagement. The question in everyone’s mind then is: will it?
What’s ‘Likes’ Got To Do With It
Facebook is still one of the biggest social media platforms this year. With more than a billion active users around the world, it not only boasts of numbers; but also of function. Aside from ads, businesses can benefit from videos, images, and regular posts. Unlike other content-specific mediums (like Pinterest and Instagram), online marketers can experiment with the type of content their target audience wants. Plus, you don’t really have to update several times a day to reach a certain level of visibility. You can even schedule posts.
That said, Facebook is a great platform – whether for small, medium, or large businesses in a variety of industries. But now that the social media giant is removing inactive Likes, will companies back away too? They shouldn’t.
Here’s an example of our recent Facebook Analytics this week, just a few days after administrators made their announcement. As you can see, we even had more Page Likes than last week (Facebook said that significant changes will occur from March 12 – 13). Assuming that the website began their update already, this hasn’t fazed our campaign at all. By gaining more Likes, we also obtained a good percentage of audience reach and engagement. Not bad for a pretty scary update.
If you’re worried that losing inactive Likes might affect the ranking your team worked hard for, don’t be. Here’s why:
- Facebook Likes is NOT the most important metric
- losing inactive Likes mean clearer, more accurate data on Insights
- less Likes does NOT always mean low engagement
- you now have an opportunity to gain REAL Likes
NOT That Big of a Metric
Think of Facebook marketing as being back in High School. We’re all familiar with the most popular boy or girl on campus: the one who has the most friends. They all hang out together and talk about the same things. But you’ll be surprised to find years later, that these cliques usually 1) fell apart; OR 2) lost touch with one another. This tells us that the number of fans should be more or less equal to its quality of engagement.
While Facebook and Twitter may be worlds apart, they share ONE crucial metric: engagement. A good example would be ‘The Walking Dead’ star Norman Reedus. Let’s take a look at his Twitter profile:
With just a little over a million followers, that’s humble compared to Justin Timberlake (43 million), Ellen DeGeneres (40 million), and Jennifer Lopez (31 million) who are Twitter All-Stars. However, one Tweet from Norman generates more engagement in just a couple of hours. That’s amazing because most businesses spend real money just to have impressions. But Norman gets those for free. From his beloved fans.
Less Likes, Better Data
Imagine back in the days when your school would have fund raisers. Teachers would ask you to sell cookies, chocolate bars, or basically anything that could help the class raise money. Didn’t it feel ironic to pay for half of your wares because you – and your family – ate most of it (admit it: we all did that at least once!)? It’s the same on social media. Every time you get an inactive Like or Follower, it’s like paying for your product from your own pocket. That’s because that ‘Like’ is NOT contributing to your engagement. An account is only as alive as the users who actively participate with it. Make your account come alive – dismiss inactive Likes.
Less Likes = Less Engagement?
Businesses who are concerned with Facebook’s latest update are mostly worried about losing engagement. Logically though: how can you lose engagement, if those users never participated with any of your posts in the first place? It’s like High School friends – you can’t miss what you didn’t have. If after the update you noticed that you lost a percentage of engagement; then it’s time to take a look at other factors, such as:
- type of post
- organic reach
- actual content
- target audience
- frequency of post
Maybe you changed your content and some fans didn’t respond positively. Or perhaps you were posting at different times, when your target audience is asleep. Don’t immediately assume that lack of engagement was due to the recent update. Here are our top five posts this week that garnered the most reach and engagement:
See how the number of engagement coincides with the number of people who viewed our post. By targeting the right people (who would be interested in the type of content you offer), the better the chances of getting participation. Focus your efforts on what you can gain – not what you lost.
Welcome REAL Likes Today
For those who have started seeing a decline in your Page Likes, don’t feel glum. The roll out will continue until March 12 to 13, so numbers could still fluctuate. Technically, Facebook studies older Likes and checks if the account is still active. If you have a fan that reactivates their account and Likes your page again, that will be counted in the data. You’re probably asking why inactive accounts were counted when they had no real advantage to businesses. Well, social media networks may be advanced – but they’re not perfect. Like search engines, they need updating from time to time. With this new roll-out though, expect better statistics and results.
Back in High School, it’s common to lose touch with friends (there are no social media then); but these days are different. When we say goodbye to someone, a new person comes along (plus, you can just add them in Facebook as a friend). Remember what your teacher used to say: problems are opportunities in disguise. It might look gloomy now, but take this as a chance to attract more people to your Page.
The key to surviving updates is a solid yet versatile strategy. Consult our social media experts and find out which methods suit your business best.
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