We’ve seen the misconception very often during our journey to navigate the terrain that is Facebook, and more specifically, its backend. Companies are always on the lookout for every possible avenue to grow their Facebook page and consistently harping on getting more fans, and more likes on their page, because the simple logical math is that more fans equal a more successful brand.
It is infallible, and several companies have resorted to buying these likes in order to artificially inflate their numbers for a better first impression when a new user comes and explores their page.
But this isn’t usually the case, and as some companies have found out, that while the initial impact of having a large amount of likes may seem grant, it doesn’t translate to anything significant if that audience doesn’t interact with your content in anyway whatsoever, akin to building a large apartment complex with only 1 resident inhabiting it.
Hence, in this article, we’re going to explore several myths related to these likes, and why purchasing it may end up being detrimental for your business.
Myth #1: More Fans = More Engagement
Wrong, and honestly, it couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s important for brands to know what metrics they are looking for, and likes only appeal to one part of the equation, but without quality content to go through those likes, there will not be any significant amount of engagement whatsoever.
And that’s exactly what’s missing from the formula. While yes, creating content is now the new norm nowadays for any company that has its toes in digital marketing, it’s far more important that the content is relevant to your audience, and offers value that allows them to keep on coming back.
Adding on to this, your content will be useless if it’s posted at the wrong times. Ergo, it’s essential that the content is timed to when a majority of your audience is online. Facebook Insights is an insanely powerful tool that tells you in excruciating detail the activities of your audience, when they are online, and what they are receptive to.
Experimentation is key, and your investment in figuring out your audience will pay dividends at the end.
Myth #2: More Fans = Higher Chances Of Getting New Customers/Sales
It’s a little bit more complicated than that. Adding on from the first point, having more Facebook fans will not translate to a higher engagement if the content is not valid to them, or they find no relation to the content that they are putting out.
Similarly, if they don’t react to your content in any way, they’re most definitely not going to be interested customers, and inflating the amount of likes by buying them only serves to damage the credibility of your company even more in the long term.
Emeric Ernuolt from Agorapulse had this to say,
“Buying fans is like paying people to be your friends. What do you think is going to happen when you’ll stop giving them money? They’ll go away to the next person that will give them money. There are things you can’t buy, like friendship, trust or genuine interest in what you do. These things you have to earn. What makes Facebook ads way superior than buying fans is that the ad is proposing to become a fan, they have a choice. That makes a big difference. As these ads can be laser targeted (like to your website visitors), the people who “opt-in” to become fans are a gazillion times more likely to engage with you.”
Apart from that, it raises suspicions amongst page visitors to see such high numbers of Facebook likes contrasted with low levels of engagements on their posts, and it won’t take them long to put two and two together and subsequently chip their trust and confidence in the brand.
This can be compounded with the fact that in 2015, Facebook updated its algorithm to chase, weed out fake accounts (which do nothing to contribute apart from leaving a like on the page), and proceed to delete them by the millions, wasting away hundreds of thousands of spent money on your ad drive.
Not only that, adding fake accounts to your audience massively skews your insights, making it incredibly difficult to track what your audience actually likes and how they engage with your page.
Myth #3: More Fans = More Reach
We’d like to believe that it’s as simple as this, but unfortunately, this isn’t true, not even in the slightest. Simply put, if you have 100,000 page likes, not all 100,000 of your fans will see each and everyone of your posts, and it boils down to a few key factors that must be monitored and maintained, and the most important one as mentioned in the points above, is relevance.
To gain a favourable rating from Big Brother Facebook, first, your content must have relevance to your followers. From there, Facebook themselves will decide how many of your fans it will show your content to, and if your page is ranked as healthy, then approximately 80% will be visible. From then on, it’s paramount for your business to produce as much favourable content in order to keep this rating high. Some maya rogue however, that Facebook is just being greedy and is encouraging people to buy their ads, which is half true, but it’s also a quality control method within the realm of the social media, and Facebook is highly incentivised to keep whatever roams around in its world to be of the highest quality possible, all the time.
It is an ever evolving puzzle, and more often that not, businesses would have to do plenty of trial and error in order to find out what works best for their audience, and what keeps them engaged.
We don’t deny that it’s incredibly easy to get trapped in the notion that an increase in Facebook page likes would equate to more reach, more engagements, and more sales, but as we’ve found out from the previous points, that is never the case.
Instead of focusing on just pure numbers, content should be given top priority, as without content that the audience can relate to, all of your other efforts will amount to nothing, and as the saying goes, content is, and definitely will be king for years to come. It’s also important for brands to realise that it is okay to have fewer followers who consistently interact with what you post, that result in stronger relationships to your brand, rather than a huge amount of likes with only an abysmal 1, 2 likes on each post who absolutely do not care with what you’re putting out.
Sometimes, businesses need to recenter their focus, and in the age of digital transparency, numbers are relegated to a smaller role, instead replaced by relevant and meaningful content, because at the end of the day, if the audience can’t relate, why should they care about your brand?