But We Need More Page Likes!

But We Need More Page Likes! from http://jenfongspeaks.com

I often hear from young companies that they want a lot of likes on their Facebook Page in a hurry, so that they look like a big established company. And while I understand the sentiment, I still try to help companies understand that in the overall picture of their social media goals of engagement and brand awareness, smaller is often better.


Well first, let’s talk about the whole engagement thing. We know that only 2-3% of your fans see your Page posts now in the News Feed. Are these fans that care about your content? Or just random fans that you collected through contests, etc. (Let’s be honest, they were in it for the stuff, not because they were going to buy anything from you.) Which group is most likely to engage with your content and follow it through with a desired action (purchase/join, etc.)? Of course it’s the fans that Liked your Page because they LIKE you, not just because they wanted to win something (or even worse, because their like was purchased through dubious means.) When you inflate your likes, you dilute the impact of your content.

And when you want to increase the overall reach of your content, you can pay for that through ads. Targeted ads that reach people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. At that point, the number of Likes on your Page don’t have anything to do with who sees your post (unless you target Friends of Fans, but that’s another topic altogether.)

Bottom line, if you want the right people to see your content, you are better off with a smaller base that actually cares about what you post.

And here’s the second piece. When was the last time you actually checked how many likes a company’s Facebook Page had? I know I never do, and neither do a lot of people. Likes don’t equal legitimacy in my book. I’m a whole lot more interested in people’s experiences with a company than in the number of likes it has gained on Facebook.

So the next time you’re tempted to think that you need a lot of Likes on Facebook to be taken seriously, think again. You are MUCH better off having a solid core of people that actually care about what you post, and actually engage with your content, than a whole lot of people that Like you once and you never see them again.

What’s your feeling on Page Likes? Do you care how many likes a company has? Does it affect in any way your decision to do business with them? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!

3 Responses to But We Need More Page Likes!
  1. Tim Haran
    January 17, 2014 | 10:11 am

    Hi Jen,
    Excellent points, as always. I’ve never been a strong believer in “total follower counts.” A big number is nice to talk about and include in status reports, but ultimately you’re right — it’s all about a brand’s engagement with its fans and making sure you are providing content for and catering to the right people (the people who actually care about doing business with you).

    We obviously want to increase our social base (to provide additional opportunities to spread our messages) but we understand that we first and foremost must provide value to our core audience. As a result, we’ve seen steady growth and increased engagement over the years.

  2. Ginny
    January 16, 2014 | 7:27 am

    This is an interesting commentary. We are launching a new direct selling opportunity in about two months time. We have over 1,000 likes currently without much effort, but once we start recruiting more seriously, I would think people would want to see a lot of likes in order to want to sign-up. When it comes to direct sales, and joining up, are there key thresh-holds to strive for?

    I agree quality over quantity if it’s your company, but there is that big question of confidence if you are on the other side.

    • Jennifer Fong
      January 16, 2014 | 2:41 pm

      Here’s an alternate way to look at it Ginny:

      There are always going to be prospects who are looking for established companies, and those lured by the excitement of the startup. They are going to know (probably before they join) which type you are. Your Facebook Like number is only one small part of the equation. If you’ve got engaged and enthusiastic conversation on your Facebook Page (because the right people actually saw your content) you are a lot more attractive than if you’ve got a big number of likes but no participation.

      I would spend a lot more time focused on engagement and enthusiasm. In the long run, these are a lot more likely to attract the type of recruit you are seeking.

      Good luck with your new company! How exciting!!

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