The other day I read a post that went on a rant about how Facebook Likes don’t mean anything which got me thinking about my own experiences with several company’s Fan Pages and how important each Like has been in growing their page and achieving their goals for Facebook. Don’t misunderstand me, a Facebook Like on an update (that is what I’ll be referring to in this post NOT Page Likes) isn’t and shouldn’t be the goal for your page but without them it makes it awfully tough to achieve your goals. Here’s 5 reasons why:
News Feed Visibility
Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist for Intel said it best, “If you don’t have any likes or comments you can pretty much count on your updates not being seen.” Even with likes and comments on posts, it’s difficult to be seen on your fans news feeds. Jeff Widman CEO of Brandglue estimates that fewer than .5% all status updates are shown in members’ Top News feed. No audience engagement = no visibility.
“Likers” Have More Friends
According to Facebook+Media, the average “Liker” (someone who ‘likes’ others updates) has 2.4x the amount friends than that of a typical user and clicks on 5.3x more links to external sites than that of a typical user. That means that the people who are the most engaged on Facebook, liking and commenting on articles, have more friends. (Duh!) But taking it one step further means that these are the most important people to your Facebook page. They are not only consuming the data but engaging with it as well. Those who aren’t probably don’t have as many friends on Facebook and prefer only to consume your content.
What Your Friends Like Matters
Facebook’s default news feed setting has an algorithm that only shares what it thinks you’ll like the most. It determines that by not only which pages, posts and pics you’ve liked in the past but what your friends ‘like’ as well. Let me explain: If you and 5 friends like a company’s page and none of you interact with the page after that, you won’t see their updates very often. BUT if those 5 friends all liked or commented on an updated, chances are you’d see that update as well. If it’s important to your friends and they like it, it may be important to you.
Likes Mean Social Proof
Remember the story of the two ice cream shops? If you were looking for an amazing ice cream cone and came across two shops side by side, one with a line out the door and the other that was empty, which one would you be drawn to? Probably the one with all the people because it HAS to be good right? If someone comes to your fan page and all they see is your posts down the entire page with no engagement from your audience, there really isn’t too much motivation to like the page. People are a lot more likely to interact if they see others already doing it.
Blogs with Facebook likes integrated into their posts generate more traffic
Now that Facebook has allowed website and blogs to integrate the Like button into every post, Fan page owners are able to increase exposure to Facebook networks of every person that likes a post. When you click on the like button on a blog post, it automatically shows up in your news feed just like it would if you were to share a link. Check out the statistics from early implementers of the Facebook Like Social Plugin below: