Last week I was in lovely New Ulm, Minn., presenting to a small group on Facebook advertising. You can find the full deck here, if you’re interested.
As I prepped for this presentation, I was refreshing myself with a few clients I’ve worked with in the last 2-3 years, and the Facebook ad campaigns associated with those clients.
One thing they all had in common: Building the SIZE of their Facebook community by acquiring “Page Likes.”
But, then I got to thinking. Does the Page Like even matter anymore?
And I came to the (somewhat) surprising conclusion: No, it doesn’t.
Here’s the thinking.
In the “old” days of Facebook, your approach usually looked something like this:
* Build your page by acquiring “page likes”–typically you’d have to pay for these through Facebook advertising.
* Since organic reach hadn’t completely plummeted, you could post content and those existing fans (the ones you attracted via FB ads) would see that content.
* And, if there was a post you really wanted ALL your existing fans to see, you amplified it with a little promoted post.
That strategy worked. I saw it work first-hand with a few different clients.
But then, Facebook started changing the rules.
First, organic reach started to plummet.
Then, you started seeing more brands paying to promote content. Some even went as far as to say Facebook was now ONLY an advertising platform (and you know what, they’re RIGHT!).
At the same time, Facebook expanded its ad options, so you could promote posts to fans outside your existing fans.
So, rules kinda changed. Landscape changed.
And now, I would argue, the Facebook Page Like is dead.
You don’t need it anymore. It’s a complete vanity metric. And, some could argue it’s been a vanity metric for a while now.
Let me walk you through my thinking.
Let’s say you’re a midsized business with a page of 30,000 page likes. Not a huge community, but not a small one either.
Let’s say your goals with Facebook are to raise awareness for your brand and to drive traffic to your corporate web site (fairly common goals, I would say).
I would argue you can achieve both those goals now WITHOUT acquiring more Page Likes.
You could easily still drive awareness by running a number of Facebook page post ads each week targeting your key customers using Facebook sophisticated ad platform. Target by age. Zip code. Interests. You can do this no matter if you have 10 page likes or 1.5 million. No difference, as far as I can tell.
You could easily still drive traffic to your web site by running ads against posts that include links to your site. You could use promoted posts (and target fans outside your existing fans) or run page link ads, which are typically successful in driving traffic. Again, you could do this if you have 10 page likes or 1.5 million. No difference.
OK, so why do we need the page likes?
Good question. Vanity, maybe? From what I’ve observed over the last year, that seems to be a possible reason.
Some are merely infatuated with the page like, and haven’t kept up on what’s happened with Facebook.
For others, it’s a competitive thing. Our chief competitor has 1,00,000 likes–we have to get 1,000,001 likes!
I don’t get it, but I think that’s largely what’s to blame.
But, brands will wise up. And I believe they’ll wise up soon.
Because folks, let’s face it, the Facebook page like is officially dead.
There, I said it.