Attention, marketers! If you’ve been watching the number of page likes on your Facebook Business Page, you might have noticed that your numbers have taken a little dip (just a smidge). Wait, what?! But you’ve worked so hard to gain likes! You might be concerned, but wipe the sweat off your forehead and reapply your deodorant if need be – there’s no reason to panic. Here’s why your likes have decreased and what to do about it.
How Facebook page likes work
On Facebook, a ‘like’ is a connection. When someone likes your Facebook Business Page, they’re showing support for the page and they want to see content from it. It shows up in their news feed (allowing you to provide content that’s relevant to their interests), appears in the About section of their profile and is visible to others on their friends list. This gives your page an extended reach and opportunities for others to like your page. Bear in mind that people who like your page will automatically follow it, but even if someone likes your page, they can still choose to unfollow it – meaning they’ll stop receiving updates about the page. Similarly, people can follow your page even if they haven’t liked it, which means they may receive updates about the page in their news feed.
The bad news: Facebook is doing a little ‘cleanup’
We hate to break it to you, but ‘over the coming weeks’, you’re likely going to see a dip in page likes. Accuracy of data is important, and therefore Facebook has said that it would stop counting some inactive accounts’ likes – a small step toward cleaning up the data available to Facebook Business Pages and refining the accuracy of page reach. The move will only discount likes from accounts that have been voluntarily deactivated or memorialised (the status given to users who’ve died, but wish to have a page to be remembered by). Facebook explains: “We already filter out likes and comments generated by deactivated or memorialised accounts from individual page posts, so this update keeps data consistent.” While scraping through Facebook accounts and removing inactive accounts has resulted in a drop in the total likes for a number of pages, the important thing to remember is that “the change ensures that data on Facebook is consistent and up-to-date,” Facebook said in an attempt to calm worried social media marketers. Zuckerberg isn’t trying to slay your business – he needs your business!
The good news: The change is going to improve interactions
It’s not all doom and gloom. While it’s hard to say how much this most recent cleanup will ding Facebook Business Pages’ accumulations of page likes, the change is going to improve your tracking, results and, ultimately, the interactions on your page. The two main improvements for social media marketers include more accurate lookalike audiences, which allows you to target a similar audience to those who already follow your page, as well as more accurate data when evaluating performance. In other words, all is not lost – the number of likes that your page lost will rebound over time. To improve your page’s like count, we recommend actively engaging your audience; providing meaningful, interesting content with increased frequency; and running competitions that could be liked and shared by your followers and their friends. You should probably also inform your colleague who creates the social media reports of this change, so they know it’s not tied to your efforts and that this metric shouldn’t be evaluated as heavily.
Remember, just having a Facebook Business Page isn’t enough! To take full advantage of Facebook’s marketing potential, read our recent blog posts on running Facebook ads and beating the Facebook algorithm.