Chasing page fans – or ‘likes’ on your page is something that many companies spend a lot of time, resources and money doing.
In the vast majority of cases we’ve seen, these efforts are a complete waste. Let me try and explain why.
It is important to understand that not all page likes/fans are equal.
If you have 10,000 fans who have liked the page purely organically – that is, they already like the brand, the gravitate towards the Facebook page at some point and they click ‘like’ – those 10,000 fans/page likes will be useful to you. These fans are the most valuable example of page likes you can have.
If you have 10,000 fans who have clicked “Like” due to an incentive (e.g. free wifi if you ‘like us’, entry to a competition, even ‘like our Facebook page’ icons that are based outside of Facebook) – these will not only be of very little value, they may negatively impact your brand’s reach, engagement and performance on Facebook.
Why? How can they be a bad thing?
The way that Facebook’s algorithm (which determines your organic reach) works is that it shows each post you make to a small percentage of your fans. If those fans react to it and engage with it, the reach and visibility will also increase amongst your other page fans.
More engagement = more organic reach. More reach = more potential engagement.
When your page fans really engage with a post – that is, they comment / share beyond simply clicking ‘like’. Then this will push your post’s reach beyond your page fans and (crucially) into different social groups.
Coming back to the initial reaction – if your post fails to generate engagement with the initial selection of your fans it is shown to – it will quickly sink and fall out of visibility. The post dies.
The chance of getting engagement on a post is greatly decreased when you have page fans who aren’t really fans.
The quality of your page likes is an important factor in determining the organic reach of your posts. Likes that are attracted through promotions, incentives and competitions can negatively affect your brand’s organic reach on Facebook.
Engagement is the most important factor in determining organic reach of individual posts. Likes, comments, shares and clicks (i.e. expanding photos, clicking ‘read more’) together inform Facebook’s algorithms which decide who and how many people to show a Facebook post to.