What is the obsession with Likes?
Many brands look at the number of likes they have on their pages. To me, this is an almost totally useless metric. Think of a “like” as a “visit” to your website. Of course you want as many people coming to your site as your servers can handle but you want them to engage and come back often with the view to purchasing something (most likely) in the future. Alternatively they may help with your product support. People generally like to help when they can. Your Social Media presence is very much a seeding exercise, planting ideas for the future, getting the customer involved and interacting to make them feel special.
Since a user liked your page this means that your subsequent posts should turn up in that users news feed but how do you know who is actually seeing the post? Edgerank is a formula that considers each Facebook users preferences, the closeness with other friends, the interest topics they share, the amount of engagement and so on. So even if your post does end up in that users news feed and (s)he shares it with friends the potential reach of that post is diminishing all the time based on the Edgerank algorithms. Of course, there are ways around this but I’ll cover this in a later post.
Likes on your posts however show a sign of engagement. It was seen and at least stimulated enough emotion to interact with you.
Twitter works slightly differently to this. In the example above, if you had 100 friends on Facebook you would, and if you are lucky and with no promotions, perhaps get your post to 20 friends news feed. If you have 100 followers in Twitter then you will post to 100 followers (and anyone else who happens see if your tweets are public).
So if you purely took into account the “like” figure on a fan page, this may well go up over time but how engaged the fans? If my like figures is too low then I can always buy some more. Prices vary and I personally wouldn’t recommend going down this road anyway. It might look good for your bosses but fake likes can’t buy your products.
Sources & Further Reading