Since the algorithm change, or since Facebook was nerfed, it’s been harder and harder for Pages to reach their followers. Why?
Well, essentially pages were over powered and needed to be patched. Facebook needed to limit this power and get pages to spend on advertising instead of being able to grow their brand organically. Well, that’s my opinion anyway, Facebook say they will prioritise “meaningful interactions” from friends and family over content from brands. Facebook no longer cares how much time users spend on its platform, as long as that time is “quality” time. This is quite a big deal as most social networks, including Facebook, have traditionally competed for increasing lengths of “time spent.” The longer users spent on a network, the better. It was a signal of the Facebook’s popularity but not anymore.
This is how it used to work, the more likes your Facebook Page had, the more people would see your content, and engage with it. The more engagement, the more people who were not yet following your page also had exposure to this content.
So how many people can you reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page? Well prior to 2012, that number used to be a lot higher.
Facebook history 101:
In 2007 anyone could create a page and post unlimited content to their fans or followers.
In 2012 we learned that not everyone was actually seeing our content, about 16% of our posts were being seen.
In 2014 a study showed that organic reached dropped from 16% to 7% and pages that were in the hundreds of thousands of followers only reached about 2%.
2016 “Friends and Family Content” was indeed a dark time in organic posting will all page posting reaching the lows of 2% of your total followers.
2017, Facebook’s largest update by far gave users the ability to use an ad free newsfeed… You can imagine the consequences!
2018 and the data ”misuse” by Cambridge Analytica forced Facebook to tackle user privacy. This linked very well with a further newsfeed update which favours content from friends and families over Facebook pages. The update doesn’t eliminate page content from newsfeeds entirely but instead gives it priority in the following ways:
1.) If the content is shared over Facebook Messenger.
2.) If the content is Liked or commented on.
3.) If the content receives multiple replies.
4.) "Meaningful interactions" between users.
That said pages organic posts still reach around the 4% mark but can be increased if any of the 4 steps are adhered to in a positive way… until the next Facebook update.
Now that the history lesson is over, are Facebook Page likes still relevant?
I say YES!
However, there are still people saying that liking a page is not a true endorsement… Clearly these people have never tried to get people to like a business page. If a person is willing to take the time out of their busy schedule and use some of that Facebook “quality time” to find your page like button and click it, they are indeed someone you would like to nurture and provide them with value.
So how do you target these people who like your page? Paid advertising! Create an audience of people who like your page and advertise your content to them, content that has value and meaning and not something that is all about your brand, but that’s another subject altogether. If you want to go into more depth about what you can do with Facebook advertising, you can speak to our Social team here.
I think the biggest reason why Facebook Page likes are still relevant is that we still judge a brand on the total number of likes they have, it means they are established, have a solid following and have in some way stood the test of time. If anything it is social proofing at its finest.
I will leave you with this example so you can decide for yourself:
If you were served two separate ads from two separate but very similar Facebook Pages offering a similar product, a product you happened to want but one had 136 Page Likes and the other had 12,465… which one would you choose?
So go out there and grab those Facebook Page likes. Grab them by the handful!!
One simple way to do this is to run an Engagement objective in Facebook Ads Manager and select Page Likes. Create an audience that resembles your key demographic and serve them content that excites, engages and asks questions. Don’t talk about your brand, call your audience out and provide them value with a clear and concise call to action.
Facebook brand growth in action!