Why Facebook Likes Aren’t the Most Important Thing For Your Small Business

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One thing we hear often when we’re consulting with small business owners is…

“How can I get more likes on my Facebook page?”

I’m not here to tell you that Facebook likes are totally useless, because they do serve a purpose—they show that you have a dedicated fanbase who cares enough about your business to publicly acknowledge it on Facebook. Plus, when you get into paid advertising, they give you a good, quick way to target your page likers and their friends.

But do Facebook page likes actually translate to better business? And is increasing the number of Facebook page likes a worthwhile goal for your small business?

It all ties back to your business goals. If you’re marketing a small business on social media, your goals may look something like this:

  • Increase sales

  • Reach new customers

  • Build community awareness and support

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Ultimately, all advertising typically boils down to one thing: increasing revenue.

Ultimately, all advertising typically boils down to one thing: increasing revenue.

Facebook page likes on their own don’t increase revenue.

To understand why, you need to know a little bit about Facebook’s algorithm, which is basically its complex recipe for deciding what posts to show each Facebook user and when they need to see it.

In the early days of Facebook’s news feed, users could scroll through the posts of every single friend and every single business/organization they followed and read every one of their posts. If you were patient enough, you could legitimately sit down and read all of those posts and be completely caught up with everything that happened on Facebook that day.

But here’s what Facebook discovered: when people were inundated with posts that didn’t matter as much to them, or flooded with posts from businesses who wanted to sell them things they didn’t want, those users started to spend less time on Facebook. And that was a problem, because if people spend less time on Facebook, the ads it sells to its advertisers are less effective. And if the ads are less effective, Facebook can’t charge as much for them, and they make less money.

Facebook analyzes everything we do when we’re logged in, so it was pretty easy for them to see a relationship between being exposed to low quality posts (we’re looking at you, Facebook relative who posts ten political rants per day) and spending less time on the platform altogether.

To counteract that and encourage us all to spend more time there, Facebook implemented its algorithm. Based on who you’re friends with, what pages you like, how you interact with them (likes, comments, shares), even how long your eyes linger on a particular post type, Facebook’s algorithm is in the background deciding what posts to serve you every time you open up your news feed.

Whatever happened to that friend from college who was really into blogging? Did she unfriend me?

That’s why every few months I think, “Whatever happened to that friend from college who was really into blogging? Did she unfriend me?” Then, I’ll go look her up on Facebook, see that we’re still friends, and see a year’s worth of posts about her life that Facebook, for whatever reason, had decided not to show me over the past year.

If it’s that hard for an actual human who you know and like to show up on your news feed, just imagine how hard it is for a business to break through. Even if someone likes your page, there’s only a slim chance they’ll see your business’s post show up on their news feed. Facebook wants them to see their family and friends, pictures of babies and kittens and puppies.

That’s why it’s so important for businesses to have a paid Facebook strategy to complement their organic posts. If you’re thinking about implementing a paid Facebook strategy, think beyond the boost! Using Facebook Ads, you can build custom audiences that will ensure you reach the right people at the right times. Facebook Ads provides powerful demographic and interest targeting options, along with the ability to build custom audiences based on existing customers and retargeting people who have visited your website.

If you’re interested in getting started with Facebook Ads, For All Brandkind can help! Whether you’re looking for training so you can run your own campaigns or you’d like to hire an agency to manage it for you, we offer solutions for businesses of all sizes. Give us a shout to set up a free consultation.