Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
November 26th, 2014

Can a Facebook “Like” Hurt Your Business?

I have noticed a disturbing trend occurring with Facebook business pages that I thought would be worth addressing. The trend? Promoting your page in a non-targeted way via a Facebook promotion that is focuses on getting your page more likes. You may think: More likes? That sounds like a good thing! Why would Patric have an issue with that? The truth is the accumulation of non-relevant likes has the potential to hurt your business visibility on Facebook.

This is sort of complicated, but I will try to explain this without boring anyone. Facebook understands that their users are being bombarded with posts on their news feeds as friends lists have grown and they have liked more pages. As a result, the user experience has been declining because there are too many posts to wade through. Facebook has a desire to keep their users happy and deliver the best user experience, so to fix this issue, they have made some changes. These changes were made in an effort allow each user only to see the stream of posts most relevant to them.

This is a moving target that Facebook is trying to hit, so they have come up with complicated algorithms in order to determine the data each user values most. One of the things these algorithms do is “test post” for lack of a better word. For example, you just out a new post on your business page and let’s say you have 1000 likes for your page. Facebook will only show your new post to 50 to 100 of the people who like your page and then measure their engagement with the post. If there is little or no engagement from those initial 50 to 100, the other 900 people that have liked your page will never even see the post. Essentially, Facebook’s algorithms determine the content is not interesting and ceases to show it to any additional users’ streams, even if they like your page. So, that new post you created may have only been seen by 50 of the 1000 people that like your page.

Now, if the post gets positive engagement, it will show up to another 100 people. If the post continues to get engagement, they will continue to show it to more and more people until, potentially, all of the people that have liked your page actually see it. So, it is important for the people who like your page to click, like, share, etc., as their engagement will dictate how visible your posts become.

Back to the original point. If you have built a bunch of people who like your page but aren’t invested in the information you provide, when you publish your post, it will get little engagement and will be “sidelined.” It’s possible that a page with only 300 likes that puts out very relevant posts and has engaged people who like it may get more post views than the page with 1000 likes. This is based on Facebook’s continual attempt to serve up posts to the appropriate amount of people people based on engagement with the “test post.” Simple put: The better the engagement, the more your post will spread. The lower the engagement, the less it will.

Hopefully this helps you understand that it is not in your favor to acquire non-engaged likes, as they actually stifle the visibility of your future Facebook posts. It’s time you focus your efforts on gaining relevant likes that will help your business and stay away from this short-cut that will actually hurt you in the long-term.

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13 comments
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  1. I tested the facebook advertising platform. This was the biggest wast of money , The nerve of the system is they keep charging your credit card a standard rate for each ad every month even if you do not boost your ads.They have taken my money for the past six months and given no value.Its a disgrace.

  2. Leon,
    If used incorrectly, Facebook advertising can be a waste of money and that was one of the points of my article. However, if used properly, it can be one of the best ways to advertise your business to a very targeted audience. There is very little guidance though and it is very easy to use it wrong and waste your money.
    Patric

  3. I have used Facebooks ads to a limit. I ran one week on a $25 budget, target audience and demographics. That ad produced 6 sales and 11 leads that 6 of them got me a closed sale.

    As Patric said, you have to know how to target and tailor your demographics.

  4. Good point you make Leon. We have used FB religiously for 4 + yrs now and continue to boost post without factually backing up our investment but part of our advertising budget is set for avenues such as these where there is no real good way to track you ROI. We know we are getting clicks and on average have a handful of comments and likes on every post and 1-2 shares. When you think it is not effective it may just be the opposite. My point is set aside a certain amount to invest and come to terms with the fact you will never see a return directly from your post or boost but you could be setting yourself up for the future when more active users turn to social media as there source for information

  5. Randy & Chris,
    Great comments. Using Facebook is not, and should not be, your only advertising avenue. However, at the door of 2015, it needs to be part of the mix. If done properly, it can produce ROI as Robert discussed and build your company brand as Chris was eluding to. Per Robert’s post, I think 6 sales is a pretty good ROI on a $25 advertisement. Nice work!

  6. You can run ads based on conversions, so say somebody makes an enquiry and then hits the “thank you” page on your website, this can be treated as a sales conversion. A better way is if they say, paid a deposit to confirm their booking and landed on a thank you page after Paypal, this would be a true conversion. Then you would know if you ad spend is bringing results!

  7. Nick,
    You can use tools like URL builder to track the traffic to your site down to each particular posts and then track it to see if a sale actually occurs. In this way, you will know more than just whether Facebook is working. You will know exactly which posts on Facebook are giving you an ROI.
    Patric

  8. Patric,
    This has been a point of frustration for me for a long time. I love FB and see its huge potential but can’t get the ball rolling. Not to knock your efforts, but the fact of the matter is, it’s a lot easier to build relevant content that YOUR followers engage with because your talking to people who are passionate about tint. Consumers are a different beast. Unless you do something sexy like vinyl, consumers don’t care about films (or auto glass), it’s boring. So they’ll like you because you ask them to because you’ve tinted their car, but after that point, engagement is minimal. That being said, I’ve decided to make a push for 500 followers (by giving stuff away) and then posting seemingly irrelevant content that people will like and comment on, simply to create engagement so I have an audience to plug a product to here and there. This is a new concept I’m trying out, but the question here is, do FB algorithms see through the BS? I believe you declare what type of business you’re in, and if the content doesn’t match, is the engagement deemed worthless?

  9. Justin/Patric,

    Like you Justin, we love Facebook and can see the potential but it is so easy to waste money, we find that by posting relevant articles specific to the demographic you are trying to target helps.
    What are you giving away? I like free stuff!!

  10. Justin,
    I think that your point is valid, marketing to consumers is different. That being said, you are on track with posting things that your target demographic would be interested in. I would try to find ways to post relevant information to them in a way that ties it back to your product in either a fun or interesting way.
    You are trying to get your name in front of relevant, potential customers and you can do that through targeting. Will all of them be interested, obviously not, but you have a potential to target with Facebook in a way that is impossible with other marketing platforms. Facebook will not view this as BS. This is what they are hoping for. People using Facebook to market to relevant audiences with posts that are interesting or engaging with that demographic. I hope that makes sense.

  11. Steven,

    Exactly. Make the posts interesting and tie them back to your product or service as I mentioned above. Thanks for the comment.

  12. Hey Patric,
    Thanks for sharing this, I found it rather interesting, considering that FB is now soliciting small businesses to buy “Likes”

  13. Brian,

    Actually, Facebook is not soliciting businesses to buy likes if you ask them. You can promote a post in order to get more likes, but you should be taking the steps to define the audience for those promoted posts so that you get relevant likes as discussed in the piece. If you do not define the audience, you will get a bunch of likes if you promoted a post to get likes, but they will not be relevant. That is why it is so important to understand what the tools are and how to use them properly so that you are not wasting money and actually hurting yourself in the process.

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