The full story behind Facebook pages’ “Like” downfall – how much “Likes” did you lose?

As we wrote in our previous articles, Facebook recently decided to remove all inactive accounts from fan pages’ Like count. And some pages really saw significant decline in numbers of Likes. Let’s dig deeper to see what preceded this action. Because we think this is just the final punch to (almost) all fake stuff on Facebook.

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1. Like count – what led to its downfall?

We all know Facebook organic reach has dropped significantly. And, as much as some people tended to blame Facebook for forcing fan page administrators to take another approach by paying in order to reach their fans (and yes, you must pay-to-play!), we cannot accuse Facebook of having some conspiracy in mind to just take our money.

Why? Because at the end it turned out their decision was good. Many fan pages were abusing certain possibilities they had with Facebook. We are talking about several things that were quite popular to artificially rise visibility and collect new fans. Not only by buying likes, but using click-bait headlines leading readers to low-quality and highly irrelevant content. And even forcing them to first like the page in order to read. Yes, this was a huge hit on Facebook last year because at the very beginning people were really clicking on these articles expecting something ‘extraordinary’, as promised in the headline. Very soon people released this was one big lie. And they started avoiding such like-bait articles, hiding them from their News Feeds and reporting such content. This sent clear signal to Facebook that something strange and wrong is going on.

Facebook is very smart “army” of people who soon released people hate such articles because the end result was kind of fraud. It might sound rough, but the point is people are smart and they don’t like to be cheated.  And when Facebook conducted a survey to collect information what people really want to see in their News Feed, it was not of a big surprise they said such content is not welcomed. At all! So Facebook decided to penalize such content.

Another thing that was misused were apps like-gates, used to force people to first like the page (even if they didn’t like it, but just wanted to participate in some winning game or get some information) in order to enter the game or get access to this hidden content. Not to misunderstand us, like-gates were really great apps’ features and apps are very useful tools enabling admins and businesses to grow their fan base and collect valuable customers’ data in order to continue their marketing activities outside Facebook. The idea of like-gating the content within the app was god, but as people like to turn things upside down, this great possibility started to be misused, so Facebook team had to react once more and they banned this practice last year with meaningful explanation that this is not good practice to build fan base because, in its very nature, it is based on force. Read more in our article explaining this decision. 

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They once again said the only right way to attract fans is by quality community management and quality content creation. Apps were not banned, of course, and they are still very valuable source to be used for different kinds of actions that can be highly attractive, interactive and engaging. The only difference now is you must produce a really killing content and idea that will melt people’s hearts. And they’ll start talking, participating, sharing, buzzing…. Without forcing them to like your page first. Ok, you should also pay ads to spread the news even further, but if your winning game is not creative and entertaining enough, you will just throw away your money. Have this in mind. Quality, creativity, innovation and pay-to-reach concept are key success pillars. And it also leads to more likes on your page. But genuine ones!

2. Is Facebook plotting against its users?

The answer is – NO! Facebook is not some ‘bad guy’, plotting against its users. They actually proved their intentions are good because they are regularly collecting information from users to be able to separate wrong practices from good ones. Number of actions taken after serious researches led to all these measures, which are giving results. They cleaned all the rubbish from the News Feeds which made their users more than happy. They started to see stories they really wanted to see. These relevant stories were no longer buried beneath tons of low-quality articles that flooded ones News Feed, hiding really interesting topics and stories people really cared about.

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Let’s face it – philosophy “Only number of Likes is important” is long gone. Because many abused certain possibilities and tactics to artificially build these numbers and hide behind them, showcasing their success with numbers only. Rubbish and over-promotional content, even spamming, is something people simply hate to see. And read. And they don’t read it. They are not using Facebook to buy and read someone’s ‘hymns’. They use Facebook to primarily connect with their friends and families, check out what’s new with them and read highly relevant content they are interested in. This means they are selecting which pages they’ll follow, based on their interests first and then on the overall quality this page provides.

In order to build trust and trigger brand advocacy, they must work hard to produce great content to establish great communication with people, regardless if they already are their fans or not, in order to attract new people who are then just few steps away from becoming their potential customers. This is how buying circle works today. Social media communication is one of the key steps leading people and prospects toward sales funnel.

And the last update was just the cherry on top of the cake. Because it’s not of a big secret some people have created multiple profiles for different reasons. And then either forgot about them or used them for some time and then deactivated them. But likes they gave to some pages stayed, although these profiles were no longer in use. So, how valid are those Likes? Not at all! So if this is so, why to have them.

Not much of a philosophy, right?

Do you agree? 

 

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