7 Reasons Why Likes Really Are Important For Social Media

7 Reasons Likes Are Still Important In Social MediaYou’ve heard “it doesn’t matter how many likes you have on Facebook” right? Or, “the number of followers you have on Twitter isn’t that important”.

What matters is what you do with these likes and followers, or so the advice says.

Social media consultants get caught up in the industry. They (we) get caught up in the numbers that show us how effective we are being, and a simple like or follow does very little to represent this.

We forget that our clients (you) don’t have the time to learn social media for yourselves- which is why you hired us.

We forget that you don’t know what a follow to unfollow ratio is. You don’t download your stats and try to dissect every number to see what is working.

Sure all of this is important, for someone who understands, but for you, a like is a big deal. Social media consultants forget this. Hopefully this post will help us all remember.

The reasons likes and follows are still important for social media

Simple positive indication for the customer– First and foremost, new likes show the client that things are working.

Sure it isn’t the best indicator for a social media consultant, but from the outside, from the client’s point of view, it’s exactly what they need to see. Remember why you got hired, they don’t have the time and education for this- we do.

Social proof– Whether we like to believe it or not, a lot of likes and follows are social proof that shows others the popularity of a fanpage. This alone may do very little to bringing in other likes and follows, but it would be silly to overlook social proof when we ourselves consider it.

Think about it, when was the last time you visited a company on Facebook and saw a small number of likes, and thought “why do they have so few likes?”.

You can tell quite a bit about a company just by the number of likes. For instance if a small brand started their page last month and already has 5,000 likes, you assume they bought them.

When you see a small brand that’s been active for years and they have 200 likes you know there is a problem. Similarly, a social media company with few likes makes you wonder exactly how ‘social’ they are.

Keeps the Community Fresh– New likes and followers are new people to the community. They help reinvigorate a dead fanbase, their responses encourage others to respond and they are more likely to actually comment, retweet, etc for the company. New fans and followers are new hope.

Exposure from Virality– On Facebook new likes often show to their other friends, they come up as recommendations in the sidebar, and the fanpage gets more exposure. While this doesn’t always mean more new likes, it certainly can, and as we all know new likes can lead to more business.

Fan Turnover– If we’ve learned one thing from Facebook and their edgerank, it’s that there is a serious fan turnover rate in social media.

As fans stop being as active, they stop seeing the updates. Although you’ll see all of the tweets on Twitter, there is still a turn over rate, usually with followers simply unfollowing. Either way, as less active fans move on, it’s important to bring on more active followers.

Virtual Pat on the Back– No matter how little you play down these simple numbers you have to appreciate how good it feels to watch more and more people like and follow a business you are working with.

Jon Loomer recently hit 20,000 likes on Facebook and posted an update about it. He mentioned how little it really means, but that he was happy to reach the number.

In the grand scheme of social media and business, it may mean very little, but at the end of the day it feels great to get that pat on the back, the virtual endoresement that says “hey, I like your company, thanks for what you do”.

Future Potential for Business– If you have a good system of building a relationship with new followers and fans, every new like is something to celebrate.

If you know how to keep them engaged, and lead them through your sales funnel, while also becoming their friend, a new like is future potential business.

I know, likes and follows don’t mean that much to social media consultants. My point is, to the rest of the world they do. Maybe it’s time for us social media addicts (yup, consultants/addicts ha ha) to embrace what is important to our clients.

We can help them see it as a little less important, play it down, and make them feel like they don’t know what they are talking about, or we can do what we are hired for, take care of their social media, and let them they rejoice how they wish.

For me, I’ll stop acting like getting a few likes means nothing because I can always use a pat on the back.

And that being said, you should probably run over and like my page right now, it’s in the sidebar here and at http://fb.com/socialmediafuze

*I just want to also say that I NEVER suggest buying likes or followers, fake numbers usually destroy the account and make it very difficult to clean up. Fake followers screw up stats and make it hard to return the account to a decent state.

© 2013 – 2014, Social Media Consultant. All rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  1. It’s so true! I have been guilty of telling people that it doesn’t matter :-/ because to me, it’s not the biggest indicator of social media success. But it DOES matter, and you hit on all the points of why it matters. And in the end, most clients really want to see likes!!

    Great article

    Ang

  2. Agreed. One of the most common questions I get asked is — How do I get more likes? Typically, they want them yesterday and they don’t want to pay for them 🙂

    I love FB, but it’s not the best for B2B, so I created a community page (Las Vegas) focusing on all things Vegas (for locals). We are around 4k fans, but most are consumers, not business owners (my target market), but it is branding me as the Facebook expert in Vegas. Exactly why I built the page 🙂

  3. I really haven’t been spending a lot of time focused on getting likes. I heard so many people saying that they are not that important.

    However, after reading your post, I realize that I was wrong. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook, but now I need to take a closer look at it and start using it more often.

    Thanks for sharing and have a great day.

    • I’m glad you like the post, if I can help at all with your Facebook, let me know. Drop a link here and I’ll check it out.

  4. I manage several pages for businesses and I have educated my clients that engagement percentage on overall likes far outweighs a site with tons of likes with little activity. One of my sites had 700 likes but had engagement numbers on posts up to 350. Another I took over had 1.8k with an engagement of 102. It is by far more important what you do with those likes than how many you have.

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