In past years, Facebook pages would be measured primarily by the number of likes they would accumulate – the focus was on growing as quickly as possible to boast a big number of fans, sometimes disregarding other important measures such as engagement, reach, etc.
However, since the beginning of this year that trend has been changing, mostly thanks to Facebook’s decision to modify its algorithm to focus more on “valuable content” and effectively killing off a big part of the reach many pages were enjoying. We have already discussed how Facebook is now a “pay-to-play” approach and how to adjust to that, but that’s not the end of it.
First, “Likegating” (limiting access to certain features of a page to those who had not liked said page) was banned, effective as of November of 2014.
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.
Now, Facebook is reportedly working on a feature that would show admins which percentage of their fans are “valuable”.
It would be really interesting if Facebook did eventually implement some kind of feature that showed which fans are the most valuable, possibly in terms of quality engagement (shares, comments). Page admins could also see which fans might be fake or low-quality, for instance, those who only liked the page to gain entry into a contest.
The message is clear: “Likes” are not the correct focus anymore. Facebook is now even willing to show you how many not-so-valuable likes you have accumulated because they want everybody to forget about likes and focus on reach and engagement.
We will be keeping an eye out for this feature and other future changes Facebook might roll out in the future. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that platforms change quickly and often, so the objective should always be to focus on building healthy communities rather than obsess about fans, likes and followers counts which can be deceiving or easily manipulated.
Here at AC&M Group we have always recommended to focus not only on likes but on creating targeted, valuable and engaged communities. If this feature ever rolls-out to all users, we might just be able to show our results with only one click!