Calling All Brands: Stop Counting Facebook “Likes” and Build Deeper Engagement Instead

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Guest Post by: Simon Phillips

When it comes to Facebook, marketers often think that hitting 10,000, 50,000 or more than 1 million likes is the only metric for measuring the success of a Facebook page.

Perhaps this is because the “like” button is a metric that’s comparable to traditional mass media metrics. Magazines and papers sell advertising rates based on their circulation volume and TV companies still sell a 30 second ad spot related to viewing figures (the more viewers, the  higher the cost of the spot).

So ROI from social media, particularly Facebook, is easy to get your head around if you think of it in this mass media context.

Except it isn’t as simple as this.

While there’s nothing wrong with measuring the number of Facebook likes, social media is about more than just getting mass market attention; it should be used to build real engagement. Marketers need to stop focusing on volume and “likes” and should start looking at the quality or influence levels of the people they are interacting with.

Look at these Facebook pages for Pepto Bismol or Red Bull – each uses a somewhat awkward arrow to point out the like button (as if the average Facebook user doesn’t know where the like button is). Very little thought has gone in to what to do with these people once they have “liked” the page or whether the likes represent any sort of positive influence with the brand.

Marketers need to remember that when it comes to social media, numbers alone do not equal engagement  – only activity equals engagement. So perhaps what should be measured is an action demonstrating engagement, such as quality of feedback per post or number of comments posted.

Influence comes from connecting to those individuals who make up your target audience, and over time, developing and nurturing that relationship. Marketers should worry less about how many people they are connected to and should start thinking more about who they are connected to and how their brand can positively add value to that individual’s life.

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