I’ve been going through some old posts and I came across one about the habit of posting  “Like if you see this post” blah blah blah. Facebook Likes are still hot topics among small business and I thought it was time I addressed this.

Ok, so let me start with a story. I admit, I grew a page with a collaborative contest. It was one of those ‘like the page to enter’ jobs where the ten or so of us got together and we shared and people shared and entrants shared and we got likes. In fact, I grew the page to over 4000 fans very quickly. Take another story of a business I grew from 100 to 1000 fans in 12 months with no like campaigns. Then consider a client who bought a thousand or so followers or another who ran like campaigns so they looked as popular as their competitor.

I’ll come back to these later.

Why do we care about Facebook Likes?

So remember my articles on the brain’s response to social media? In a nutshell our brain fires off two chemicals when we receive a page like: dopamine & oxytocin. Dopamine is triggered when we are rewarded, needed, or do something enjoyable and oxytocin is the love chemical. So when someone likes our page or post on Facebook our brain fires off these happy friendly love drugs to flood our brain and body. They’re addictive. In fact, dopamine is one of the chemicals in addiction and oxytocin is known to help mothers and babies bond. It’s no wonder you’re addicted to Facebook Likes, your body is hardwired for them!

And guess what, Facebook’s psychologists know this.

What do Facebook Likes do for us?

Well, we think the more likes we have the more popular we are and that goes to prove our worth as a business. Right? I mean it worked in the playground, the kid with the most friends was the popular one. They were the ones with the most likes. They were happy. They were successful. They were the ones everyone wanted to be. Right? Surely because they had the most friends they were the friendliest, nicest, best at school or sport. Were they really? Are they now? Yes, it matters how you define success in any instance but success in business is pretty straightforward – longevity and profitability.

Facebook Likes do not come into either of these things.

Remember the client who bought likes? He’s a tradesman and they’re all overseas fans. These likes actually make him look popular but they will never be his clients. In fact, only about 10% of his fans are actually likely to be clients and will contribute to his bottom line.

Remember my competition? Doing it grew my Facebook page to over 4000 fans, well seems Facebook went through and wiped 700-odd of them off as being fake profiles, used for entering competitions, and the other part of the 1000 I lost were only following my page to win the competition. They never bought from me.

But what about my clients, surely they care about my Facebook Likes?

Um, no, no they don’t. See, each year Sensis does a report on social media use in Australia and 49% of respondents said that they are NOT more likely to trust a brand because they have a large number of followers. To show you the difference, 30% said yes it mattered. Nearly half of Australians don’t trust you more because you have more likes. Likes do not equal trust and when people buy from businesses they like, know, & trust this is key.

Facebook Likes don’t matter to customers, they don’t trust you more because of the number of fans you have. Perhaps it’s because we realise that the popular kid at school wasn’t necessarily the best friend. Or the fact is that they pay more attention to the content you post on Facebook than how many likes you have. I don’t know anything more than the number of Likes you have on Facebook don’t actually matter.

So stop doing the ‘Promote your Page’ Ads, you’re wasting your money. Stop worrying about how many fans your competitors have. Just concentrate on putting out good, engaging, informative, entertaining content to your followers. Show them who you are and what you stand for. I honestly believe that we are past the age of Facebook being about the technology and we are set for a renaissance of its true intention – to connect people.

Connect to your followers with meaning and give them meaning. Be more than just an advertorial clogging up their Newsfeed between the recipe videos and photos of their friend’s new baby. Because we deserve to be more than just a number, more than just a trophy to be collected and displayed. Fans deserved to be honoured and praised and treated like the crucial part of your business that they truly are.

Want to learn more about how to connect more meaningfully with your fans online, then book a call with me.

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