Let me qualify the rest of this post by saying that there absolutely is value in social proof. Users look to one another to validate brands and what they have to offer, however there are more social proof signals available than simply Page likes and followers. So, now let’s answer the question do Facebook Page likes still matter?
Facebook's News Feed Algorithm has Changed
So, we will start out with the fact that Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm changes have tanked organic reach. As you are no doubt well aware, Facebook has made it increasingly difficult to reach the people who have connected to your brand’s Page. The reason for this is that the competition for space in the News Feed rapidly increased as the platform’s user base grew, and as such, Facebook needed to find a way to maintain a good user experience.
The introduction of the News Feed algorithm has led to a continual shift in optimal Facebook strategy. This was further underlined again early this year, when Facebook announced a new, major update that would favour person to person interaction and content over Page posts. Essentially, Facebook’s system works to show users the content of most relevance to them.
Liking a Page is not a True Endorsement
Now, onto the next reason that Page likes are not as relevant as they used to be. In the past, users had to connect with a Facebook Page to leave a comment or interact with a post. These days, that requirement no longer exists, so users can search for a brand’s Page or discover it through a share from a friend and participate in whatever conversation they choose.
Page likes also used to be very public action – whenever a user would connect with a brand’s Page, a notification would be added into their activity stream on the News Feed, stating something like, “Tom and 15 of your friends likes X page.” This display of social proof doesn’t happen anymore. Users can also navigate to brand pages and leave reviews and comments without any obligation to connect.
Facebook Page Likes Don't Correlate to Revenue
Now, onto the last reason I will talk through today, and that is that Facebook Page Likes don’t correlate to revenue. According to one study, only 1% of users who like a brand on Facebook will actually visit that brand’s Facebook Page. Since Facebook users spend almost all their time in the news feed, banking on Page likes to drive business results is not a good idea – doing so is effectively the equivalent of being obsessed with a car that can’t take you anywhere.
The fact of the matter is that you can invest to build the greatest brand Page in the world, but statistically, none of the Facebook Page likes you gain will correlate to revenue. The journey from liking a brand page to purchasing a product is a long, convoluted adventure that has many twists and turns. Of those twists and turns a Page like is the most irrelevant, considering the other ways to target consumers on Facebook.