Pages on Facebook may have seen a drop in their number of likes recently and due to the widespread sharing of incorrect information on this topic I wrote an article to help businesses understand why this has happened and what it actually means for them. Page admins will have noticed that there have been many changes recently and some have affected businesses badly – the good news is this isn’t one of those changes.

Firstly, the likes you are losing are what Facebook define as inactive users, this includes:

  • The accounts of the deceased
    Accounts that haven’t had users log in or use their accounts in a long time
  • Fake accounts, these are the ones that like your page when you pay for likes (if you are a business, it is very rare that this is a worthwhile tactic)
  • An ‘active user’ is not defined as people that make a post every day, so users don’t have to worry about having to engage heavily with pages they like just to keep them, this is unnecessary and you can relax.

Why has Facebook done this? There are several reasons but these are the important ones:

  • To remove fake accounts (public display of where likes are located is another tactic for this, hello politicians and their large Indian supporter base)
  • To make analytics more accurate by removing all inactive accounts
  • For the reasons below

Why is it a good thing?

  • Whilst the drop in numbers is hard not to take personally, these are people that don’t engage with anyone, not just your page. People that don’t engage with your page are basically contributing no more than a number. For pages a big number communicates to people that look at the page (this is why people buy likes for marketing reasons and also why some new companies choose to take out a loan to put their brand on lots of billboards) if your number is still big, you don’t have to worry because it is unlikely to affect you, if your number got a lot smaller, that is unfortunate but now you have an accurate idea of who likes your page which will help with your marketing efforts.
  • Facebook ran into some trouble because when people paid for advertising fake accounts were found to like their ads, meaning businesses were paying money for no results. This means now you actually are definitely getting what you pay for with Facebook advertising.
  • Your SEO will improve slightly; Google measures how engaged (defined as post shares and comments, not post likes) people are partially as a proportion of followers – by removing inactive accounts this ratio increases.
  • Your insights information is more accurate, if you have lost a lot of likes this means previously your statistics have been clouded with information about deceased users and users that don’t use Facebook as well as potentially fake accounts – this information could be creating bias in your data that negatively impacts your marketing efforts.

If this helped you, could be better or you have absolutely any questions about what I have written here, say hello at: http://www.facebook.com/luregraphics


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