Facebook Likes - Useless or Essential? Two Expert Opinions
To many marketers out there, successful Facebook marketing is marked by an ever increasing number of “Likes” or fans - a successful campaign brings in Likes, and that number is the metric that really counts. However, when you think about what these fans are doing after they like your Page, this could present a very different perspective.
Are “Likes” Useless?
Let’s face it. The truth is that many, if not most, of the users who have Liked your Facebook Page have and never will actually engage with the content you post and many will never visit the Page. One study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute in Australia, which looked at the fan activity of a major brand, showed that less than 1% of their fans actually interacted with their Page. While this may be an extreme case, it does illustrate the idea that quantity does not equal quality when it comes to fans!
So is it a wasted effort to spend time and money trying to get more Likes and to use this metric as a measure of success, when you are likely not getting any real interaction from your fans? Does this number in any way translate to revenue in your pocket in the form of new patients and appointments?
We have asked two OD social media experts for their takes on the value of the elusive “Like” metric.
The Case for Likes
According to Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope Eye, who gave up his Practice website, strictly marketing through social media and Yelp, the amount of Facebook Fans, ie Likes, you have for your Business Page is extremely important and can bring in revenue. “Having a large fan base is very important for marketing purposes. Facebook has an excellent, and ever-evolving, marketing platform and a large fan base gives you great ability to create effective ad campaigns. It is rare that any eyecare Facebook page will have a legion of super engaged fans, so the real value is the marketability of the fanbase. That value will be a function of how valuable the individual fans are. One should always craft your fanbase with the ideal fan in mind.”
Put simply, if you don’t have a strong base of fans who have Liked your Page, then you can guarantee that your Page won’t be effective because you will literally be talking to your wall. Nevertheless, Likes without engagement don’t bring much value. Dr. Bazan is a prime example of how knowing your audience and interacting with it effectively can have a direct impact on growing your Practice.
Dr. Alan Glazier, owner of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care and author of Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0, believes that while Likes are important, “Social Proof” is the more important factor to consider. He says, “The most important concept in Facebook marketing is getting your content in front of “friends of friends”. “Social proof” is a psychology and marketing term that indicates people are more inclined to act on something they are familiar with or become familiar with through a trusted recommendation, such as that of a friend. Obtaining “social proof” for your business is the most important concept behind Facebook marketing. When someone sees their friend “likes” something, it is a kind of testimonial that the place they Liked is legit, so they are more apt to Like it too or pay attention to it.”
Ultimately, Dr. Glazier and Dr. Bazan are both emphasizing that while Likes are necessary, engagement is the real key to success. Creating content that will get people Liking, sharing, commenting and interacting with your brand should be the goal. In addition to “Likes”, keep an eye on your engagement metrics to get a real sense of your Page influence.
Need some help increasing “Likes” and engaging your fans? Our social media team is here to help. Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542.