These days, when we read a brief about a Facebook activity, we often find in it a specific range of “fans” (or better say likers, being FB pages not FAN pages anymore) to be achieved as one of the main KPIs of the project.
No matter how talented and social-media-expert is the market man of the company that’s sitting in front of us in the brief meeting. This KPI is a giant piece of crap.
1) PEOPLE LIKES ARE EPHEMERAL.
this is a fact. Most of the times we click like on something that got our attention at the moment, but that does not necessarily means we feel a link to that brand/product or that we want to follow its entire life cycle.
Think about it. When you are walking in the streets and notice a funny dog, a beautiful human being or a nice dress in a store window, you might be willing to show it to the friends walking with you and tell them “check it out!”. But that DOES not mean you are willing to receive information from them in the next years…(unless they come from the beautiful human being…)
2) PEOPLE USE LIKE AND SHARE FOR THE SAME PURPOSES
We just said this in reason number 1: clicking on like does NOT mean you actually want to follow something. For obvious this may be, most of FB users click on LIKE to show their contacts that they appreciate something. Check out your and your friends’ timelines. How many shared pages can you find? People rarely share a page, they like it. And that’s also their way to share it. But let us repeat it once more: this does not mean that they actually have any connection to the brand/product that page belongs to.
3) ADS ON FACEBOOK CAN BOOST PERFORMANCE BUT NOT QUALITY
FB ads campaigns can increase your total amount of fans. And this can be reached spending peanuts compared to what brands are used to spend in banners, or worse, tv ads. That’s because of the platform ability to segment users’ interests and lifestyle and to be relevant in proposing the ads.
Alas, this powerful ability is also a major threat to a successful FB strategy.
Infact you might happen, as it did to us, to have 30.000 likes a day on your page to then discover you have little interaction. Or, even worse, you might happen to notice that every time you post anything on your wall you lose fans.
How is this possible? For reason number 1 and 2.
Facebook ads maximize visibility to a target of people that will have some interest in what you’re trying to sell but they ultimately won’t change the fact that LIKING is not being really connected or interested.
Facebook was born to connect people. And infact the new “subscribe” interaction adds a lot of value to this logic. I can now twitter-like “follow” someone and/or decide to make friends. But if we compare this with the relationship I can have with brands there’s a missing factor in the equation:
FRIENDSHIP : SOMEONE = LIKE : BRAND
SUBSCRIBE : SOMEONE = X : BRAND
Somehow at guerrilla thinkers we think that this will have to be solved in the very next future, maybe when FB headquarters will decide to give a twist to the fan pages layout and turn it into awesome timeline style pages.
In the meantime someone made predictions on how those timelined new pages could be.
Check it out.