Social media is constantly evolving, and the way that consumers and businesses interact with each other has changed significantly in the past few years. Once upon a time, the success of a business Facebook page was measured by the number of followers that you had – it was a simple metric that became outdated as soon as you were able to start ‘buying’ followers. Now, follower-count is still a good metric to track, but more important metrics include reach and engagement.
What good is having 10,000 followers, if every post you create and send out into the world only reaches 100 people? Wouldn’t it be better to have 500 followers with an average reach of 300-400?
The Facebook Algorithm:
The Facebook algorithm is what determines the reach of each of your posts – the algorithm is quite complex and takes into account a lot of different factors, but for the purpose of this article I am going to simplify it significantly:
Two of the main factors to effect your organic post reach are ‘live’ engagement and ‘historical’ engagement. When you create a new post, Facebook will send it to a small sample of your users – the size of the sample will be determined by your historical engagement. If your previous posts receive a lot of engagement (likes, comments, shares, clicks etc), then Facebook assumes that your new post will be equally well-received and will show it to a larger proportion of your existing audience.
Once your new post is live, it’s organic reach will gain momentum the more ‘live’ engagement you receive – so if your new post is shown to 10% of your followers (based on your historical engagement), and that 10% of people engage and comment on the post then Facebook will show your post to more and more people.
If no one from that initial 10% of people comments on or likes your content then your post will fall flat and it won’t be shown to any additional people.
Why Are Like-for-Like Threads Bad?
Ok, so now you know a bit about how the Facebook algorithm works, we can apply that to the ‘Like-for-Like’ threads that keep popping up in Facebook business groups. I follow a bunch of these groups – Women in Business, Freelance Jungle, Brisbane Women in Business, Business Chicks etc (there is a bit of a theme going on there!), and at least once a week, someone creates a ‘Like-for-Like’ thread. The basic premise of these is that I post a link to my Business Facebook page as a comment and people will like my page; in return, I go through and like all of the other pages listed in the comments.
This results in a nice little bump in your follower count BUT it rarely results in a bump in your engagement levels. These people are merely liking your page because you have liked theirs – they probably didn’t even click into the page long enough to see who your are, what you do, or what product you’re selling. Chances are these people aren’t part of your target audience either – so any content that you are posting on your Facebook page probably won’t be relevant to them.
By partaking in these ‘Like-for-Like’ posts, what you’ve done is added a whole lot of people to your follower count that ARE.NOT.INTERESTED.IN.YOUR.CONTENT. This means that they aren’t going to engage with your content, which in turn means that they will drag down your ‘live’ and ‘historical’ engagement levels – therefore preventing your content from being seen by your real followers who are actually following you because they are interested in your brand, product and services.
This concept can be applied to most other social media channels these days – Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube – they all have ‘engagement’ metrics build into their algorithms that favor posts which generate more discussion and comments.
Need Help Growing an Organic Following?
‘Like-for-Like’ threads are the lazy way to grow a Facebook audience. Building a strong, engaged and loyal Facebook audience takes time and requires a strong content marketing strategy. If you’d like to know more about content marketing and how BeKonstructive Marketing can help your business grow online, get in touch with us on 0413 844 190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.