Loosing Your Facebook Likes? We Know Why!

Good morning, Internet fans, it’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, therefore, it’s Internet Marketing, or it’s Social Media Wednesday! Internet Marketing is for Thursday. Because it is Wednesday, March 18th, I have Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing on the other end. Good morning, Sarah.

Sarah Giometti: Good morning, Ryan. How are you?

RP: I’m doing wonderful. Thank you, yourself?

SG: Doing fabulous, thank you.

RP: Very good. Today, we’re going to talk about Facebook likes, and the possibility that you’ve actually lost some likes on your business account. I want to read something real quickly, this is directly, this is a note on my Insights, on my Facebook business page, and it says, “We recently updated the way we measure how many people like your page. Pages may see a decrease in likes after March 12, when we remove likes from inactive Facebook accounts.” So, when they say “inactive Facebook accounts,” what exactly do they mean by that?

SG: The most basic one is if somebody actually deactivated their account and they’re no longer on Facebook, for some reason, when that occurred, any of the pages they liked didn’t lose a like when the account went away. Another one would be somebody who’s deceased, so their account is inactive. So, really just kind of cleaning up house a little, that if the person is not on Facebook anymore, then they longer like the pages that they’ve liked.

RP: Okay, perfect. So, I would imagine then that if you’re a business and you have a 100 likes, you may not really be affected by it too much. However, some of the larger brands may see, losing a 100, a couple 100, who knows how many, based on how many people. And demographically, if you’re catering towards more of a senior crowd, a baby boomer crowd, you may have a potential of losing more likes in that essence. And I guess, the big thing is, don’t be scared, you haven’t done anything wrong, you’re not being penalized, correct?

SG: Right, right. The business owners may notice some likes went down and they haven’t seen the news, might panic and think, “Oh, my God! Did I suddenly have a whole bunch of people dislike me?” And that’s just not the case. It’s just Facebook kind of… They’re constantly fixing things and upgrading it, things like that. So, but, yeah, if you’re on the smaller side of likes, the chances of you seeing a decrease are pretty slim. You’re also not going to see it in your Insights, like I saw mine go down about 60 people. And by going to my Insights, that’s not represented at all in my numbers. So, if you weren’t even aware of what your numbers were, you may not even notice. Whereas with the bigger ones, I saw Mari Smith, who’s a well-known thought leader for social media and Facebook, she had posted that… She’s got about a 148,000, I think, followers, and she posted that hers dropped 3,000.

SG: So, you’re really going to see a bigger number for the bigger followers you have, whereas… I got a little over 2,000. I saw six… Mine dropped 60. So it’s not a big deal. We want to make sure business owners aren’t panicking over this, because they were useless likes anyway. They were no longer interacting with Facebook, therefore, they were never interacting with your page.

RP: Right. And I think that the key takeaway as a business owner is that, well, one: We didn’t mention this started about a week ago, I think, was it the 12th was the official day? I put it…

SG: Yeah, it was the 12th was when it started.

RP: Okay. Yeah, March 12th. So, one: They’re not going to send you a notice and say, “Hey, by the way, we removed 30 people.” If you look at your Insights on Facebook, which is your analytics, it tells you what’s going on, you’re not going to see a rapid decrease in the number of likes on your pages. They just simply disappeared, so don’t worry about it. Now, this makes for a very short conversation because we’ve been talking for a whopping five minutes. And I don’t think we need to beat this one to death. I think it’s something people need to be aware of. Now the other key issue is, all of the like farms, I’m going to call them, that are out there, do we know if those are going to be removed? And when I say a “like farm”, I’ll let you kind of expand on what I mean by that.

SG: So, like farm are… You’ll probably… Everybody gets these messages at least once on their page, “We can give you… Buy 5000 likes, and you’ll have 5000 likes on your page.” That’s a like farm. They’re not real accounts. They’re fraud accounts. They’re not real people, they usually don’t even have a profile photo. And it’ll be interesting to see because part of what they do is they create this account, like all these pages, and then deactivate the account so likes don’t go anywhere. So, now the likes go away, it’ll be interesting to see how, if those… They’ll probably figure a way around it. But it does not solve that problem if the accounts were not deactivated. So the fake likes are not going to go away yet, but I’m sure Facebook hopefully is trying to figure out a way to get rid of the fake likes, or I would love to see us to be able to go into the list of our likes and remove people from it that I don’t feel best represent my target market, so then I have a better concentrated audience. I can do that on Twitter very easily, I can remove followers that I don’t think are a good fit for me.

SG: And you can’t really do that on Facebook anymore. So, that’s something I would love to see is be able to kind of clean up my following… Because then they’re also were things in the past, you could run campaigns in other areas and regions for a lot less money than your own region, and people played with that, and now you’re finding, they’re kind of useless links because they’re not in your region and they’re not your target market.

RP: Right. And that’s kind of frustrating as a business owner, because part of the allure and the appeal to marketing on Facebook is that you can really focus in on a very specific target market. And if that changes over time, and you’re not able to kind of scape, landscape, I guess, not just scape, but landscape your current base of people, really limits your ability to make sure that you’re really focused in. Especially with your following metrics, if you’re trying to hit a 5% conversion and you’re only getting 3%, it’s really hard to say. Well, is that because the campaigns are not performing, or is it because we’re working in a very dirty database? And so, we’re not getting conversion, because there’s not that many of our target audience members in the database as we originally thought.

SG: Right, right. So, that’s definitely, it would be really nice feature to have. Like you said, some people, especially if you’re in a service business, your target market might shift over the course of business. And, you’d have might not necessarily want to remove the old target market, but if you had ever run one of those campaigns, there’s like 10,000 Facebook likes on one of the pages. And they taught lots of people to run campaigns in Southeast Asia. You’d get likes for a penny, but you’re not marketing to them. They’re never going to buy from you. And so, you’ve inflated your likes with people that aren’t ever going to be that useful to you. And that was really back when social media and people thought it was a numbers game, like the bigger your following, the better everything was. And that’s just not the case anymore. You really… Even if you’ve got a smaller following… I’ve got a client, they’ve got, right now, I think, 150-ish followers, and they get really great interaction because their 150 followers are friends, family and clients. They really interact with her page, and she’s got a really high conversion rate versus some other pages that have 5,000 likes, but they, at some point in the past, ran a not great campaign, and they’ll get some interaction, but they’ll get a bunch of likes that’ve ran a boost of posts, but they’re not people in their community that are going to do any good.

RP: Right, totally various. So, I guess, two takeaways. One, if you saw dramatic decrease in your likes this past week, don’t freak out. Facebook’s just cleaning up their database. Number two is, Mark Zuckerberg, I know you’re watching this somewhere, somehow. So, please allow us to clean up the database or do it for us. Because I’ve made, over the past, what it’s been, six years now, I’ve been doing this, the reality is, a lot of this technology was new, and so you nailed it on the head that, hey, you try different things, trying to understand this technology, and in trying, you make mistakes. And for me, that’s the best way to learn. The problem is, now, some people are stuck with these mistakes. There’s got to be a way of cleaning that database up. But the reality is, our hands are tied at this point. It’s really up to Mark to either clean up the database internally, or give us an option like you stated on Twitter, where you can actually remove people that are not relevant to your business anymore.

SG: Yeah. And you can’t… It’s come and gone that you’ve been able to remove people. I’ve been able to remove the couple of people from my page. I know who I was removing. The bulk removal tools out there, and I know I went looking to remove… I was looking to clean up my databases a while ago. If you weren’t looking for a specific person, like I didn’t want to remove… I wanted to remove people from outside of the United States, and that was not possible, because I couldn’t tell where they were from. So, it’s probably clarified, you can’t, there are ways in a roundabout way to get in there and click one at a time, but it doesn’t show where they’re from. So, I don’t want to remove people… So it’s an arduous task, so that would be really nice to be able to go, “Okay. Pull up everybody from Cambodia. Let me remove them.” And it’s not easy to find either. Even I do this all the time, and the last time I went in there, I couldn’t remember where I found it the last time – about three months ago. So, there are possibly ways to do it, but there’s no possible bulk way. And, there’s no way to do it based on location if you wanted to. Maybe you moved your business from Texas to Oregon, and you’re not marketing… So, there’s no way to do it geographically, or things like that. But the deactivate, it will definitely help.

RP: Okay, perfect. Well, I think with that, we’re going to call it a meeting, and next week we’re going to talk about something super exciting and fun. So, you definitely want to stay tune for that episode. And, any last comments?

SG: I don’t think so. Just don’t be panicked if you saw it go down, it’s no big deal.

RP: All right, perfect. As always, Sarah, I appreciate your time, and I hope you have a great week.

SG: Thanks. You, too, Ryan.

RP: All right, bye.

SG: Bye.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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