Here’s a question that came from a client recently:

We notice that you’re running ads that are getting a lot of clicks and interactions, but most of the people clicking on our ad haven’t liked our Facebook page. What does this mean? Are we also running campaigns to get people to like our page? Do Facebook likes even matter?

That’s a big question, isn’t it?

Of course I answered them, and since it’s a question that we at NeONBRAND hear a lot from business owners and entrepreneurs who are using Facebook for marketing, I put together this post to share that answer with all of you.

Do Facebook Likes Still Matter?

So, back in the day when people liked a Facebook Page, it meant they were more or less subscribed and would continue to see that Page’s posts from then on.

Obviously, that’s super valuable for your business. The people that liked your page saw your posts again and again, and you could easily reach an audience of people who had already indicated that they’re interested in you.

But over the years, Facebook has gradually shifted to a pay-to-play model. If you want to get your posts in front of people who ‘like’ you (and people who might like you in the future) it takes some investment.

if you want people to see your facebook posts, reach is pay to play

At this point, free exposure – also called organic reach – is small for most businesses.

Very small.

Pages with 10,000 fans can expect somewhere around 650 of those fans to actually see that page’s posts organically in their News Feeds.

There are workarounds:

Paid posts that are well planned and well targeted reach more people for less money. In other words, posting content that people will react to has a marked benefit, because if people seem to like your content, Facebook will show it more often.

Shared content is another way to get organic reach. When someone shares a post from your page, some of their friends see it. When their friends share it, that’s more organic reach, and so on.

It sounds pretty simple, and it is. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.

Expanding Your Reach

Here comes the heavy stuff:

Facebook allows you to build and save custom audiences. Here’s an example that I built for a NeONBRAND client.

engagers and lookalike audiences

The bottom one is a custom audience made up entirely of people who have engaged with the client’s Facebook page over the last year. They’ve liked a post, commented, shared something, whatever.

The top one is something called a lookalike audience.

Basically, a lookalike audience is made of people who are similar to our engagers, so they react to similar things, share similar likes, and generally behave like the people who have already interacted with our page.

Having that audience of engaged people is great news, because now an engagement isn’t a one-time thing! In advertising, we all know it’s important to make multiple “impressions” in order to make a sale. These people are being collected into an audience that we can continue to advertise to, and that means we’re getting in front of them more often.

That lookalike audience gives us a chance to expand our audience of engagers.

When someone from the second group interacts with one of our ads, they’re included in the first audience and go back into the marketing cycle.

Cool, right?

So, yes, likes are still a thing. There is absolutely value in a Facebook page with a healthy number of likes!

Even more important, though, is building that engaged audience from a few hundred people to a few million, and then getting them accustomed to seeing your brand in their News Feed.

Your time is always going to be a limited resource. Use it where it counts most.