Rampant click fraud and misguided contests result in artificially inflated Page Likes and poor post engagement.
I’ve long thought businesses that obsess over the size of their Facebook page have never left the social media middle school boys’ locker room. You’d think that ten years into this Facebook thing, more business people would have realized that when it comes to online communities it really is less about the size and more about usage.
In the case of most Facebook pages, as Page Likes grow interactions with posts drop. Coincidence? Not hardly.
On the one hand, there’s the growing problem of Page Like click fraud. Veritasium does an excellent job of explaining this problem in the following video. You should stop now and watch it. (Go ahead; I’ll wait.)
On the other hand, as if rampant Page Like click fraud wasn’t bad enough, brands aren’t doing themselves any favors with the “legitimate” means they often employ to recruit new Facebook fans. Most are so desperate to fill out their Facebook boxer briefs that they stuff their Page Likes with fans bought through sweepstakes and contests. By “Like-gating” these promotions, brands build a fan base polluted with nonfans, people who aren’t qualified leads or prospects and who only liked the brand’s Facebook page because a big enough carrot was dangled in front of them.
Many of these new nonfans are simply too lazy to unlike the Facebook page once a contest has ended and, thanks to Facebook’s news feed algorithm, the less the nonfans interact with a brand’s Facebook posts the less likely they are to ever see that brand’s Facebook post again … even though they technically still “like” the page.
So how should a brand grow their Facebook page?
In most cases, growth—quality growth—for a Facebook page (or other social media community) comes about as a result of doing things right outside of Facebook: kick-ass products, great customer service, and involvement in events or causes worth talking about by people who don’t work for brands or in advertising.
Quality growth also comes from figuring out who comprises a brand’s Facebook community, why they chose to join the community in the first place, and what it is they want from the brand on Facebook. Growth comes from consistently delivering value to the members of that Facebook community who in turn share those things of value with others inside and outside of the community.
By contrast, Facebook page growth strategies that fall outside of this paradigm are really nothing more than Facebook penis pumps disguised as something else, usually a contest or sweepstakes. And remember, value is most often defined by the thing that attracted people to the community in the first place.