These are called fans. This is what brands want. Photo: picjumbo.com

Why it’s time to can the Page ‘Like’

The main reason I believe Facebook should and likely will retire the “Like” is that this relationship doesn’t work in either direction. I don’t see everything I opted into as a psuedo-subscriber due to the news feed algorithm, and the page’s messaging will rarely reach me when they want it to. Unless I’m one of the lucky 2% of people page posts reach without paying.

Speaking of paying… If you pay just a couple bucks, you’ve boosted your exposure beyond your Page’s Like count immediately, anyway.

Page Insights aren’t THAT insightful. Oh, you mean most of my boutique shop’s fans are located near me, online during weekdays and they’re X% female. Sweet relief! The clouds have parted and my new content strategy has seen the light. (That’s sarcasm). Alternatively, why not serve me information about who I actually reached with my last post so I can follow up with them about it. You wouldn’t necessarily need to even name names. Maybe make it easy for me to reach out with a survey question about my product/post/event — through video! Or even deliver them a basic digital coupon. I wouldn’t even mind if Facebook took a cut from my conversion. But first, how about reporting to me that I made a conversion? I know, I know, they can! After I hire a web development firm in to insert a snippet of code in my doughnut shop’s website. Side note: no marketer wants to insert a snippet of code. Ever. I’d wager there’s some serious breakage from Facebook, Twitter or any service that requires said snippets. Enough of the snippets.

I’ve seen it all. From back in the days of trying to weasel by the Facebook Police and make a brand on a profile to Like Gating as the quickest method to get more “Fans” on your Page. Then there was the page who celebrated 1 Million Likes by giving away legit, high-value items to their Likes in 2013, to the same type of page who couldn’t come up with much more than a “Hey, thanks” when they hit 1 Million in 2015 (perhaps because they knew only about 20K saw it?). Let’s move on from the Like like the general public did a couple years ago.

Here’s another thought-starter: What if fans/Likes could define what they were called by the brand? Page admins could have the ability to give fans 5-10 options and throw in some industry specific ones too, ranging from frequent flyer, shop browser, coffee drinker, team member, super-freak, casual reader, long-time loyal or simply customer. To me, this accomplishes a couple things. A metric/segment that might actually mean something to a company (vs. a singular, generic Like), and good, wholesome, Slack-style internet FUN. On the back-end, Facebook, you can still call them Likes if you want to.

The continuation of the ‘Like’ only drags the feet of online marketing progress. For every brand who’s finally convinced leadership of launching those sexy targeted campaigns, I promise there’s 20 brands with a team of poor twenty-somethings trying to report to their CMO that Like counts don’t mean much (while probably trying to justify their position in the company at the same time). Ever try to explain EdgeRank or content decay to a busy C-suite executive? Try it, and see how many times he or she checks their smartphone before they nod off.

Oh, and people still call them fans anyway. We know what a fan is. There’s some in the photo up there ^ if you’re not quite sure.

About Nate Ludens:

I work with sports and entertainment brands to design and execute social media strategies that produce real results. Through strong relationships, top social data tools and a ton of experience as my foundation, I’ve contributed to several sizable campaigns and events. I promise to keep a realistic, humble, and honest approach to the consulting work I do.

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