Business Results or Facebook Numbers? The Decision Should be Easy

impressive numbers may not always mean impressive sales

This post is part I of a a two-part series on using Facebook to create tangible business results. Part II of the series will focus on “how” frequent online activities can be turned into sales.

“I want to get 1 million ‘Likes’ by the end of the year,” client said.

I lost count of how many times I have heard this in my career. Usually the request is followed by me asking “why do you want 1 million ‘Likes’?” The usual answers range from “because it looks impressive” to “because it is part of our KPIs.”

Impressions, Likes, Comments, these are called “vanity metrics,” — the kind of metrics that make you feel good, but may not mean much to your business decisions or drive tangible results. Besides, all these metrics can be easily manipulated.

I am not saying these metrics are useless or you should not look at them at all, but as somebody who’s worked with and around Facebook for years, I would suggest we go further than getting high numbers on these metrics by digging deeper to find your business objectives and figuring out how to best align your objectives with Facebook strategies.

Here are some examples of how you could frame your Facebook objectives beyond Impressions and Likes ––

Buying “Likes” or fans should be immediately followed by a plan of leveraging your fans to do some sort of marketing activity. Not all “Likes” are created equal. Out of the 1 million fans you have, some may never buy your brand. Getting as many real fans from Facebook as possible and leveraging your page as a community to engage with your audience should come as a key marketing objective after getting “Likes.”

The number of “Impressions” you are getting doesn’t necessarily reflect your brand awareness or top-of-mind awareness. In Myanmar, anyone with a credit card can get 1 million Impressions with 1,000 USD. The difference is if your audience can recall your ad even two weeks after seeing it, or remember your brand when he or she goes to the shop, that’s when you know you have strategically used your Facebook ad spending. As you can see here, creative ads on Facebook will help achieve that.

The number of “Engagement” should only loosely translate to “Brand Engagement,” because again, engagement on Facebook is not equivalent to the engagement with your brand. I am sure you have seen totally unrelated comments under your branded posts. Making lasting impressions with carefully crafted content and visuals is the most important factor here. Keep in mind that, 90% of the people who have viewed your ads but never engaged with it could still be your customers.

The number of “Installs” does not mean anything if those who installed are not using your app. Many startups and companies report their “number of installs,” but what really matters here is the number of people who repeatedly and loyally use the product. Facebook allows you to track further than the first step of conversion (link clicks, installs, etc.). Depending on your business objectives, we should be going further than that.

Most of the metrics on Facebook do not equate to business results. They are mere indicators of it. Of course, sometimes they are useful indicators, but ideally they should not be the only indicators. Having a strategic and holistic plan for all marketing activities, and using creative, conversation starting content are the keys.

In short, let’s develop a plan together to drive business results beyond hitting the 1 million “Likes.”

Yan “James” Aung is the Head of Digital at Revo.