If you manage a Facebook business page, expect a minor change in the next few weeks. Facebook announced earlier this month that it will change the way it calculates page likes, removing the people who have deactivated their accounts or passed away. According to the network,
Going forward, any accounts that are voluntarily deactivated or memorialized will be removed from a Page’s like count. If a deactivated account is reactivated, the account will be re-added to a Page’s like count.
Some marketers may get upset about this update, but they shouldn’t be. First, the amount of "likes" is insufficient to determine the success of your social media marketing efforts. As any business page manager knows, your posts only reach a fraction of that audience on average, and even using reach as a success metric is not quite enough. Instead, more in-depth metrics like engagement and page clicks are what ultimately determines the success of your efforts.
That’s why a drop in likes should not be concerning to your business. In fact, it’s actually beneficial: as Facebook explains, the removal of inactive accounts – those who wouldn’t have seen your posts anyways – makes your audience more representative than it was before. Now, when you navigate to Insights to check on the demographics of your audience, you can rest assured that those numbers are actually accurate.
The change should also benefit your business in how many people your posts reach. Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm calculates that reach based on what percentage of your audience actually interacts with your posts, and that percentage is bound to go up if inactive accounts – those with no chance of interacting – are weeded out.
In short, Facebook’s update is a minor change that will have a positive impact on your brand. Contact us for more social media news and how your business could be impacted!