Facebook LikesYou Like Me, You Really Like Me. Now for those of you Jim Carey fans correcting me that the quote is “You Love Me…”, the original quote was by Sally Fields at the 1985 Academy Awards. And the sentiment has made a comeback today in social media.

How many times (a day) do you see someone saying “Like my page?” “Like us on Facebook”. Likes are the new currency of the web. It’s the measuring stick for social media effectiveness. Or is it?

Like the Tot board at a telethon, you watch the “Facebook Likes” milestones click away. 30 likes and you get “Insights”. 100 Likes. 500 Likes. 1000 Likes. You celebrate each one as if it meant more money in your pocket. The advertising mentality says “more exposure equals more sales”. But your friends that liked your page only thought they were doing you a favor.

When evaluating the importance of Facebook Likes in your social media analytics, consider these 5 Facebook metrics first.

1. Post Reach – This is the measure of how many people actually saw your posts. Remember, with Edgerank, just because someone likes your page does not mean they will see your posts.

2. Fan Demographics – What is the makeup of your fans compared to all of Facebook. Are you creating posts that appeal to your audience? Is your audience your target demographic? If not, focus on reaching that group.

3. People Reached – Not only is it important to understand your fan base, but it’s also important to compare the demographics of the people who saw your posts.

4. Posts Performance – Each post is listed by type and includes the reach of the post as well as the engagement. Monitoring the most popular posts for engagement and create more content like that.

5. When Are Your Fans Online – Knowing what day and times your fans are online will determine when you should be posting.

Remember, likes don’t equal engagement. If you are not creating engaging content, it doesn’t matter if you have 20 or 20,000 likes. It’s still like putting a billboard up in the desert – it may look great but no one will see it. When you content is engaging, the actions of your fans will be screaming, “we like you, we really like you.”

Gary Wagnon is the chief Ninja Marketing Officer for 800biz Ninja Marketing Solutions and the creator of the Ninja Marketing Dojo.  The Dojo teaches business owners and marketers online strategies that increase traffic to their site, improve search engine rankings and converts browsers into buyers.

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