I have seen some fairly panicky posts this past week about the Facebook likes clean-up. The announcement came yesterday that the company will be removing likes from memorialised and manually deactivated accounts. From Facebook:
To make audience data even more meaningful for businesses, we’re updating the way Page likes are counted by removing memorialized and voluntarily deactivated accounts from Pages’ like counts. This change ensures that data on Facebook is consistent and up-to-date.
It’s hard to say how much these changes will affect your page, the only thing we can do is wait and see. If you base your page’s worth on your number of likes, you might be fairly disappointed to see that number drop slightly in the coming weeks. However, if you understand the difference between quantity and quality, you are more likely to be delighted. Likes from accounts such as these are more detrimental than beneficial as they negatively affect your engagement rate. Remember, a high engagement rate mean high reach, i.e. your messages reaching more people. A page with a low number of likes and a high engagement rate is far better than one with a lot of likes and a low engagement rate.
This change will also affect your insights. Having good up-to-date data on your fans will give you a clearer picture of who your active audience are and make it easier to create lookalike audiences. It’s good news all around really.
The only negative side effect that could arise as a result of this update is bad reactions from clients and bosses who don’t understand why their numbers are dropping. Now would be a good time to reach out to them, advise them of the change and explain it’s benefits.
Does this update go far enough?
Something to note here is that likes will be removed from ‘Voluntarily deactivated’ accounts. This means people who have manually deleted their accounts from Facebook. It does not include people who have inactive or unused accounts. This begs the question: Does this update go far enough?
If inactive users are detrimental to your page, wouldn’t it be better for businesses to have them removed as well? Many inactive users on Facebook “like” hundreds of pages that are sending their messages into the abyss. In order to maintain an active, engaged audience, it would be useful if likes were removed from users who have been inactive for more than 12 months.
What do you think, are you happy about this update? Do you think it goes far enough, or should the update also remove likes from inactive users? Let me know in the comments below!