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What Are Likes Worth? A Facebook Page Field Experiment


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#1 wiser3

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 04:43 PM

Came across this today:

Facebook 'likes' don’t work like marketers think they do

https://www.scienced...70302134005.htm



#2 iamlost

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 05:42 PM

Likes have always been worthless and once one could buy a zillion for $5.00 became even more so. Marketers, like SEOs, come in all types and one way to identify competence was what they said/wrote about likes.

FB shares, on the other hand, do have some value although not as much as in the past. The best is a comment/testimonial that gets shared as compared to a simple share button click.

#3 iamlost

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 05:45 PM

Forgot to add: FB made it brutal a couple years back when they cut following from about 20% to under 2% to push ad sales. One can do it all organically but it requires more thought and edge testing than before.

#4 Nny777

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:44 AM

I thought all this was info that people have known for a while? Of course a "like" has no direct value, but it does help with other things, mainly legitimacy (if you're looking up a company on Facebook and see they only have 23 likes, you're unlikely to think that they're legitimate).

 

Also not all likes are made equal. I've taken over Facebook accounts where they've boasted about having thousands of likes - only to find out that 90% are from the wrong country, and all of their targeting and analytics information is worthless.

 

I'd like to read that study but I ain't paying $30 for it


Edited by Nny777, 13 March 2017 - 04:58 AM.


#5 cre8pc

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:49 AM

This is an area where denial remains strong.  Just about everyone I know who has a small business website bombards Facebook looking for "likes".  After years of explaining why this is not helpful, I gave up. 



#6 iamlost

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 12:27 PM

A simple solution is to drop the FB like icon and only show the FB share icon.

Personally I love love love the sites loaded down with slow loading mostly worthless SM icons. Ignorant competitors are a wonderful thing!

#7 earlpearl

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 01:06 PM

This is an area where denial remains strong.  Just about everyone I know who has a small business website bombards Facebook looking for "likes".  After years of explaining why this is not helpful, I gave up. 

I believed they were important....at one time.  I kept looking at FB.  It is interesting that FB essentially hides how many visitors actually visit your business page.  Not many.  Barely a few.   So many likes, so much "visibility" or whatever they call it.  So little interaction....so little meaningful interaction  (oh but lots of likes)  i have colleagues who just entirely believe in it.   I have to keep showing them the data.  FB is eminently believable.  And its freaking easy.   And its unbelievably easy relative to a web site.  All the folks that don't study the web believe in it.  Its no wonder your clients follow the crowd. 

 

And then FB cut followers from all your FB fans.  Do most small business site owners know this?  Probably not. But its freaking easy.

 

Now if all the FB fans in the world told all their FB friends and family about the....(lets say) EGOL web site about love beads and silly putty and all their FB friends hastened to the EGOl website that sold love beads and silly putty that would be great.   Doesn't work that way.  Not easily or naturally.

 

We have had long term small businesses that do volume sales in a service.  2/3 to possibly 80% of leads come from contact forms on the websites.  We speak to them.  How did you find us...we ask.  I searched on Google is the answer of 2/3 to 80%.  How much freaking proof do you need.

 

FB is easy.   Its genius.



#8 jonbey

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:13 PM

Seems that the main point is that "Likes alone don't drive purchases", which is nothing new. 

 

I thought likes increase edgerank, which meant your posts are more likely to appear in user streams, and interaction by users (e.g. comments and likes) more likely to appear in their friends streams, which means, they are not pointless if your goal is getting more brand awareness on FB. Or is that also no longer the case?



#9 iamlost

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:32 AM


While FB is on record that the components/inputs of EdgeRank (Affinity, Weight and Time Decay) are still relevant they are also on record as of four or so years ago saying that they are, as with Google and PageRank, but remnants in a crowd. FB switched to an AI driven algo from simple EdgeRank as early as 2010.
Note: which may be what caused G to buy MetaWeb and resulting shifts.

It is amusing that at the same time as FB was shifting away from the power of likes (as an Affinity input) the SM marketers were increasingly hyping it. Idjits.

And then with the draw down from ~20% of friends activities on news to ~2% in past few years means that any inputs really have little value.

Likes have a non-FB value to all those selling them, whose tools track them, and whose advice is years past expiry date...

#10 bobbb

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:32 AM

Personally I love love love the sites loaded down with slow loading mostly worthless SM icons. Ignorant competitors are a wonderful thing!

Funny. I have to wonder about this also. A SM icon should only be about 2-3k at most and that should be super quick. Quicker if you make only one image and use the CSS sprite thing. This is not to mention how the content of the page shifts around as the icons come in. :)

I looked at a site yesterday which just brings in 4 icons. So they call this 32k CSS file from a CDN which then calls a font file (?k) from a CDN. All for 4 icons. Worse would be calling each from the hosting company like FB and TW. Now they know your traffic... or is my conspiracy cap on too tight.



#11 iamlost

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:43 AM

Now they know your traffic... or is my conspiracy cap on too tight.

Nope. That's one reason why the SM sites offer the icons (branding, engagement being others) as they send site traffic data and with cookies track users; it's why various plugins to make SM icon inclusion easier exist; it's... :)

Of course it is possible to strip out the unwanted default code and keep a light 'only send on click as expected' code and deliver natively... however the vast majority of webdevs are plug&play copy&paste haven't a clue gonna get rich on the intertubes mob these days. No business sense and less actual nuts and bolts webdev interest. With an occasional refreshing exception.

#12 earlpearl

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:54 AM

Nope. That's one reason why the SM sites offer the icons (branding, engagement being others) as they send site traffic data and with cookies track users; it's why various plugins to make SM icon inclusion easier exist; it's... :)

Of course it is possible to strip out the unwanted default code and keep a light 'only send on click as expected' code and deliver natively... however the vast majority of webdevs are plug&play copy&paste haven't a clue gonna get rich on the intertubes mob these days. No business sense and less actual nuts and bolts webdev interest. With an occasional refreshing exception.

 

I didn't realize that.  Need to look at the code.  How interesting...and I suppose that applies across the board to all types of icons.  Beyond interesting.   

 

Heck we should create a branding icon with the same kind of code that FB has!!!!!!!


Edited by earlpearl, 15 March 2017 - 11:55 AM.


#13 bobbb

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

Nope. That's one reason why the SM sites offer the icons

I was being facetious of course. ;)  But then you knew that.

Ditto for google fonts. Giving away stats.

Ditto for anything you call in from some other site.

I didn't realize that.  Need to look at the code.  How interesting...and I suppose that applies across the board to all types of icons

Yes. Bring them in then host yourself, fonts included.

 

Then you are left with the debate of more synchronous requests from your site as opposed to spreading them out asynchronously to many sites. Flip a coin.

If the google font or other anything has already been loaded by another site then it is not fetched. Does it make the request anyway to check the date (for the stats)? Would have to sniff it out but lack the enthusiasm do it.


Edited by bobbb, 15 March 2017 - 01:19 PM.


#14 jonbey

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:26 PM

Edgerank - maybe. But, I know that I still see things in my streams that my friends like, and know that friends sometimes see things I like. Quite often, in fact. So, likes do count - they get a post seen more. OK, small study based on personal experience, but, I see them working.



#15 fisicx

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:37 AM

Try removing all the SM gunk from your site. I did and the difference it made was diddly squat.

 

You want people to come from SM sites to your website not the other way round. Share if you really must but look at your stats and see how many people came to your site from twitter or wherever and then brought your stuff. The number is going to be tiny (unless you are selling lifestyle, toys, fashion etc).

 

Edgerank - maybe. But, I know that I still see things in my streams that my friends like, and know that friends sometimes see things I like. Quite often, in fact. So, likes do count - they get a post seen more. OK, small study based on personal experience, but, I see them working.

But did you click the link and buy the things your friends liked?

 

One of my facebook friends liked a park in Bristol because he can fly his drone there. Anthor one liked a tap he brought in B&Q. This is why I don't use facebook much anymore.



#16 jonbey

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:28 AM

No, but, likes never worked that way did they? Nobody ever bought a new tap because somebody else bought one.

 

Although .... I may have bought a record because somebody liked it, and I have downloaded books that other people liked. And I have watched TV series on the back of likes, some of which involved paying subscriptions. So, actually, they do work!



#17 Nny777

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:44 AM

Hang on, hang on...EGOL sells love beads?!



#18 fisicx

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:16 AM

No, but, likes never worked that way did they? Nobody ever bought a new tap because somebody else bought one.

 

Although .... I may have bought a record because somebody liked it, and I have downloaded books that other people liked. And I have watched TV series on the back of likes, some of which involved paying subscriptions. So, actually, they do work!

Which is fine as that's what SM is all about. But that doesn't mean it will work with all sites. And if you sell concrete fence posts I doubt you even need a facebook page. My wife looks at her FB feed when she gets home from work. She whizzes through all the guff and occasionally looks at a video. The only time she ever brought anything was because Rick Wakeman posted about a new record. Entertainment again. Not socks, belts and teabags.

 

All I'm suggesting is to be a bit selective about what you put on your site. Don't just add a like or share button because everyone else is doing it.



#19 jonbey

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 06:47 AM

I disagree. I run a local website with FB page. People often ask for recommendations for traders and a lot of people link up their facebook pages. A lot of conversation takes place on similar social pages with people recommended businesses they have used. In fact, I am pretty sure a friend of mine asked for fencing recommendations sometime in the last year!



#20 fisicx

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:13 AM

I agree - referrals and recommendations is what SM is all about.

 

This discussion is about likes and shares originating from your website. But if my mate asks me on FB if I know a bloke who can fix fences I will post a link. Or the fencer can join the conversation.

 

But me sharing the fencers site won't do much. Within 24 hours that post has fallen off the bottom of the page and the chances of it appearing in people's feed anyway is slim.


Edited by fisicx, 16 March 2017 - 07:14 AM.


#21 glyn

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:28 PM

Likes, when facebook launched were the main way that they said that people had an opinion of a brand. Their timing was perfect because at the time not many people really understood Facebook that well and but they wanted a piece of those positive brand reflections. So they invested in FB. At the start that investment actually worked because the ranking mechanisms were not cooked and you were guaranteed a very high level of exposure to your audiences. It was a bit like having a mailing list. But then there was that moment when businesses suddenly found themselves looking down the barrel of money poured into making facebook popular and having their investment blown away. The change forced businesses to pay to reach those people they had already invested in aquiring through competitions and all the other historic promotions that went on during this time. You know the other day I saw a competition where people that shared a post would win a Land Rover, and I think there was 1 share on it. That's where we've come.

 

As time went on what's become bad is that if you actually invest in promoting posts, the chances are that unless you are very expert, your clicks will come from all over the world. Those new connections will dilute the ones you already have and possibly kick out from the organic reach of your posts, those people that could have been interested in it.  And so on and so forth.

 

I think Facebook has some useful collaboation tools, but unfortunately these are diltured with advertising to an incessant degree. I don't think many people understand exactly what Facebook is collecting and where it is going. It's an abstract piece of data so for most people it's not tangible and to be worried about.

 

Has anyone been through the advertising campaign types on Facebook? The entry screen is where they ease you into selecting campaigns based on you needs. Most of these campaigns run on a CPM basis, and that's the advertising format that guaranteees that your post will go in front of people and robots, it doesn't matter to facebook because it's on an impression. I don't know what percentage of CPM traffic is bots, but there have been a lot of studies and examples that the number is high.

 

I think a safe bet for Facebook is to treat it like a landing page with a view to getting the customer as quickly as possible away from the Social Network as possible. That the function that Facebook claims to be filling cannot be just as effectively managed in a much more personal way, likely at a cheaper cost, is highly likely :). For companies that use it for handling customer queries, ever heard of support chat on your website. 

 

I don't find the commentary of Facebook an adequate reflection of the world. The visual communication signs that are lost during the process of face to face dialogue mean that often things get misunderstood and those turn into flaming matches. That is as a user.

 

As an advertising tool I think it has really great potential. I think it works well for selling things that are aspirational. I have had success with these types of products. The numbers IAMLOST quotes are right ont the money. I have seen the most time on site coming from Facebook on travel and tourism projects, not onto e-commerce websites. Still there are ops for digital remarketing in facebook that allow us to cover all bases of the online space from search across to social. Your visitor might arrive through google on Dog Leads and then get remarketed from the blog on 5 things you want to know about dog leads with a discount coupon at the end. It's just about mapping the journey, which can take a bloody long time. Only 1458 products to go!

 

Glyn.


Edited by glyn, 17 March 2017 - 02:46 AM.


#22 bobbb

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 04:34 PM

Finally a use for likes.

http://fortune.com/2...uencer-program/
 

Amazon would choose among a pool of applicants based on factors including how many followers each one has across social media, and the quality and relevance of their posts for Amazon.com. Also critical, is the level of engagement their posts receive in the forms of "likes" or re-tweets or comments.




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