That awkward relationship between Facebook likes and reach

The Pick and Roll’s Facebook page has gone through the roof over the course of less than two months. On 12 Jun 2014, it was at 16,205 likes. As of 27 Jul 2014, it was 27,100. We had gained approximately 11,000 likes, or a growth of 67% within 5 weeks. How crazy is that?

Disclaimer: We have never spent on advertising for Facebook likes.

The page growth has been staggering, seeing as we were 5,614 at site launch – this was late Sep 2013. It’s taken plenty of hard work via consistent posting and sharing to get the page up to the 5 digit mark, and then we hit a plateau right around mid-Apr 2014. I for one, thought that was going to be it for a while. And then the crazy thing happened, and you can see via the graph below, how meteoric the current spike has been.

Facebook growth

The interesting thing about this phenomena however, is that it seems to be triggered by Facebook itself, more than any kind of paid advertising on our side.

How useful would likes be though, if your content doesn’t get out to them? I could very well boast of 27,000 as a portfolio, but if Facebook’s algorithm is restricting post visibility to say 2,000 for example, it wouldn’t be making much difference unless I paid to boost post visibility. I have tested Facebook ads before, and the general conclusion so far is that boosting works pretty well, with a high engagement rate and low cost. (More to come in another post if I can be bothered.)

More than the number of likes though, I’m more concerned with other metrics like keeping our overall fan composition dominantly Australian, being able to engage with them (post visibility, getting them responding to our content, making sure they like the stuff we post) and of course, reading our articles! At the end of the day, maintaining the quality of the product is more important than anything else. On Facebook, that means the entertainment value of the posts we put up, and making sure people see it, and like it enough to want to share it.

Not complaining about the wave of likes though! All aboard and moving on.

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