You Like Me. Right Now, You Like Me!

via Sally Field is often misquoted when people refer to her 1984 Academy Awards Best Actress acceptance speech. Rather than the oft-heard “You like me. You really like me,” Field actually said “You like me. Right now, you like me!” (proof)

When it comes to Facebook and liking, “right now” is the operative word (rather words).

You see, over the past several months, we’ve been noticing shifts – some lightning fast and others glacial – in what advertising or promotional tactic works best on the world’s largest social network when it comes to growing fans. Right now, the answer seems to be Like Ads.

For much of 2012 and the early part of 2013, Promoted Posts were King. Companies that manage their profiles well were taking their best content and paying to promote it to a wider audience than their existing fan base. The theory was that this content – if written well and using a good image – would be well received enough to turn these potential fans into real ones. And it worked.

Then it stopped working. First slowly, then more dramatically. We saw accounts that were gaining 100 new fans per week drop to 10 with the same budget and same fun, pithy content. Clearly, something changed and, as a result, we needed to, as well.

What to do? Facebook’s advertising platform and myriad ways of reaching its members continues to evolve, and mid-year, Like Ads – true to their name – stood out as the new champion of driving new folks to Like a page. That 90% drop in Promoted Post performance was completely reversed and then some. In fact, we’ve seen some clients spend less on Like Ads today than they were on Promoted Posts in their heyday, and they’re seeing 15-20% better page growth.

The other important thing to remember about Like Ads is that now, with all these new folks coming to your page, it’s even more critical to provide regular, fresh content, a good cover image, and strong relationship-building commentary with fans. The more people who come (as a result of those Like Ads), the more brands have to do to make sure their legions of fans stay connected.

Again, though, “right now” is the operative word, and it’s a word of caution.

When it comes to social media, there’s no such thing as autopilot. What works today may not tomorrow, and it’s imperative for brands to not only monitor the performance of their pages and profiles, but also to analyze the data they get back and react and optimize accordingly. Success in social media is not a given or a one-tactic show. It comes from smart planning, hard work, a quick-response mindset, and knowing which tools to implement and when.

So, when someone within your organization asks you, “Do you think we should be running Like Ads?,” after doing some more research, the conversation you should have should start with “Right now…”

(Author’s Note: Facebook has many tools for many different needs. While this particular article focuses on the goal of driving page Likes, your goals may differ and other tools may be needed. In all cases, it’s best to understand your objective and then look for tools that can help best achieve those objectives.)