If you're a small business or a startup with a limited budget and resources, stop chasing Facebook likes. Seriously. Yesterday morning I spent time checking out some small business groups on LinkedIn and was stunned by the number of small business and startup owners who were (consensually) hounding each other to increase the number of Facebook likes on their pages. It was surreal:
This thread had nearly 400 comments, consisting entirely of people adding their Facebook page links and saying 'Thanks! Like me and I'll like you back!" This like-trading behaviour then rippled onto the businesses' Facebook pages ...
... which included one comment that has now become my personal favourite:
This is madness. Sure, these people may have superficially increased their Like count, but I doubt any of them made any extra revenue from this silliness.
You'd be astounded at how intricate some people's calculations of Facebook's marketing value are*, but when it comes right down to it, the basic equation of business value doesn't change: the value of your campaign = the revenue generated by the campaign - the time and cost involved in making it happen (including the opportunity cost).
If you're a small business owner and you can't afford the luxury of hiring someone to do your marketing for you, recognize that time is your most limited resource. Don't waste it making noise just for the sake of having a high noise count.
- For the record, Dan Zarrella's equation for 'the value of a Facebook Like' got shredded in the comments thread of his post. If you're interested, one professor wrote a pretty comprehensive breakdown of Zarrella's miscalculations/misrepresentations worth reading.