Someday, I will have the opportunity to prove to a client or prospect beyond any reasonable doubt that this is true. In the meantime, I will continue to write about it in hopes that the facts will win out.
To prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, I would have to take a page that has zero fans and send massive engagement and traffic with a small budget. Then, we’d need to look at the statistics to show that a page that starts off with zero likes can have more than just paid reach. It can have more organic reach than pages that have tons of likes.
We do have examples, not to the extreme of having zero fans, but by demonstrating that through strong content and proper use of advertising we can get strong organic reach. Here’s a quick one that’s pretty clear:
As you can see, this page has 2,458 people liking it. However, you’ll see that the small budget, in this case around $ 15, was able to get it good paid exposure. More importantly, it generated more organic reach than the number of people who like the page.
Now, let’s look at a different page. It has nearly 8 times as many likes, but the reach is minimal.
The gap is crystal clear. Facebook has been pulling back on organic reach for some time. While many will say that it’s all about greed and the bottom line to force pages to use money to get exposure, it’s more likely about what the users want. When they see page posts on their news feeds, they are much less likely to engage with those posts than the posts of their friends and family. Still, they’re a business, so the reduction of organic reach and the rise of sponsoring posts is the end result.
You’ll notice that I said that page likes are 99% worthless. There’s one minor benefit. Some would call it credibility. Others would call it ego. Either way, having a page that people are liking gives a psychological boost to the page to let people demonstrate how popular their page really is. While likes are infinitesimal in importance compared to reach, it’s still a benefit.
Focus on content. Put a budget behind it. Give your page real reach rather than the artificial benefits associated with page popularity.