The Mystery of the Disappearing Facebook Likes, Solved!

All diligent online marketing pros watch their likes and followers carefully, especially on a buzzing social media marketing hub like Facebook. If that’s you, you may have noticed that you’re seeing a sharp decline in the number of page likes you’re getting. Of course, there’s a normal ebb and flow in your follower numbers but there has been something else. Something secret and behind the scenes? A nefarious plot? Whatever you feel about this new hurdle in your social media marketing efforts, the whizz kids at Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency might have discovered the answer. Read on to find out more!

The September Shift

For many active Facebook pages, this mysterious decline in subscribers started about mid-September last year. The losses are steep, and there’s no natural flow or evidence of new likes onboarding, either. 

Digging deeper with the data at hand, the trouble spot seems to be results from your paid advertising. No matter how much money you’re pumping into your social spend, page likes from paid advertising have become scarce indeed. Has the whole world started to fail at paid advertising or has there been an (unannounced) shift in how Facebook is handling your paid results?

We’ll let you guess which is more likely!

What has Changed with Paid Facebook Ads?

Go fire up your latest social campaign metrics. We’ll wait.

Notice anything different about those ads you so carefully crafted? The ‘follow’ button has been removed. This nifty little helper allowed fans to not only like your page, but also follow your content directly from the ad they were seeing without having to click through to the page itself. It was all handled within the ad frame. With this gone, it’s only natural that the number of likes driven by the campaign would take a nosedive. Most viewers won’t even realise this feature has disappeared, let alone take the extra 2 steps required to ensure they see your content again.

Why Facebook has Ended the Follow Button. Without Warning

Needless to say, no matter how you scour their official media, you won’t see an announcement of this change. So any reason you find can only be speculation. However, some of their latest changes have also adversely affected business accounts, and Meta, the Facebook parent company, are on record towards the end of last year as saying that they wish to emphasise personal connections over their business customers. It’s as solid an answer to the sudden change as any, right?

What You Need to Do Now

Of course, we can’t force them to roll back whatever the latest change has been. So savvy marketers like yourself need to start off understanding that the advertising-driven likes you’re used to will no longer happen. Does that mean you should close up shop and give up? Of course not! Now more than ever, you need to ensure your advertising campaigns truly understand how Facebook works, and what draws audiences to your page.

For example, with the boom in short-form video content across all social media, the Facebook algorithm now prioritises video. There’s a niche you can leverage to drive up your results once again. By carefully understanding what you’re posting, and the results each strategy brings in, will help you recover from the lost likes as much as possible and ensure your social media marketing goals are still being met.

It’s situations like these that reveal how important having a solid, fluid, and adaptable online marketing campaign backed by careful data analysis can be. That’s exactly why Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency is here to help you make the best of your digital marketing efforts, without drowning under extra responsibilities. So if you’re looking to make 2023 your best marketing year ever, feel free to get in touch we’re always here to help!