How will Facebook’s Like cull impact social media pros?

Social media pros

First it was Instagram sending influencers into meltdown. Now it seems that parent network Facebook is looking to follow suit by hiding the overall Like count for posts. They say it’s better for our mental health. We say that’s probably true. But how could the move impact on the work of social media pros?

In many ways it’s unlikely to change how we operate. As our well-received, free-to-download guide to influencer marketing goes to show, Likes are a basic metric and don’t truly reflect the success of a post or campaign. But then not everyone with an interest in the performance of social media activity would consider themselves social media pros.

The fallout means social media pros will need to show clear evidence to non-pros

We have always been outspoken advocates of transparency and evidence in PR and marketing.  The comms equivalent of showing your working in a maths exam, if the most obvious (albeit potentially false) indicators of effective social media work are removed then it’s more important than ever to prove the true value of branded digital output.

There are many ways in which this can be done. Take a look at this post by Smoking Gun’s CEO Rick Guttridge for an idea as to how we can combine a range of metrics, analyse and read between the lines to get a clear idea as to how effective the post— and account that made the post— has been.

It’s probably not going to change how we approach briefs as social media pros

When it comes to content itself, simply hiding a Like count is unlikely to have much of an impact on what we decide to post. The type of content created and shared is decided on by a range of factors. Everything from brand voice to the audience’s core values guides social media pros. The performance of previous posts certainly dictates future postings, but this isn’t about counting likes and trying to emulate.

We can only imagine that this will help problem users stop obsessing over numbers

It’s important to realise that we’re talking about removing the Like count from the front end of posts. Account holders will still be able to see these numbers when lifting the lid on their performance analytics.

However, making Like counts invisible to the main network could positively change the way both account holder and Followers respond.

The person doing the posting may feel there are less critical eyes watching to see if they can maintain good numbers for a sustained period of time. Those watching might feel less pressure to match the high impact work of influential account holders.

 

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