Five years ago, building a social community was crucial. You would see more people engaging with your Facebook business page if your Page had more likes. You became more visible to a larger group of people the more people engaged with your posts.

The concept of social media marketing began with liking a Facebook Page – however, it has evolved over time. Some metrics from the past aren’t as important today, especially when those metrics are competing for finite budgets.

Despite what was just said, social proof does have value. Users rely on each other to validate brands and their offerings, but social proof signals are more nuanced than simply liking and following a page.

In light of this, do Facebook Page likes still matter? In a nutshell, not as much as they once did. Here are some reasons why.

Algorithm Changes In Facebook’s News Feed Have Slashed Organic Reach

It is no secret that Facebook has made it increasingly difficult to reach those who have connected to your brand’s Page. Due to the platform’s growing user base, Facebook had to find a way to maintain an optimal user experience as competition for space in the News Feed increased.

As Facebook’s News Feed algorithm has evolved, its optimal strategy has shifted accordingly. A recent Facebook update emphasized this by prioritising person-to-person interactions and content over Page posts. In essence, Facebook’s system aims to show users the most relevant content.

Prior to the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, you could be sure that at least a certain percentage of your audience would see your content organically; however, the changes to Facebook’s algorithm since then have further restricted that capacity. As a result, the only sure-fire way to reach a substantial portion of your audience is to invest in Facebook ads.

Due to the fact that paid strategies are now the best way to reach your target audience, you no longer need to build Page likes to create a community for sharing your content. Nowadays, brands can totally neglect counting likes and focus on other metrics that are of greater value.

Brands are frustrated by the fact that many users who like your brand’s Page may never see organic results due to changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm. As the algorithm evolves, the likelihood of this happening increases.

A Like Is Not A True Endorsement

Previously, users had to connect with a Facebook Page to leave a comment or interact with a post. Those requirements are no longer necessary, so users can find a brand’s Page by searching for it or discovering it through a friend’s share and participate in whatever conversation they wish.

Likes on Pages used to be a very public activity – every time a user liked a Page, the notification would appear on their News Feed, like this: “Tom and 15 of your friends liked this page.” This display of social proof doesn’t happen anymore.

Also, users are able to navigate to brand Pages and leave reviews and comments without having to connect.

In modern social media marketing, assuming that Page likes equate to endorsements of your brand is simply not correct – people will connect with your brand because they like the content you post and think it is relevant, but re-engaging those people will likely require spending money on advertising.

Likes On Facebook Don’t Correlate With Revenue

One study revealed that only 1% of Facebook users who like a brand actually visit that brand’s Facebook page. Due to the fact that Facebook users spend most of their time on the news feed, counting on Page likes to drive business results is not a good idea – it’s almost like being obsessed with a car that doesn’t take you anywhere.

In spite of your efforts to build the best brand Page in the world, statistically, none of the Facebook Page likes you gain will lead to revenue.