Obsessing over metrics like the number of “Likes” your organization’s Facebook Page has received is a fool’s game.
It’s also damn near irresistible, which is why a few cheers went up at NOW headquarters recently when we passed a minor milestone on that front. No bottles of anything were uncorked, mind you—we’re not that numbers-crazed.
And besides, we all took a hit on March 12.
That’s when Facebook removed the Likes of inactive accounts. (NOW’s Page lost about a dozen Likes.) If you’ve been living and breathing follower counts, you may not like the results. Facebook promised you’d just see “a small dip in [the] number of Page Likes,” but your mileage may well vary.
It’s a reminder, actually, of why you shouldn’t get too hung up on fluctuations in Twitter followers, Facebook fans or LinkedIn connections. There are a lot of inactive accounts out there… and a lot of accounts that are purely bogus, set up for shady purposes ranging from spam to sock-puppets. Now and then, the platforms will do a little spring cleaning; the phony accounts will vanish; numbers will drop; and social media managers will wince for a moment.
What should you focus on? The things that get you closer to your goals: reaching and engaging your target audiences, building valuable relationships and moving people to support you.
And if you still can’t shake your addiction to follower counts, good news: those are also the things that build them up, too—with the kind of real, active accounts that are still around after March 12.
Updated to add our post-March-12th experience.