Self storage marketers know the value that social media plays when spreading the word about their business. The people who like a page on Facebook are arguably the most valuable type of audience. These are people who voluntarily connect with a business so there is already a declared and open interest in the product. The importance of Facebook fans does not go unnoticed to online marketers so when the number of likes on business pages dropped significantly this week, everyone took notice.If your self storage Facebook fan page previously enjoyed a healthy number of likes and the number dropped this week, don’t be alarmed or think that you’ve made a grievous error in your online marketing efforts. Your Facebook fans didn’t suddenly develop a deep disdain for your self storage business; it turns out they were never really active in the first place.
Last quarter, Facebook boasted that it had more than 1 billion users all over the globe. What it didn’t reveal was the percentage of those who were not actively using the site. On March 12, Facebook removed page likes from accounts that have been deactivated or memorialized. (Memorialized accounts belong to people who have died but their family and friends choose to keep the account open so that people can still share memories of the deceased.)
Facebook is calling this move a business decision. The social media giant collects a lot of data on its users. So much data that at times, some have argued that it borders on infringing the privacy of its users. The removal of like from inactive accounts is meant to further serve businesses by providing more accurate demographic information. Facebook already filters out likes and comments from inactive users so this update is meant to keep the data consistent. From this point forward, Facebook plans to remove a like from a Page’s count as soon as a user deactivates her or his account or has the account memorialized.
The company pulled a similar move with Instagram in December 2014 but that was targeted towards spam account. Since social media advertising gained its traction in the past couple years, there has been a concerted effort to provide more accurate data to advertisers, similar to those that exist in traditional marketing.
The decrease in likes for your self storage business’ fan page is necessarily a bad thing. If you are spending money to advertise on social media, then you wouldn’t want to waste those dollars reaching people who don’t even use the site anymore. Targeting your efforts and reaching individuals who have an actual interest in your brand is much more valuable that just having a high number of likes.