A new social media client contacted us with some concern. She saw that some people had unLiked her Facebook fan page in the past couple of days. It was true: some people had unLiked her. But twice as many had Liked her.
How can you tell whether you should worry about unLikes?
Did people unLike you for cause?
Your veterinary clinic usually posts cute puppy photos and helpful pet care tips, but yesterday you posted a rant about service animal regulations and today you’ve lost 22 fans? There’s some cause and effect there. If you post about controversial things, people may choose to unLike your page just to express their views or because they’re offended.
We’re not saying you should avoid controversy. Especially if you’re writing well-reasoned articles about controversies relevant to your brand, controversy can be engaging and exciting, not to mention useful. Your readers may be trying to make up their minds about whether to buy pet insurance or crate train their puppies, and your views may help them decide. Controversies can also spark great discussions. But be prepared, because posting on emotional topics can cause people to unLike you.
Have you increased post frequency or boosted a post?
If you’ve been posting just occasionally and you hire someone like Haden Interactive to post for you on a regular basis, you will suddenly show up on people’s walls where you haven’t been showing before. They might have Liked your page at some point in the past, but they might not like having a business show up on their Facebook page when they really just want to see pictures of their friends’ night out or their nephew’s new tooth.
Some of those people will unLike you. On the other hand, some of those people will be reminded of your business and come schedule an appointment or buy from you, which is exactly what you want.
Ditto for boosting a post or running an ad — you’ll show up for people who don’t already know you, and some may Like that carefully-targeted post, but not be that into your regular posts. We often see quite a few unLikes from the people who Liked a page during a paid campaign.
Getting some unLikes is the price for getting your message out to more people who actually want to hear from you.
By the way, the client who asked us about unLikes actually had fewer unLikes than normal for the time period. Sometimes it’s not that you’re getting more unLikes when you start posting more regularly or investing in paid posts, but that you’re noticing them more because you’re paying more attention to your social media.
Are you ignoring Facebook business etiquette?
Here’s where you really have to be honest with yourself. Are your posts basically ads? Are you promoting yourself constantly and forgetting to be a generous member of the community? Are you posting irritating clickbait headlines that take people to something different from what they expected? Are you making snide comments about people that show your worst side?
That’s not how it’s done. Facebook is basically a social spot. It’s okay to talk shop at a party if you can make it an entertaining story or keep it among people who are interested in the topic. It’s not okay to thrust your business cards into people’s hands or to make sales pitches at the dinner table.
Your customers are honoring you if they decide to Like your page and follow your posts. Behave honorably in return.
Do the unLikes math.
Looking at all the Facebook accounts we manage over a period of 90 days, we see that the average is 1 unLike for every 4 Likes. That is, an account that gets 10 new Likes in a week can expect to have a couple of unLikes. This is across the board: social cause and political accounts as well as CPG and healthcare accounts, those that boost posts and those that don’t. Naturally, some will have a higher percentage of Likes and some will have a higher percentage of unLikes. Look at your account over time and see what’s normal for you.
That way, when you see that you’ve had a few unlikes in one week, you’ll know whether it’s more than usual or not.
Bottom line, getting some unLikes is not a bad thing, unless they’ve unLiked you because you did some bad things. Otherwise, you’re losing people who are not interested in your goods and services right now, and you’re probably also gaining some people who need what you have to offer. The result is likely to be higher conversion rates, and better results for your business.