In November, Facebook eliminated “like-gates,” the practice of requiring users to “like” a page in order to participate in a contest or access exclusive content.
In December the “Instagram Rapture” removed millions of fake accounts and sent the follower counts for the heaviest users – including Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian – plummeting overnight.
Most recently, Facebook took steps to remove voluntarily deactivated or memorialized accounts from pages’ “like” counts, causing a smaller scale drop in likes for many brand pages, including several pages we manage.
Facebook’s change makes sense; after all, it’s meant to take users who no longer use Facebook out of the equation and it’s an extension of policies already in place that remove likes and comments from inactive users from individual posts.
It seems like every time a social media channel announces a clean-up effort, the changes prompt an online uproar from social media managers who live and die by their follower counts, along with an outpouring of articles on how to survive under the new rules. Want our advice? Stop worrying about short-term shifts in the numbers and instead focus on building a quality social media following.
Cleaning out inactive accounts– and certainly fake, spammy accounts – makes it easier for marketers and social media managers to build a profile of their true followers and engage with people who want to hear from their brand. It makes targeting tools like Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences more accurate. And, frankly, it makes social media more enjoyable to use when you’re not constantly monitoring your accounts for computer-generated comments and spammy posts.
So if all the social media housecleaning had a major impact on your online following, give us a call. We’re happy to talk about long-term strategies for building an audience that will stick around to hear what you have to say.