Facebook engagement

It's one of the toughest decisions to make. Most who should do it are unwilling to pull the trigger. Unfortunately, mistakes made in the early days of growing a Facebook page often require you to head back to the drawing board, erase everything, and start fresh.

Most companies and marketing agencies are now aware that buying Facebook fans is an exceptionally bad idea. The quality of the fans is poor. The inflated numbers are easy to sniff out. The lack of engagement is a deafening silence. Worst of all, if you want to use Facebook advertising, having an awful array of irrelevant fans can make the cost of advertising too high compared to the return, at least in the case of sponsored stories that target fans as well as friends of fans.

If your Facebook page is too big, you can't purge it very easily. For some reason, Facebook only allows you to go back and remove your last 500 fans. Many used fan buying as a way to jumpstart their page and make it appear more relevant than it was. This makes it extremely challenging to fix the page since the fans in the beginning are too far back to get to without deleting any of the good fans you've accumulated recently.

This is when it's decision time. Do you waste the money and hurt your EdgeRank by advertising to the poor fans? Do you avoid advertising to fans altogether and focus only on demographic or email-list Facebook advertising? Or, do you waste all of the effort put into the page in the past by deleting it altogether and starting over?

The only way to answer the question is to look at your engagement...

Facebook page redo

If you have 94K fans and 31 people are talking about the page, it's probably best to start from scratch. This is an extreme case, of course, but it's not out of the realm of reality for your Facebook page. A strong, engaging page that is posting regularly but not too much should be getting at least 3% of their total fans "talking about" the page. The number range greatly; some pages are doing well with 20% engagement or more.

Here's a decent example of a standard local business page with the right amount of good fans engaging well with the content:

fan engagement

The numbers are more realistic. The engagement is much higher. Thankfully, they were able to get on the right track without inflating their fan count.

It is extremely difficult to salvage a page that has been flooded with low-quality likes. Whatever tactic was used, whether fans were bought, "coaxed" into liking a page through an irrelevant offer, or if the page participated in any other fan-draw schemes that had nothing to do with the local business, it's often best to go back to the beginning. You can hit the drawing board with a new page or you can start manually deleting fans one at a time.

Both avenues are painful. The only thing more painful is having to work your way through Facebook marketing with a tainted page.