facebook 375

Facebook Pages, used by radio stations, shows and air personalities, is receiving a makeover that includes the elimination of the “Like” button. Production directors around the country will have to re-work promos that for years have told listeners, “If you like us, we’ll like you back.” But alas, Genesis to the rescue: “I will follow you; will you follow me.” You see, Follow is the new Like.

“We are removing Likes and focusing on Followers to simplify the way people connect with their favorite Pages,” Asad Awan, head of public connections and monetization at Facebook said when making the announcement, MediaPost reports. “Unlike Likes, Followers of a Page represent the people who can receive updates from Pages, which helps give public figures a stronger indication of their fan base.”

The update may be slightly confusing for digital department heads who manage station Facebook Pages, but the aim is to offer a more direct measurement of how the page connects with people.

Lori Lewis of social media consultancy Lori Lewis Media says the change is a move in the right direction, and stations should continue to be proactive in interacting with their Followers on the platform. “Generating conversation in the social space is more memorable than garnering ‘likes,’” she tells Inside Radio. “People appreciate actual interaction – that’s why they gravitate towards brands who come at social from the fan point of view. Engagement skyrockets when brands reply to comments… when done right, this will bolster interaction, making the brand look livelier to the fans.”

While the Facebook platform is in an almost constant state of change, one thing remains the same, Lewis says. “I think back to 2008 when I began working with brands in the social space. Then and now I speak ad nauseam on the ‘A’ word, Acknowledgment. Every person counts. Acknowledge the audience… Acknowledgment 100% builds on audience retention, and it’s what Facebook wants to see more of. With all its flaws, Facebook has been working to make it more of a conversation platform. Brands would do well to hand over Facebook to those who are inherently chatty, and create a plan to really start getting to know the fans.”