Facebook allows users of its social networking site to comment on its pages without Liking them now.
This is a step in a direction that might make advertisers, brand managers and marketing people feel a little uneasy, because it means they may have to start thinking deeply for their brand rather than just counting hits.
One of the main benchmarks for tracking brand awareness was in being able to track how many "fans" or followers to a brand page managed by the company or agency.
Facebook pages are now like a revolving door. That means they allow many more people to come into the page and write on it, creating a catalyst for building a brand culture on the social networking site.
People can come in and leave a comment and can never be seen again. But the move could mean greater things for marketing, and one social media manager told us that the emphasis on "Likes" has really hampered proper brand interaction and conversation on the web.
"If a social media manager is using likes to measure the impact of a Facebook page or brand, they are measuring the wrong thing," says Stuart Tracte, Social Media Strategist at Definition 6. "They should be measuring conversions. How is Facebook impacting you overall business goals? THAT'S what I want to know."
We had already reported that just over 41% of people who Like a brand drop that brand page by "disliking" it after any type of marketing or advertising campaign ends. Facebook seems to be putting a crimp in the assumption that sites like Facebook make it easier to run marketing campaigns because they are social and that numbers alone actually mean something.
They do not. Semantics mean something, obviously.
Facebooking for, and engaging with, a brand is now about meaning and resolving issues. It's about quality of posts, tone and managing the creativity of the brand's image and its engagement style.
"A comment requires some level of thought and engagement. Measuring likes is a simple way to measure potential reach, but means very little when it comes to the bottom line of any brand," says Tracte.