As Sally Field would say, “They like me! They really like me!” This popular parody is a great way to describe the feelings that we get when we see another fan “like” our Facebook business page. Although this simple “thumbs up” may seem to be trivial, in a world driven by social media, it represents many things, including increased brand awareness, increased reach, more sales and a better Facebook page. Each like is basically social proof that your company is offering something of value.

Now, before you get too excited over the value of a Facebook like, consider a few things. In late August of this year, Facebook announced that they would be removing fraudulent likes from business pages. These likes may have come from duplicate, fake or compromised accounts, as well as malware or bulk purchases. Many companies saw their number of likes decrease, and although this can be a major bummer, you only want true likes, right? By Facebook clearing house, businesses now have a better idea as to their true following.

No matter how many fans you have – 5,000 or 500,000 – always keep a level-headed attitude about these potential leads. If you take them for granted and you don ‘t work hard to turn likes into customers, you won ‘t go very far. You may laugh at those that you leave behind in the dust with just a few hundred likes, but it ‘s very possible that these companies can end up doing far more with the numbers they have, allowing the tables to turn in a few short months.

Consider that there are many pages that have been on Facebook for a long time and have generated a large number of likes, but that doesn ‘t mean they ‘re necessarily doing an awesome job. But with the help of SEMGeeks experts, we know you ‘ll make the most of your fan base. Now, what to do with all those likes.

Right off the bat, more likes mean more brand awareness. As your posts are being displayed on some of your fans ‘ pages through viral reach, more people will see your content and wonder what your product or service is all about. You can also get people engaged in conversation by posting an interesting fact, asking for experiences or just posting something silly that you know will spark comments. The bottom line is that you want to create a fun and engaging atmosphere that will continue to draw new people in and keep existing fans interested in what you have to share.

Facebook fans are great, but it ‘s the increase in sales that will allow your business to flourish. With this in mind, you want to turn some of these likes into customers, so consider adding in some enticing incentives. Remember, always think in the eyes of the customer, so if a 5% discount isn ‘t enough to make you act, offer something better. Free shipping, a free gift with a purchase or a raffle for a $100 gift card are all examples of worthy incentives. You may even want to have a free offer in exchange for an email address.

As you begin to develop a steady target audience, you ‘ll know that people actually do like you, your cause and what you stand for. Just think of this like any ordinary relationship: it takes time, patience and diligence, but it ‘s well worth the effort.