The reason I think this is the most important metric is because getting more fans on Facebook is just a means to an end. On Facebook, the magic happens when brands activate their fans in ways that inspire them to share those messages with their friends. Advertisers spend millions of dollars on elaborately conceived advertising campaigns, yet often what really makes up a consumer’s mind is not only simple but also free: a word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted source – and that’s the power that Facebook has, and what you should be measuring.
When someone likes your content they endorse it for all their friends to see which holds all the benefits of the above study. So don’t just focus on getting more and more likes, also focus on nurturing those fans with an end of recommending you to their friends.