FB Likes vs Follows. What’s Better for Your Local Business?

Jul 29, 2020

If you've ever been confused about the difference between a like and a follow on your Facebook page, you're not alone.  Most page owners keep track of likes, but don't necessarily understand how those differ from follows and which metric they should be keeping tabs on. 

FOLLOWS

When someone follows your Facebook page, it simply means they want to see your updates in their newsfeed and are asking Facebook to include them. 

Their personal friends won't see that they follow your page and they won't appear as a fan of your page in any public way.  

LIKES

By clicking the like button, a person is automatically following it as well.  The like provides a public way to display interest in a page.  When someone likes a page, that information is visible in their personal profile.

Facebook allows people to unfollow a page that they like.  This means they'll still publicly like the page but won't see updates in their newsfeed.

Think about that cousin who asked you to like their page where they sell handcrafted cat sweaters.  You liked the page but don't want to see their constant updates about cat sweaters so you unfollow it.  Your cousin still sees you as a loyal supporter, but you've shed the sweater talk. 

WHAT'S BETTER? LIKES OR FOLLOWS?

What does it all mean for your Facebook page?  Well, it's tricky.  Most people judging the social proof or popularity of a Facebook page look to see how many likes it has.  But if you want your posts to reach the most people in the newsfeed, the number of followers is your best indicator.   

For most pages, the number of likes and followers will be pretty similar.  If you have significantly more likes than followers, it could mean that people are liking your page but don't want to see your content.  That can be a red flag and an indicator to take a second look at your content strategy.   

It's recently been revealed by Tech Crunch that Facebook is testing a new layout for pages that removes likes all together and focuses solely on follows.   We'll have to wait and see how it plays out, but it looks as though Facebook may be losing its love affair with likes.

The number of likes vs follows isn't something to get too concerned about.  Engagement is a far better metric to track.  Fewer followers that are highly engaged will serve you better than a lot of people who cared only enough to click a like button.

For the best results, keep using Facebook as it was intended, as a platform to be social with those who want to learn more about your business, and don't get distracted by metrics that won't impact your bottom line.

 

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