Why your Facebook ‘Likes’ Aren’t Enough

Following on from the recent post on Facebook etiquette I felt that it was important to demonstrate this in the metrics behind your Facebook page. The data does not lie and if your page is not preforming what is the data that you need to examine.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – your Facebook ‘likes’ are irrelevant and a waste of your time!

On that bombshell, lets begin to look at the metrics that really matter. When you view your Facebook insights you can see that your posts get two metrics assigned to them, ‘reach’ and ‘engagement’.

When Facebook refers to ‘reach’ it is the number of times that your post has been seen. This sounds super if you have nice numbers here; however all that Facebook can tell you about your ‘reach’ is, your post appeared on someone’s news feed while they were scrolling though more attractive posts. So this does not mean that it was actively viewed, it may have been passively scanned over before their friends wedding pictures caught their eye.

‘Engagement’ however is the real metric, the one that you really want to pay attention to. When facebook refers to engagements they are talking about when a person clicks on a post/link, comments, uses the reactions (like) button, or shares it. This is a more telling metric, as it means that the person is actively involved with your post and has chosen to be interested in it.

These aren't mine I 'borrowed' them off Google Images.
These aren’t mine I ‘borrowed’ them off Google Images.

It’s all in the numbers

With Facebook, businesses are always after page ‘likes’, of course there has to be a large enough number of ‘likes’ for your page to have some decent ‘reach’. However, ‘likes’ are only a small part of the puzzle. Facebook, ‘like’ many other information delivery systems online, has an algorithm. The algorithm uses a number of calculation signals based on the data that the user has ‘generated’, to present information that is of the highest value to the user. With Facebook, it will slowly reduce the visibility and frequency of a pages’ posts to the user, as they reduce their interaction with the page.

So in plain English, if they are not Clicking, Liking and Sharing your posts they are eventually not going to see them in their news feed any more. You can have plenty of ‘likes’ on your page however, due to the lack of interaction from the users it means that many of them may not be about to see your pages’ posts any more.

facebook-app-notifications-listThe numbers will dwindle.

The added issue with the lack of interaction is visibility. When a user ‘likes’, comments or shares a page, their friends can see it in their updates or news feed. Humans are social creatures and a referral or recommendation is more powerful than an advert, people like to use recommendations to see if a company or service is worth investing in. Now you have an additional issue, the users friends are not seeing your posts either.

Engagement is the key

Lets compare two accounts and take two of their highest preforming posts from February 2017.

  • Account A has 72 ‘likes’ – it’s best performing post of February 2017 has a ‘reach’ of 679, it was clicked 180 times and had 51 reactions, comments and shares.
  • Account B has 12,992 ‘likes’– it’s best performing post of February 2017 has a ‘reach’ of 530, it was clicked 7 times and had 3 reactions, comments and shares.

While account A has very little ‘likes’, on ‘reach’ it is preforming 22% better than Account B with its 12,992 ‘likes’. Even more impressive, account A is also preforming better on clicks at 97% and Reactions, Comments and Shares at 95%.

What this tells us is, you can gather as many ‘likes’ as you wish, with advertising or a good brand name, however you need to have the ‘engagement’ to back this up you are waiting time, budget and energy. This is why your posts on Facebook and other social media need to both follow the rules and be interesting enough to encourage interaction and ‘engagement’. You need to ask yourself as a business, ‘What would make someone what to recommend this post to their friends?” or even better, “What would make me what to share or ‘Like’ this post?”.