Err, what is the difference between likes and followers on Facebook?
So, every month on our social media pages we conduct a Q&A on all things social media-y. It’s totally free to get involved, and we answer a broad spectrum of questions. Everything from basic social media queries (how do I set up a Twitter account for my business?) to more complicated problems (our page has been banned by Facebook, how can I get it reinstated?). We do this not just to shout about our skillset (we’re social media geniuses, obvs), but to give something back to the local community.
Some of the questions we’ve been asked during our #DigiChat Q&A sessions have led to blog posts, particularly the more recent ones such as which social media platform you should use for your business. You should totally join us for our next one, by the way – it’s in March, and you can find it in the Events section of our Facebook page.
If we’re honest, though, we just hate crap marketing. To us, it’s worse than no marketing at all. So if we can save ourselves the heartache of having to see rubbish marketing or a badly managed business page, then we’ll do that. You’re doing our hearts a favour.
This week’s question…
This week, our question came to us via the lovely Kathy, a long-time participant in our Q&A sessions. It was a very simple one, and it was this.
What’s the difference between Likes and Follows on a Facebook page?
Honestly, it rather pulled us up short. We obviously take into account both figures in our metrics, noting when they increase or decrease, but I certainly hand on heart couldn’t say I’d ever considered what the difference was. Is it important, in the grand scheme of things?
Likes vs Followers
A (Facebook) like is a person who has chosen to attach their name to your page as a fan. When someone likes a page, they are showing support for that page. The page will show up in the about section of a person’s account under likes.
A (Facebook) follow is a person who has chosen to see updates posted by a page on his/her news feed. If someone follows a Facebook page, it means the content from the Facebook page will show up on the person’s news feed. By default, when you like a page, you will automatically follow it and this means the content from the page will show up on your newsfeed.
So, that answers the questions about what they are. If you’re attracting likes, then that’s a good thing. It means people want to be seen as liking your business or product, and they want info from your Facebook page to show up in your timeline.
What happens if the numbers are different?
Because if someone likes your page and they automatically follow you, then the numbers for both should be the same, right?
But that’s not always the case. And that’s because at some stage, the people who have liked your page have manually unfollowed you. Your content won’t show up on their timeline.
Time to re-think your content
We’ve never seen a significant difference between Likes & Followers on the business pages we manage, but there is sometimes a small discrepancy. When we see that, we take time to analyse what we’re doing with the page.
Is the content we’re posting engaging to our followers? They obviously still want to be associated with us in some way as they’ve not simply unliked the page. Have we lost touch with who our audience is? Are we being consistent with our posting? We take some of these things into account, we regroup and we move forward.
It’s easy for us as a business to continually look at what we’re doing and refresh it if necessary, because it’s our job to do that. But when you’re running your own business, and wearing all the hats that entails, it’s easy to forget about social media strategy. If it’s working, why reinvent the wheel, right?
In summary – take a look at your Likes v Followers, and if the follower figures are significantly less than the likes, you need to give serious reconsideration to your strategy.
And come join us in March if you’re looking for advice! We always love to hear new voices and answer new questions.