Facebook Likes vs Facebook Follows
“Facebook is in a very different place than Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft. We are trying to build a community.” – Mark Zuckerberg
For this guide, we will be talking about pages rather than personal profiles. Just in case you aren’t sure what these are, the main differences are that a personal profile represents a person on Facebook and can send, receive and accept friend requests, whereas a page will mostly represent a business and can be liked rather than befriended.
A very quick and simple overview of the differences between Facebook likes and follows:
What happens when someone ‘likes’ your page?
- They are added to a list of people you can use for remarketing
- They are added as a follower of your page by default
What happens when someone follows your page?
- Your posts become eligible to show in the follower’s personal newsfeed
- A liker gets the option to change their follow to a “see first” follow, prioritising your posts over posts from other pages.
Basically, a “follow” is better for reaching people with organic posts and a “like” is better for reaching people through paid advertising.
Though Facebook likes are required for someone to follow your page, the reverse is not true.
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There is an option to unfollow a page after liking it but, more likely, if someone doesn’t like the posts that they are seeing from your page they will simply unlike your page (which will unfollow it too) as the ‘follow mechanic’ in Facebook is understood by few.
Those who do understand the mechanic will know that they can also receive more posts from a page they really like by updating their follow to a “see first” follow. For obvious reasons, this is the most desirable option for a page.
To get more “see first” follows, strangely, the best way is to educate and ask… something along the lines of “If you are enjoying our content and want to see it more often you can go to our page and change your like to a see first like”. Think carefully before you do this though, not all situations are the same and this could work for some and not for others.
As always with Facebook, the best practice is to post relevant, high quality, useful content to give you the best chance at convincing someone to not only like your page, but to not unlike or unfollow it.
Understanding the nuances and details to make social media work is, in itself, a full time job. Seek out the support and expertise of dedicated experts in this field if you really want social media to work for your business.