What is the difference between people who LIKE my page and those that FOLLOW it?

Decoding Facebook lingo seems to be a regular issue for business owners that manage their own Facebook marketing. The difference between Likes and Followers on Facebook can be confusing so here is the lowdown on both LIKES and FOLLOWS and what you should aim for on your business page.

LIKES - When people click on the 'LIKE' button or thumbs up symbol they become a fan of a page and the page is listed on their own profile. When someone likes a Page they are by default also following it.

FOLLOWS - People automatically follow a Page when they choose to like it. People can choose to unfollow a Page. In that case, the person is still shown as liking the Page, but they will not see all of the Page's posts. (This might be useful when you want to follow a business to support it but aren't actually interested in their content.)

People can also Follow a Page without liking it first. They'll still see posts from the Page in their Newsfeed but they won't be counted as a 'Like' on the business page. This is why the number of Likes or Follows on a Page don't always match.

Followers can choose to VIEW FIRST the content provided by a Page. This indicates that they are really interested in your content and are likely to be highly engaged. 

So is it better to have LIKES or FOLLOWERS on your page?

Ideally you want people to LIKE and FOLLOW your page. Thankfully most people automatically follow a page when they like it as they don’t realise that they can unfollow it. The real value is in people who choose to adjust their Follower status so that they see your content first. They are highly engaged and are asking to be delivered your content despite what the Facebook algorithm would normally deliver to them.

Providing people who like your page with relevant and engaging content is the key to keeping these people as followers too. The more entertaining they find the content the more they interact with it (like, share & comment). The more people engage with your content, the more Facebook will deliver your content to more people. (Goodness that was a lot of mores!)

Is the number of LIKES a page has an indicator of success?

Be wary of only appraising success of your page by the number of ‘LIKES’ it has. Likes include all of the people that have chosen to ‘like’ your page at one point, but these same people may not necessarily engage with your page now. If your 'Likers' have not engaged with your page content in the past, the Facebook algorithm will not necessarily deliver your content to them. So they like your page but hardly ever see your content and therefore may not actually engage with it.

NOTE: It is useful to target ads at ‘people who like my page’ because this helps ensure all of your ‘likers’ see your content.

*** Remember I am talking here about Business pages and not personal Facebook pages. The people who 'follow' you on your personal Facebook page are called your 'Friends' (even if you are really only 'Facebook friends!'). Despite your business Facebook page being linked to your personal Facebook profile, your friends will not see your business page content unless you share it on your personal page or they have chosen to like your business page. 

If you would like a personal consultation to help decode your Facebook marketing problems please get in touch.