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Social Media Confusion: Do you “like” it enough to “follow” it?

Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social media platforms used by businesses to promote their products and services. So when it comes to measuring the success of a business's social media campaign, likes and follows are the two most commonly used metrics. But which is more important? And is there a difference?

When Facebook first launched, likes were all we cared about - and for good reason. We all were in the same boat whether personal or business: we need people to choose to see our content (and let’s face it, we like being “liked”!). Today, that means something different.

Likes are a way for Facebook and Instagram users to show that they appreciate the content that a business has shared. A like is a simple gesture that doesn't require any further action from the user. It's an easy and quick way for users to acknowledge the content and show their support for the business. Likes are also a way for businesses to gauge the popularity of their content. The more likes a post receives, the more popular it is with the audience. However, likes do not necessarily translate into more business for the company.

On the other hand, follows are a more significant metric for businesses. A follow means that a user has chosen to see the business's content regularly. When a user follows a business on Facebook or Instagram, they will see the business's posts in their feed, which increases the likelihood of engagement with the content. Follows indicate a higher level of interest and engagement from the user, which is valuable for businesses as it can lead to increased brand awareness and ultimately more business.

Likes are also easier to obtain than follows. Users can like a post without thinking too much

about it, whereas a follow requires more consideration from the user. A follow means that the user is committing to seeing the business's content on a regular basis, so they are more likely to be selective about the businesses they choose to follow.

It's important for businesses to understand the differences between likes and follows because they can use this information to refine their social media strategies. If a business is mainly focused on getting likes, they may be missing out on the potential benefits of getting more follows. A business should aim to create content that is engaging and interesting to their target audience, which will increase the likelihood of getting more follows.

In addition, businesses should also consider the quality of their followers. It's better to have 100 engaged and interested followers than 1000 followers who don't interact with the business's content (How do you do that? Stay tuned for another blog and video allllll about the heart of social media and how we strive to be engaging). Businesses should focus on building a loyal and engaged following, which will lead to more business in the long run.

While both likes and follows are important metrics for businesses on Facebook and Instagram, follows are generally more valuable. Follows indicate a higher level of interest and engagement from the user, which can lead to increased brand awareness and ultimately more business. Businesses should focus on creating engaging and interesting content that will attract more follows and build a loyal and engaged following over time.

Willow and Sage Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in helping small business owners realize their full potential. Our job is to create a strategy that blends the organic and the paid, the owners' dreams and the living brand. We’re passionate about helping brands find their creative voice. With over 25 years of experience navigating the marketing arena for corporate entities, nonprofit groups, and small business owners, we are sure in our knowledge, marketing ideas, and methods! We’re here to make your life easier and help small businesses to grow!

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