Last Updated on 5 months by Usman Sheikh
Do Likes on Social Media Channels Matter?
What are “Likes” or “Subscribers” or “Follow”?
With over 3.6 billion users, social media is unarguably the new mega force to reckon with in the business arena. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and others have given businesses cost-effective and convenient platforms to communicate with their target audience.
Digital marketers are working round the clock to have as many people as possible like, subscribe, and follow their social media channels and posts. So the question becomes do likes on social media channels matter?
So, what are “Likes” or “Subscribes” or “Follow”?
Every social post is accompanied by several buttons, including the like button. When someone likes a post, it means they enjoy or support the content of the post. Likes are a show of preference for a post.
On the other hand, the subscribe feature appears on YouTube and Facebook.
People know about the “Follow” or “Like” feature in Facebook, but the ability to add “subscribe” to a page feature exists as well. You can learn more about eligibility and or how to configure for your page right on Facebook’s guidelines here.
When someone clicks or taps on the subscribe button of a channel, they become subscribers. They simply show that they like your content and would like more. Therefore, they can see the channel’s content on their news feed as soon as it is published.
The follow button on Instagram and Twitter is almost similar to the subscribe button on YouTube and Facebook. Your Instagram or Twitter followers are people who’ve chosen to receive your tweets or Instagram posts in their profile’s news feed.
Brands and companies are spending a fortune to market their products and services. But with that much content out there, someone could be wondering why a brand would be obsessed with increasing its social media likes.
So here are a few key reasons why “likes”, “follows”, “subscribes” are still important today!
The more “likes”, “follows” or “subscriptions” your social media channel gets, the broader your fan base gets. Therefore, an increased number of likes on your channel will make your posts more visible on the feed section of your target audience’s profiles.
You can use this visibility to introduce your fans to other communication platforms for improved conversion.
Build A Fanbase On Social To Own
For instance, with email marketing cited to have a 2.5% click-through rate against 0.07% for social media marketing, a digital marketer would be interested in diverting their social media fans to their email list. Therefore, a post encouraging the fans to join your email list for a specified benefit would come in handy.
In such a case, more likes on the post will make the call to action and the accompanying content more visible to the right people. The approach will also be helpful when you want to increase your website’s traffic from your social media channel.
Also, you have now converted your followers into an email list that you own outside of social media. This allows your brand to start off building awareness on social media, then nurturing them through other channels to make them eventual customers.
At the same time, having them sign up to your newsletter from first have them follow you on social will allow you to build some protection or insurance against when that social platform goes away or dips in traffic (which happens these days sooner and more often than we think).
The internet today has pushed the slang ‘clout’ and is now adopted by everyone. It generally means power, influence or fame. Clout also makes someone or something more popular. Undoubtedly, social likes make you popular online, thus extending your fan base.
For instance, company A’s social media page 1000 likes. Its competitor, Company B has 600 likes on the same platform. Then, there’s a high possibility that company A will be more sought after than B, thanks to clout. When company A rolls out new services or activities, the information will reach out to more people.
In a nutshell, a high number of social media likes differentiate you from your competitors. More followers may not mean more engagement for each time you update them on social media. It should just show anyone looking to understand a brand at a high level if it has a history and following.
It is a way that many still size others up (not our recommended or preferred way to measure anyone). Likes or followers on the surface can be misleading if the engagement is non-existent on each social media update. So if you are going to use Likes/followers/subscribers to make a “judgement call” on a brand, use it in conjunction with other social media metrics to ensure you get a fuller picture.
What Likes May Not Provide:
Sales or Leads
Just because someone follows you for your content, it may not mean that they are interested in doing business with you.
Even now, when you think of success on social media, the first thought goes to having lots of likes.
However, it is important to understand that it is not necessarily true. A social media channel may have thousands of likes that don’t translate to more sales or additional quality leads. Then it leaves you with the question ‘why?’
The reason is that people may like your service or product but it does not mean they need it. They may have liked it just because it looked attractive or caught their eye-nothing more.
However, over time, as you engage with your target audience in a meaningful way on social channels, there will opportunity to bring them down the buyers’ journey to an eventual conversion. This is when leads or sales occur.
Social Media is a very top-of-funnel activity or the bottom of the funnel activity to engage existing customers.
As the chart above shows, social media usually fits in the top two sections. Although updates on social platforms with lead generation and the ability to conduct eCommerce transactions right online have changed that.
Now, this has changed recently with advertising specifically introduced to generate leads via social media (to target the more middle of the buyer’s journey funnel) – but that comes through advertising not likes directly.
You have to use those likes in other ways to build an audience that engages with you on other channels so they eventually become a customer.
Getting likes for the sake of likes alone is not a viable sales strategy.
Likes no longer as important
This is a fact that many people do not understand. You may have likes, but they do not necessarily mean much if they are engaging with your content and you are not able them to the buyer’s journey.
Yes, they may help you have a bigger fan base, but their importance does not go far than that on their own. In fact, algorithms on social platforms limit brands that prevent reach from going to all the followers as they want you to advertise to reach a greater portion of your following.
At the end of the day, what matters is how well you have marketed the specific product or service. It can be in various channels, not just through social media. Driving more traffic to your website and well-informed marketing campaigns can boost your social media marketing efforts in pushing your brand.
Customer feedback, referrals as well as social media sharing and comments will also bring a supplementary force to your digital marketing campaigns.
There are many companies that have first build powerful brands that naturally attract followers. Build your brand first and that will translate into sales, more followers and growth over time.
A huge following and many likes will bring your brand closer to the eyes of the target audience. However, you should not be comfortable with just that as far as your online marketing is concerned. Any following on social media should have harder goals tied back to these softer “vanity-based metrics”. Are you getting calls? Are followers coming to the site and staying there? Create content for each of the phases in the buyers’ journey (not just the top end) and that will allow you to benefit from building a brand that the right people will be attracted to.
Questions? Thoughts? Need help. Reach out via our contact us page or comment below!
From a start-up helping local small businesses, over a span of 5 years, Usman has built Web Worx Labs to be a leading provider of digital marketing solutions that employed 15+ full-time employees and had customers in over 30 countries.
Outside of work and his passion for all things digital, Usman is a proud father of three, loves running and is an avid reader.