The average Facebook user probably doesn’t over-think their actions on Facebook. Most people don’t even bother with an engagement other than the first one listed, which is “Like”. However, when they connect with the content and feel it is interesting, enlightening, or funny enough, Facebook users will comment and share. So, are all actions on Facebook equal when it comes to marketing efforts? Let’s break things down!
The Value of Fan Actions
As a Facebook marketer, you want people to engage with your content. They can do this a number of ways, including private messaging you, clicking links to your website, tagging people, leaving reviews, or posting to your page. However, liking, commenting, and sharing are the three common most actions used by Facebook users.
- People can engage by clicking “Like”, “Love”, “Care”, “Angry”, “Wow”, or “Sad”. This action has value in that every time your post is liked, your content is something Facebook users care about. If content goes unliked, its visibility starts to drop. Facebook will start to show it less if nothing is happening on the part of your fans. For this reason “Likes” or other emotions of engagement are important. They start putting the Facebook algorithm into motion, and hopefully your post will exceed the typical 5%-10% of fan views. When enough people like a post, it can pick up visible traction outside of people who already like your page. This is important to grow your page. An added plus is that when people “Like” your post (or any emotion), you can invite them to “Like” your page.
- Quick Take-Away: Post “Likes” trigger the Facebook Algorithm, reach people other than fans, and allow you to invite people to like your page.
- People can engage by commenting. This is usually the most desired action by Facebook marketers. When people leave comments, photos, questions, or even .gifs in the comments section of posts, it spurs additional people to comment. This is how valuable conversation happens, community builds, and valuable feedback or insights are gathered. Comments also trigger the Facebook Algorithm to re-engage people by showing the post more prominently (and continually) in their newsfeed for much longer if they have commented on it. Conversations (when your followers reply back and forth within comments) can create even greater exposure for that post. Posts can also reach some people outside of your fan page, as they see what their friends are commenting on.
- Quick Take-Away: Comments trigger the Facebook Algorithm to show the post more prominently, especially to people who have previously commented on your post or have frequently/recently engaged with your page.
- People can engage by sharing. This is the ideal action as sharing takes your content to a broader audience, helps your visibility and reach, and serves as a subtle referral. People share things they want others to see. Depending on individual security settings, page administrators might be able to see who shared the content and further engage on their post. While Facebook frowns on (and can penalize posts) for specifically telling people to share a post, creating quality content that your Facebook community cares about heightens the likelihood that your post will get shared. Ask yourself, is this something someone would want to share?
- Quick Take-Away: Sharing is a guaranteed reach outside your network of fans, triggers the Facebook algorithm, and serves as a subtle referral to others.
Each month, the average Facebook user likes 12 posts, leaves 5 comments, and shares 1 time.Hootsuite
Which is Better, a Facebook Share or Like?
All engagement is good, but if you can get your Facebook posts shared, your community will grow and you’ll get better engagement. Sharing gives you great insight into what content your audience wants to see. Likes are good, comments are great, and shares are the best!