Facebook Likes or Follows: Which is More Important?

Have you ever noticed that Facebook keeps a count of likes and a count of follows on your business page? Yes? Well, we noticed it too, and so we set out to uncover the difference between the two.

Facebook likes vs. follows

When someone (a personal Faccebook account or another business account) “likes” your business page on Facebook, this means they automatically default to following it as well. When your Facebook business page is followed, whatever you post on your page will be seen by those followers on their personal Facebook feeds. Now here’s the catch. A user who has liked your Facebook business page can choose to “unfollow” the page. But, don’t worry, an “unfollow” is not equivalent to an “unlike.”

Unfollows are not unlikes

Think of it this way: when you “friend” someone on a personal Facebook account, and then get annoyed by their daily lunch updates and unsolicited political views, you can choose to unfollow them while remaining friends with them. Unfollowing them simply means their posts will no longer appear on your personal feed. (What a relief.)

This same concept applies when someone unfollows a Facebook business page. Anyone who has liked your page can choose to unfollow you but will remain “liking” the page. In other words, your page will still register the like, but the account will not see the content that your business posts in their feed.


As one source puts it, “Likes are good but followers are better. Likes increase numbers but followers mean content consumption.”


What does this mean for my business?

If your page has far more likes than follows, this means that a significant proportion of your followers have opted out of viewing your posts. That being the case, you should evaluate the content you’re producing to determine the cause for this decline in follows. It’s very easy for someone who’s liked your page to change their following status.

User choices for viewing your business content.

Users, both personal and business Facebook accounts, have a choice as to whether or not they see your content in their feeds and how often they see it. They can choose:

  • to see your posts atop their feed
  • to see your posts in real time as they stream naturally
  • to unfollow you and not see your posts at all.

Accounts who have liked your page also have the option to turn off their notifications for your page altogether, which is of course not what you want. So your awareness of how your “likes” relate to your “follows” can be a tool you can use to your advantage. This awareness allows you to gauge the effectiveness of the content you create. Check your like-to-follow ratio and then make adjustments accordingly.

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