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Why Engagement Rate is More Important than Likes on Your Facebook

ImageAn amateur Facebook marketer or a company that is new to social media marketing on Facebook is probably just happy if their business page gets a lot of likes. This is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made on Facebook. The biggest social media platform in the world provides so many tools for businesses to analyze their success on Facebook and most people don’t even bother to use them. 

You may have seen a metric on a Facebook business page called “People Talking About This”, which is right next to the number of likes on the page. Both these metrics are important when calculating engagement rate. The engagement rate offers a much clearer picture of the success of the brand on Facebook as it allows brands to gauge how much engagement they are getting on the social media platform.

In simple terms, engagement rate on Facebook can be calculated as the number of “People Talking about this” divided by the total number of likes. According to experts, an acceptable engagement rate is in the range of one to two percent although some brands can get their engagement rate to 20 percent with smart social media marketing on Facebook. 

Engagement rate gives a far more accurate picture of what is happening on Facebook

When the rest of your competitors are focusing on the number of likes, you should be focusing on engagement. Most people like a page because they see their friends do so or because they liked that particular brand at a certain point in time. Most people forget about the pages they liked so a high number of likes on a page does not necessarily mean that the brand is doing well.

Even with very high numbers of likes, many business pages see few interaction with fans and followers and their content goes mostly ignored. On the other hand, when a high number people are talking about the brand, even if the number of likes is relatively low, it means that more people are mentioning the brand on Facebook, liking its content, sharing its content and generally recommending the page to others. As a result, a high engagement rate is much more valuable than the number of likes. The engagement rate shows you how many people are connecting with your brand and how often and a high engagement rate means that more people are commenting, liking, sharing and mentioning your brand and its content.

A high engagement rate means that the potential reach of your brand is much greater. Instead of worrying about trying to get more people to like your page, you should work harder on trying to get them to engage with your content more on Facebook.

Get a clear picture of your competition

Surprisingly, most brands on Facebook have very low engagement rates. Some of the biggest and most famous celebrities and brands have less than 1 percent engagement rates. Case in point, Lady Gaga’s Facebook page has an engagement rate of 0.9 percent and Facebook’s own page has an engagement rate of only 0.6 percent. Similarly, Coca Cola – one of the largest brands in the world with a very successful content marketing strategy has an engagement rate that is below 1 percent on Facebook. 

This just goes to show that when you delve deeper, you will find that even the biggest names in business can falter on Facebook. This is why the engagement rate is a great way to see how your competitors are doing on Facebook. If their social media campaigns are thriving, then their engagement rate will be high and you can learn a lot from looking at and observing their page. On the other hand, if their campaigns are not doing well, then engagement rates will be low. 

Featured image credit: mindscanner / Shutterstock 

Join The Conversation

  • windycityparrot's picture
    Mar 21 Posted 3 years ago windycityparrot

    Unfortuanley you as well as many others over simplfy this concept.Likes vs reach - I just hit 100,000 likes and have a TAT of 47,000 (47%) but Facebook sales have been flat since I was at 50,0000 Likes and a TAT of 30,000 - It doesn't help that Facebook metrics contradict themselves making none of the metrics you see on Facebook trustworthy

  • Mike Gracia's picture
    Mar 18 Posted 3 years ago Mike Gracia

    Great post!

    Totally agree that engagement trumps 'Likes', for all the reasons mentioned above, but also due to the Edgerank algo - Without those positive scores for 'affinity, weight and time decay', all those 'likers' won't even see the page's updates anyway! 

    A few engaged followers are much more useful than thousands of people who turn up, 'like' and leave, never to be seen again... It's those few engaged followers that can result in a massive increase in reach, post comments that give you great insights into your demographic and also help guage customer satisfaction levels :)

  • Zach Ethan's picture
    Mar 16 Posted 3 years ago Zach Ethan

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'd rather have a page with 100 likes of highly engaged and active fans than have a page with 10,000 likes with disinterested and unengaged fans. 

  • Mar 16 Posted 3 years ago Mario Urrutia

    Great straight article to remember when we are with clients and explain them that fans are not the onlye thing they had to concern. First topic they mention is how many fans we are growing, then we have to go on the talking about engagement and its benefits. 

  • Avtar Ram Singh's picture
    Mar 15 Posted 3 years ago Avtar Ram Singh

    Not really sure why this is still a matter of debate or worth talking about - it's widely known that engagement rate is what managers should be looking for instead of just plain likes.

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