How Much Is a Like Worth?

Published: Jan 24, 2019
Modified: Mar 24, 2020


Likes vs. Engagement and Quantity vs. QualityTo get to work every morning, most of us drive past billboards. We may or may not process these billboards or mentally file away the brands we encounter. However, in the digital age, the targeted equivalent of a billboard is a company’s page on Facebook. When customers decide to like a page, they are essentially saving a marketing billboard to market to them later. A like, by itself, doesn’t really mean much. Sure, if you’re in charge of growing your brand’s social audience, getting more likes for your page will make you look good; however, it’s more important to get people to engage after they like your product’s page.


The sad reality is that many people never visit that Facebook page—or engage with that brand—again. According to bestselling social media author Pam Moore, founder and CEO of FruitZoom, “A Facebook ‘like’ is the beginning, not the end, of a relationship.” In the age in which anything with indeterminate ROI is immediately cut from the budget, you can’t afford not to engage with your audience postlike.

Creating an online media presence is not about quantity: It’s about quality. It’s better to have a few hundred engaged fans who encourage their social circles to try out your product than to have thousands who liked your page and have been MIA ever since.

Too many brands send out emails encouraging their customers to “Fan Us” on Facebook. Getting that like from a prospect who’s on the fence about your brand is a good first step. I don’t want to denigrate a Facebook like as a step in the sales funnel; but it’s just that—a single step, only part of a longer sales process.

Although curating the content of others can gain you a following, it’s simply not the same thing as creating your own brand content. Curation tends to take less time than creating your own content, but it tends to be lower risk, lower reward.

Although raising awareness among nonbuyers shouldn’t be your top priority, it can still have long-term benefits. Long before I had a car, I saw plenty of Geico commercials touting their car insurance. In no way was I in the market for their services at the time, but years later when I purchased a car, I turned to Geico immediately for my car insurance. Because of this principle, I advise brands to widen their audiences whenever possible. That’s why I tend to say “customers and prospects”—because, even if you are in a B2B or B2C line of business, there is absolute value in creating relationships with people who are not yet ready to buy.

What’s a Facebook Like Worth?
Facebook fans provide value for a brand in a few ways, including loyalizing fans by increasing their engagement, increasing fans’ incremental purchasing behavior, and influencing friends of fans.

If you’re a fan of your local florist, your friends might be interested in the business as well. A Facebook study of the top 100 Facebook brand pages found that, for every like a brand amasses, the brand is capable of reaching 34 friends of the liker. There is no reason why this does not hold true for smaller businesses: Getting fans gives you the ability to start an interesting conversation with others.

The report found that Facebook fans of Starbucks were 418% more likely to visit, with friends of those fans 230% more likely.

Bear in mind that, even if you’re posting, you might not be reaching all your fans; far from that, in fact. For brands that post content every weekday, 16% of fans are reached, on average. It’s a catch-22 for many brands: If you post too infrequently, fans might miss their content; post too often, and fans may get irritated, tune you out, and unsubscribe. “There isn’t one way to do this,” reinforces Maria, Head of Community at Yammer. “You really need to listen and understand what people are saying, what they need, and where they are, and address their needs.”

To be successful in engaging with customers after the like, it is important to develop a strategy beforehand. The best way to see a return on your social media investment is to develop pragmatic, realistic goals and objectives, and a step-by-step plan for getting from point A to point B.

Although content is king when it comes to engagement, it’s the king of a pretty small kingdom unless you marry it with caring about your customers and making their happiness your focal point.

© 2013 Jeremy Goldman. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Going Social: Excite Customers, Generate Buzz, and Energize Your Brand with the Power of Social Media, published by AMACOM. Used by permission of the publisher.