What is the value of a ‘like’?

Knowing your most engaged fans

By Rhian Harris

Social media provides access to an engaged and interactive audience but as one of the most important Facebook metrics for marketers, should the number of fans still be the goal?

Is a ‘like’ the real value of social media marketing?

In a word, ‘no’.

Quintly recently produced an infographic to show that the interaction rate of pages with a high number of fans actually falls as the fanbase grows.

So what does that tell us? Well, it’s basic economics, I’m afraid:

“80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes”

It means:

  • The majority of your user interaction, comments, likes, shares and revenue will come from the core of your fanbase
  • Thanks to Edgerank, more than 50% of your fans won’t even see your posts if they are not engaged
  • Pursuit of a large unengaged audience is not where the real value lies
  • Investment in growing the volume of unengaged fans is not efficient or effective

Most importantly, it means a blanket approach towards social media is not appropriate or efficient.

Know your target audience

In the same way that a customer database should be segmented and communicated with accordingly, you need to know what your Facebook fan base looks like, what motivates them and how to provide content to appeal to them.

On a very basic level, Facebook Insights will show the age and location of the your fans. On a page and post level you can see the posts that get the most likes, comments and shares, or drive the highest traffic to your site.

For more in-depth analysis, use tools like Crowdbooster, Likealyzer, cScore, Fanpage Karma, orĀ Simply Measured. Most have a free trial and can provide interesting insight to help you to build up a profile of your engaged fan.

Know your strategy

Absence of strategy means you are likely to undervalue the power of your advocates, and as they are your most engaged segment it’s just a waste.

Ensure the goals and KPIs set out in your social media strategy allow you direct targeted content at your Facebook fans as a key customer segment, and more importantly allow you to measure the impact.

If everything is in place from a management perspective and you have established who your most engaged fans are, it’s just about tying the two together.

Plan and produce content to maximise their interaction:

  • Plan a range of content types to encourage sharing and participation
  • Refine positioning to highlight the benefit that your audience perceive
  • Identify more targeted advertising placements through paid media
  • Identify top sites, brands or pages that you can link up with to reach more influencers
  • Device competitions and initiatives that will resonate with the fan base


Growing your fan base is just one element of social media strategy. Once you’ve gained a following it’s about using them to help achieve your wider marketing strategies. Then and only then will you see the true ROI of the ‘like’.

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