Facebook Pages. Like, Follow or Unfollow?

In my 2-part blog series on who you follow and who follows you, we looked at following and followers strategically, but here, we'll get into the logistics of following and followers, and how it works on the ever-changing Facebook Page.

Like versus Follow on Facebook Pages

Have you noticed that your Facebook Page now shows how many people have seen each post? Have you also noticed that, while you have 200, 500 or even 5,000 followers, only two (2), 11 or 50 people have seen your post(s)? If you haven't noticed, yet, I hope you notice after reading this blog post. Why don't these numbers add up?

In the past, when someone 'Liked' your Facebook Page, they were automatically 'Following'. That meant that people who 'Liked' your page, automatically saw your posts in their newsfeeds. That, in turn, meant they could 'Like', 'Share', 'Comment on' (or 'Hide') your post. In short, they could engage with your posts easily.

Today, Facebook has upgraded to allow people to 'Like' pages and yet 'Follow' or 'Unfollow' those pages. That means, only people who 'Like' AND 'Follow' your page will see your posts in their newsfeeds. Those who 'Like' BUT 'Unfollow', will not. The 'Unfollow' folks will have to remember to visit your page to see posts. Will they?

Follow versus Unfollow, Root Cause

"What's the point of a 'Like' then?!" Good question! In my opinion, if you're going to 'Unfollow', there's no point in 'Liking'. It's actually unkind to those who believe they've gotten someone who wants what they offer.

"Follow me and I'll follow back" is the primary culprit of the 'Unfollow' trend. Many feel pressured to 'Like' friends', colleagues' and new followers' pages, to avoid offending. 'Unfollow' allows them to avoid offending anyone and still keep their newsfeeds free of clutter, focused on topics they actually like.

I'm usually against a lot of Facebook's privacy-reducing changes, but this one I understand. I think it's sneaky, but it preserves users' newsfeed integrity. How many Facebook Pages do you follow because:

  1. They provide content you can share with clients/prospects?
  2. They provide content you can learn from and be inspired by?
  3. They followed you, so it was "only fair that you follow them too"?

Great if the pages you follow do all three (3), but... really? Do they really?

Follow versus Unfollow Solution

Clearly ask clients and prospects to 'Like' and 'Follow' your Facebook Page. Whether you value number of followers (quantity) or engagement rates (quality), invite members to 'Like' only if they'll 'Follow'.

Option A. Engagement over Number of Followers

If engagement matters to you, then you want a community of people who value what you do, if they're willing to invest time and money to get what you offer - past clients, current clients, future clients or prospects. You also want advocates and partners on board. Better 12 truly invested people than 1,988 who forgot what you do.

How do you just attract those you want? Say it. Example "Welcome clients, prospects, partners and advocates! If you enjoy <types of content>, you'll love our/my/this page. If not, we/I completely understand if you don't 'Like' our/my/this page. We/I know the pressure out there to 'Like those who Like us', so we/I want to take the pressure off. Enjoy!" However you phrase it, wherever you share it, say it.

Option B. Number of Followers over Engagement

If number of followers matters to you, then you're not ready to narrow your scope yet or don't have a clear "ideal client profile" in mind. Perhaps you're using social media to figure out who your audience is. If that's you, you still need to invite people you've had some face-time with. I don't mean "Hi! My name is... Here's my business card. I do... and hope you'll find me on Facebook". I mean you've shared real conversation, tea, lunch. They'll have a fond memory to relate to your page. Those are the people who will 'Like' and 'Follow' your page, if you ask them.

Need a Hand?

If this has already been frustrating you, or you're having other social media challenges, I'd love to help. Book your complimentary 20-minute Discovery Call today. Click below, and let's see what problems we can conquer together.

Share this on Twitter, Facebook or wherever you think your followers will benefit most.

Crystal-Marie S

(2016-Aug-18) On paper, my career began in 2001, spans Successiory (2009), my MBA from the Schulich School of Business (2010), two countries and several industries, including business strategy, social media consulting, environmental and engineering consulting, higher education and more (see LinkedIn). 

In 2015, I was nominated for Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP) Awards,Entrepreneur of the Year and became an Amazon.ca bestseller on August 9th 2015. I spoke at 12 events in 2015 alone, including several GroYourBiz Advisory Boards, Bank of Montreal (paid), Iler Campbell’s Tools Conference and Toronto Public Libraries’ Small Business (sometimes paid) series. I think I love speaking!

On a personal note, I'm an MBA, entrepreneur, millennial, dancer, author and so much more yet, like you, I don't fit the stereotypes. After years of workaholism and the health and relationship losses that go with that lifestyle, I've stopped 'paying lip service' to terms like authenticity, self care and sustainability. My health scare pushed me into living them. Here's hoping I can inspire you to live and work better without learning the hard way. Welcome. Still curious? More here... www.successiory.ca/crystal-marie

 Subscribe in a reader