Look closely at the boosted post results here.

170 people liked the post.
78 clicked to read the article.

This means that nearly 100 people clicked like on the post, but didn’t read it.

Are they merely agreeing with the headline of the article? Or maybe they just like the person making the post or the page itself.

We saw the Golden State Warriors get hundreds of likes within seconds of posting about their win over the Rockets. The video is a minute and 32 seconds, so anyone who liked it clearly didn’t watch the video:

Screenshot 2015-01-17 23.35.43 (1)

Early interactions help with reach.

We know that Facebook’s algorithm takes into account interactions with the first two minutes (maybe less) to determine additional News Feed reach. Thus, all the more reason to have videos that are short.

I suppose you could have a 5-minute-long video where people are clicking like while they’re watching; odds on that are low.

What’s most likely happening is that people abandon within a few seconds if you take too long to get going.

And Facebook has said that video performance, including negative feedback, affects News Feed reach.

See how higher engagement (likes on the video) drives greater reach, and vice-versa:
Screenshot 2015-01-17 23.41.38

So, like…. do you like, boost posts? Like, totally!

Three likes for you right there.

Not to further beat in the millennial stereotype or gushing airhead valley girl, but teens definitely click like more than adults. And we see that countries in Latin America are also more likely to click like, too.

Some brands, in their attempt to drive more likes on posts, will intentionally target younger, female, Hispanics. And you’re probably accidentally doing this, too, if you’re using optimized CPM against an objective of post engagement.

Like, what is a “like” worth?

In February 2011, we aggregated 4.5 billion impressions we had over the pages we had insights access on. Brands were paying $1.07 on average to get fans, according to the research we branded under WebTrends.

Mind you, this is back in the mad land-grab days where big brands with big budgets wanted to build fan bases.

Clickable went further, and in 2013, traced the value of a fan to conversions, as opposed to cost. $174 was the average value of a fan.

Of course, your results may vary. Consider the industry, method of acquiring fans, strength of other marketing channels, and so forth.

All your likes belong to us

Most people are going beyond fans and into engagement. They count up likes, shares, pins, retweets, and comments to get total interactions. They’re all worth the same, though we know that shares are worth about 1,300% more than likes.

And this year, we predict that most of the industry will shift from engagement to monetization. Facebook and Google have objective-based buying and stronger analytics, letting us focus on business results.

So, like, if you’re still like, trying to drive likes — you better, like, stop now.

Get your marketing automation (email system), website, and social media tied together.
Then you can chain your customer journey across these channels and trace that engagement to the sale. We call this the AEC funnel (for the sequential steps of audience, engagement, and conversion).


The truth is, as convenient as it is, is that you can’t multiply likes by an arbitrary figure to get value. Earned media value still has some place among entertainment and media brands, especially sponsors. But anyone who is not a CPG brand needs to think more clearly about social value.

Click like if you enjoyed this post.

Just kidding!

1 Comment

  1. Rick Noel April 12th, 2015

    Excellent post Dennis. Twitter too has objective based buying and should be part of the mix. Engagement and monetization are closely linked. Without engagement, reach is limited and/or expensive. The value of a like is context sensitive. The more relevant the source, the bigger their network, the more valuable. Also, the value of the brand association can be huge (e.g. showing a users that their friends whose opinion they trust through the like of a brand/product/service can be a strong brand influence through association). Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone. He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CBS Evening News and is co-author of Facebook Nation – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities. He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo. He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70 mile ultramarathon. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com, his blog, or on Facebook.