I ran 3 experiments on Facebook to discover the impact that likes, comments, and shares have on reaching non-fans on Facebook.

 

I wanted a picture post to receive a lot of likes

 

 

 

 I wanted a picture post to receive a lot of comments

 

  

 

I wanted a picture post to receive a lot of shares

  

  

 

The Questions

 

  • What influence do likes, comments, and shares have on the mixture of reach to fans and non-fans?

 

  • Is there a ratio or multiplier effect for each like, comment, and share when it comes to reaching non-fans?

 

The Data

 

The results

 

The Results

 

  • Shares reach a greater % of non-fans – followed by comments and likes. Likes generated a 52%/48% fan/non-fan reach.  Comments generated a 56%/44% fan/non-fan reach.  Shares generated a 30%/70% fan/non-fan reach.

 

  • Each share reaches more non-fans – followed by comments and likes. Each share multiplied the reach to about 34.7 non-fans.  Each comment multiplied the reach to about 5.2 non-fans.  Each like multiplied the reach to about 3.7 non-fans.

 

Application Tips

 

  • When in doubt, desire to receive shares, followed by comments, and then likes. This is no real surprise and makes logical sense since the level of commitment from the user follows the same pattern.  It takes very little commitment to give a like (693 likes).  It takes more effort to write out a comment (398 comments).  It takes a higher level of “connectedness” to actually share it on your own Facebook page (129 shares).

 

  • When it comes to reaching non-fans, shares are HUGE compared to likes and comments. Comments are about 42% better than a like at reaching non-fans, but a share is a WHOPPING 950% better than a like!  If you’re trying to reach non-fans, it’s helpful to start thinking about how to encourage shares with your post.

 

 

  • The Engagement Rate % seems to be related to the reach of your fans. In these three posts, the higher the engagement rate as reported by Facebook, the more Etsy-preneurship fans saw the post.  I look at engagement rates as an indicator of how interested your audience is in a topic as compared to how boring you and your posts might be.

 

What and why do people share something on Facebook?

 

From buffersocial:

 

  • To bring valuable and entertaining content to one another. 49% of respondents say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.

 

  • To define ourselves to others. 68% of respondents said they share to give others a better sense of who they are and what they care about.

 

  • To grow and nourish our relationships.78% of respondents said they share information online because it enables them to stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with

 

  • For self-fulfillment. 69% said they share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world

 

  • To get the word out about causes they care about. 84% of respondents share because it is a good way to support causes or issues they care about.

 

How can you craft Facebook posts that allow your audience to share for these 5 reasons above?

 

Final Thoughts from Jason:

 

When you post on Facebook, think about if you are trying to reach your fans or gain exposure to new-fans.  To reach more of your fans, you’ve got to be engaging and not boring.  To more easily reach non-fans, you want to look for ways to encourage shares, comments, and likes.

 

Most of the time you will need to have your audience naturally like, comment, and share on a post.  Occasionally, it is ok to ask your audience to take an action (like, comment, or share) if you have built up a positive balance in their emotional bank account from past social interactions and can afford to take a “withdrawal” and you expect to reap an adequate return.

 

This experiment is an over simplification of what is happening with Facebook’s reach algorithm.  Actual results will depend upon your own audience demographics and their interest in you and your messages.  I just wanted to do something quick and easy to start us thinking about these concepts and how they apply to our Facebook marketing.

 

Facebook is a game and we have to play by their rules.  If you don’t like the way Facebook treats your business – modify your strategy or quit playing.  Anytime that I find myself getting upset with Facebook, I have to remind myself, “It’s not personal – it’s an algorithm”.

 

Through this experiment, I now have a rough idea about the true value or impact of a like, comment, and share for my Facebook page when it comes to reaching non-fans for a picture post.  I am also reminded that monitoring engagement rate %’s are a way of gauging how interesting or boring I am to my audience.

 

Will you like, comment, or share this post/article?  I really have little idea . . . that’s the joy of writing!  I hope you find this useful – to help your Etsy shop thrive!

 

Regards, Jason Malinak CPA of Etsy-preneurship.com

 

  

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