The Blog

October 20, 2017


A Facebook like is like no other

When it comes to active users on Social media, Facebook wins by a mile. With 1.7 billion active users a month, Instagram’s 500 monthly active users seems miniscule. And most influencer campaigns seem to focus on Instagram rather than facebook also, and lack of engagement on facebook posts seems to be a factor here.

It’s no secret that most of you are probably struggling to increase the number of likes, for your Facebook page. In fact, according to our calculations, you probably have at least 6 times more followers on your Instagram than likes on your Facebook page.

And get this… you’re probably sharing almost identical content on both platforms!

As a whole, Facebook has larger vanity numbers but Instagram’s stats are very impressive in terms of engagement. Instagram has built itself up as a platform that thrives on users being able to engage with others and visual content. There is a big difference in the algorithms and networking effects on each of these platforms, resulting in very different follow, like and content viewing patterns.




As you already know if someone doesn’t follow your Instagram profile, it’s very unlikely that they view or engage with your content, unless they specifically look up your profile or your pictures come up on their discover page or on a search. But the fact is, if Instagram users want to be exposed to, and interact with the content you post on a regular basis, they must follow you or keep looking you up manually (why tho if you can just follow?). This in turn implies that the number of your Instagram followers directly reflects the number of people your post might reach i.e. maximum potential reach.


Maximum Potential Post Reach = Instagram Followers


On average however, posts are only seen by around 12% of followers, making the actual reach of a post much lower than many would expect.



On Facebook the average organic reach is approximately 16%. Meaning that your posts on average are only seen by 16% of those who have liked your page.


Average Organic Reach= Page fans X 16%


That’s a little bit higher than instagram but still not impressive, especially since facebook likes are not exactly on the rise these days. But facebook isn’t all about your page likes.



Amplification effect of Overall Reach

Unlike instagram, facebook shows the content liked or commented by others, on their friends feed – whether they follow your page or not. Thus your content’s overall reach, depends partly on the number of your page “fans”, but also on how engaging and influential those fans  actually are. For about 60% of you, according to our in house estimates, this is resulting in an average post reach much higher than what would be expected (eg. more than 16% – way more!)


So eyeballs escalate, in  proportion to the number and influence of those individuals who interact with your posts. Based on our calculations, your posts on average have the potential to reach up to 5 times the number of your page likes.


Overall Reach = Page Fans x 5


Now this is a general estimate based on a large pool of influencers. Individually, your post reach will not only depend on your page likes, but also on the engagement with your posts by your fans.

That’s why average post reach (don’t know what your average post reach on facebook is? You can find out by connecting your facebook page to your ZINE Media Kit) is a much more accurate indicator of your facebook audience than just page likes. So, even if you only have half as many page likes on facebook than you have followers on instagram, your content is likely to have a greater reach on facebook vs instagram still. One like or comment on instagram, increases your engagement rate on this post, but on facebook, these actions not only count towards your engagement rate, they also positively affect your overall post reach. Content likes on facebook may be getting fewer and fewer, but with the increasing number friends we all have, it’s also getting more powerful.


The average facebook user has 338 friends, so just to show you how powerful a like is we can do some simple math on this assumption:

1. You have 1000 page likes

2. 16% of people actually see a specific piece of content you post

3. On average, everyone has 338 friends


Let’s say you post something to your 1000 fans, so around 160 see the post. For each like, your piece of content is also shown on the feed of the fan who liked. Your fan has (on average) 338 friends, so 16% see that post also (= +54). So with only 1 like, which is a 0.1% engagement rate, you already increased your post reach from 16% to 21.4%. So with a modest engagement rate of 1% on Facebook, your post reach can be boosted by another (10 x 338 x 16% =) 541 additional eyeballs, or an equivalent of 54% relative to your Facebook likes.


Not bad? Well this goes on and on and on, because the friends of your fans might engage with that post also, adding another round of 16% of 338 friends to the total. So let’s say they are not that engaged, since it’s the second degree of interaction with the original post already, and only 1 of each of their 338 friends like the post, that means still another 10 likes and another (10 x 338 x 16%) 541 eyeballs. Each additional like, would add another 54 eyeballs to this. This goes on and on and on, and all it takes to kick this off, is one single like.


So don’t sniff at facebook page likes and low engagement rates just yet, think of the friends of friends of friends and how one like can make the rounds through hundreds of circles.


Some tips on increasing your facebook likes



So the number of likes your page receives is not the be all and end all of your reach;  it all comes down to quality over quantity





Joanna Karamanis

I’m head of Content at ZINE, where I use my expertise in fashion consumer psychology to empower brands and influencers in their marketing campaigns. I love to travel, bake as well as shopping online.