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  • Kylie

Likes vs Love: Social Media Engagement Explained

As social media has evolved with more platforms to choose from and types of posts to create than ever before, the way followers interact with your accounts has progressed as well. In the beginning the like was king, but is that the case today? With so many methods of social media engagement around, let’s discuss the most beneficial ways of engagement to track per social media platform so you can distinguish the likes from the love.


Anthony Gaenzle of Marketing shares, “engagement is the key to LinkedIn success, and no stat shows more that your audience is engaged than comments.” Having a conversation with your audience is a great way to directly or even indirectly receive feedback on your posts and track your followers’ responses in real time. While LinkedIn features a robust selection of reactions now, similarly to Facebook, those clicks are still not as noteworthy as post viewers taking the time to type out a comment.

Not receiving many comments on your LinkedIn posts? End each post with a call to action revolving around responding to your post. Our favorite phrase for encouraging comments is “Let us know your thoughts below”. Joining other conversations on LinkedIn posts in your industry can also encourage this behavior.


While everyone appreciates seeing their tweets receive likes - or to speak in Twitter’s language, ‘favorites’ - retweets hold the most weight on this platform. When a follower retweets your post, it appears on their own feed, extending the reach of your tweet far beyond your own audience. These retweets create miniature brand representatives, sharing your message and name with their own followers, which can give your brand a huge boost.

Looking for more retweets? Creating content that is easily shareable is key. The more excited your followers are to share your posts, the more likely they will retweet and spread your message organically. Additionally, on Twitter more than most other platforms, strictly promotional content does not fly. These users are looking to be entertained, not sold to as directly as is done on Instagram or Facebook.


A study by AdAge showed that only 1% of users who like a page will actually engage with their content. While likes - plus the new reactions of ‘love’, ‘wow’, ‘care’, ‘angry’ and ‘sad’ - originated on Facebook and are still a source of engagement worth tracking, they can often be more important for vanity than actual growth. On the other hand, much like Twitter, post shares are more prized. As we mentioned in regard to retweets, Facebook post shares can dramatically increase your post reach and act as a soft referral from your followers.

While on many other platforms, encouraging users to share a post can result in more shares, the Facebook algorithm often penalizes these types of captions, especially the more frequently your page is posting them. Instead, you’ll have to let your content convince your audience to share it with their friends. Quality content that your specific community would care about is essential.


Following the trend of our other social networks, while likes once reigned supreme on Instagram, more private metrics such as post saves and shares are now much more meaningful. For some users, likes aren’t even displayed on Instagram, making them completely obsolete. Saving an Instagram post implies that your content is meaningful and resonating with your audience. The Instagram algorithm favors saveable posts as well, boosting posts with more saves higher on the Explore Page, expanding your reach exponentially.

What makes a post saveable? Any post that encourages your user to come back at a later date makes them more inclined to hit that bookmark icon. Resources, infographics, long captions filled with rich information, or calls to action requesting your followers to save your post are all ways to increase this hot metric.

While likes were once the prime metric to track your growth on social media, they are now overall seen as a shallow metric. Tracking deeper engagements, such as comments, shares, and saves, is where you’ll find the followers who love - not just like - your posts. Looking for help tracking all of these metrics? Download our free Analytics Tracker to see how we analyze social media, ads, and email data for our clients.


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