Facebook: Likes vs. Shares

Vol. 11 No. 8

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Facebook has created a whole new lingo (and has turned nouns into verbs). You can “friend” and “unfriend” someone, or in a less drastic move, simply “hide” their posts from your wall. And all the time you are asked to “like” a post or “share” a post. If you are using social media as part of your school’s development efforts, you are likely to ask your Facebook “fans” to do one of those things too. It’s a call to action, an engagement tactic.

So, which is better? Should you ask your fans to like or a share?

According to Chad Wittman, founder of Edgerank, an in-depth Facebook analytics company, “what it really boils down to is the type of content that is being pushed into the news feed”. See Should You Ask for Facebook Likes or Shares? On socialfresh.com.

In Edgerank’s algorithm, shares are weightier than likes. Wittman notes that it’s more advisable to ask people to share something serious. If you are a Facebook user, how often have you seen a post that resonates, yet it feels odd to like it because of its nature? Lightweight items are more for likes.

Ford’s Social Media Director Scott Monty told Adweek that likes are“digital grunts” of Facebook. “The like, as far as I’m concerned, is the minimum commitment you can ask from a [Facebook] fan. Likes, comments, shares—it goes in order of importance. Even the person who authors the first comment is like an ‘ugh,’ another digital grunt. I am more interested in the value of a share.”

Dennis Yu of the social media company BlitzMetrics, says shares promote word of mouth. When someone shares your post, “It says people endorse your content to the point of putting their reputation on the line. Your ad or post is interesting enough where people are willing to share it.”

Some ideas for making your content shareable include introducing a new administrator, teacher, or even your volunteer team; posting photos of the daily goings-on at your school; asking a trivia question; or celebrating a story. ( From "10 Fundraising Mantras for 2013", Network for Good)

Wittman believes it all comes down to common sense. Facebook users inherently know what’s more appropriate for sharing and what’s only worthy of a like. Develop content that is truly shareable, which lets you use the social media engine to spread the word about your campaign.

Network for Good is offering a free e-mini guide called "Woo and Wow Your Donors With Social Media". It’s a short review of best practices for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Get yours here.

Additional ISM resources of interest
ISM Monthly Update for Admission Officers Vol. 10 No. 1 Communicating Through Social Media
ISM Recorded Webinar The Best Practices of Social Media for Today’s Private School
ISM Monthly Update for Admission Officers Vol 11 No. 5 How to Virally Market Through the Clutter

Additional ISM resources for Consortium Gold Members
To The Point Vol. 16 No. 4 Building Your School’s Social Media Campaign
To The Point Vol. 15 No. 9 Social Media Made Simple: Take an If-Then Approach

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