Are likes the sole measure of your marketing success? If so, it’s time to change your outlook

When a post bombs, it’s easy to feel low. Your insightful post on emerging B2B trends should have been a hit – but instead garnered just 240 views (with not even a like in sight). 

…meanwhile, another post in your feed – entitled ‘why it’s okay to work in your jammies’ – attracted 650 reactions and 95 comments. Why didn’t you get any likes and how can you prevent future posts from vanishing into a digital dustbin?

Let’s reframe. A post with ‘just’ 240 views and zero likes isn’t the end of the world. It reached hundreds of people. For free. But no one liked it, you protest. Perhaps they did but forgot or were too busy – in which case they’ll revisit your content later.

Also, remember you’re at the mercy of an ever-changing algorithm. This makes promoting your business hard. Trends have a short lifespan which means posts and tweets have a short shelf life. 

In this short guide, we’ll demonstrate why likes don’t necessarily translate into more business and sales – which is precisely what you should be striving for.

Social media success KPI's

There’s no getting away from it – likes matter

#1 Validation

Before engaging, a prospect will click on your profile to:

  • Learn about you and your business
  • Check how many followers you have
  • Review recent posts you’ve published

This is a trust-building exercise. Likes demonstrate you have followers who value your content – making your brand credible. 

A like is also a digital badge of sorts. It shows someone liked your product or service enough to give it a solid thumbs-up.

#2 Exposure

When someone reacts to something on your page, it will appear on their feed too – improving reach. A strong post or tweet could therefore yield more followers or enquiries. 

To increase exposure content should either:

  • Crest the wave of a trending topic your audience is interested in
  • Encourage interaction (polls tend to get high views)
  • Be unique enough to cut through the digital noise

This list isn’t limitless but is a good rule of thumb (excuse the pun) to follow if you want more likes and greater exposure.

#3 Deduction

Poorly performing posts probably give you the doldrums. But they’re actually manna from heaven. Each time your content bombs it tells you what your audience doesn’t like. Use that information to improve your social media strategy and your content won’t stumble. It’ll positively fly.

Put another way, likes are a great way to AB test your content – giving you insight into customer mindset you can use off-platform too.

Don’t strive for likes alone – here’s why

Likes don’t necessarily equate to more customers. This might sound contradictory. Especially on the back of our earlier claims. Thumbs translate into better brand credibility, improved exposure, and greater customer insights.

#1 Beware idle scrollers

There are plenty of reasons people like posts. Some are simply idle scrollers who react to content without thinking. Others may enjoy your content but lack intent – because your offering isn’t relevant to them.

#2 Lurkers vs likers

Metrics only reveal so much. Right now people are watching your content without engaging. These so-called lurkers could become future customers – so don’t base your marketing strategy on likes alone. 

social media success

3# Likes can be bought

Your latest post got 10-likes.  Meanwhile, a rival’s reached triple digits. But are those figures real? Some companies buy likes to inflate their numbers to (i) improve exposure; (ii) build brand credibility; (iii) win new customers.

Alternatively, your competitor might belong to networking groups. In which case its members will share, like, and comment on their content.  This rent-a-crowd approach isn’t true engagement and won’t guarantee money.

#4 Activation matters most

Liking takes minimal effort. How many times have you reacted to a post without reading it or out of politeness? To leverage the power of your content and connect with your audience you must elicit a reaction.

You could do this by:

  • Asking followers to download a free guide or watch a video
  • Creating a survey and asking your audience to participate
  • Inviting those in your feed to attend a free online seminar 

This will force a moment of truth. If your followers don’t engage then your likes have no quantifiable value and are little more than vanity metrics.


Likes should form part of your social media strategy. Without them, establishing a strong online presence, validating your expertise, and proving your business is a force to be reckoned with will be nigh on impossible.

But likes don’t guarantee engagement. They’re merely high-level indicators which suggest someone might be interested in your offering. So, instead of throwing all your eggs in one basket, engage in other marketing activities too.

If you want to win new customers:

  • Drive traffic to your website using SEO-friendly content
  • Build an email marketing list to engage with prospects
  • Instead of waiting for likes send a direct message
  • Cold canvas clients by picking up the phone

Deploying a range of online and offline marketing techniques is the best way to showcase your brand, build rapport, and convert prospects into customers.

Marketing support and advice you’re bound to like

Book a free consultation with one of our friendly experts today. We’d love to help your brand grow its market share and online presence – and have a strong track record within B2B and professional services.

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