Likes vs Links MbtC

Likes vs. Links

Written by Carl Foisy

We work with several social media handles on multiple levels, and if you’ve read any of the social media themed articles on this website, you know that we also take pride in how we practice the art of social media for businesses. There are many variables to measuring a ‘good post’, a ‘positive outcome’, and a ’trackable ROI’ in social media, but this article is about the difference between highly measurable ‘Likes’ and ‘Links’….and it’s a big difference.

For the purpose of this article, ‘Likes’ will be used as a general term for social media thumbs-up or hearts, and ‘Links’ will be the general term for actions taken on social media that drive and support business. Yes, we all feel good when a social media post gets visible attention with several likes, but when we don’t see many Likes, sometimes it can make us wonder if we did something wrong. Why is that? Because we can easily and quickly see the ‘Likes’, while we can not see the ‘Links’ as easily. To see Links, we must use 3rd party tools like Google Analytics to measure the web referrals efficiently, or track direct inquiries via email or phone, and more. Plus, Likes also feel good because other passersby can also see the number of ‘Likes’, while having no idea about the ‘Links’.

We must put ourselves in the shoes of the audience members, and recognize that most users will only take one action on any given post that ‘moves them’ enough to take action. Any given post can gain more ‘Likes’ just by simply getting more Likes. It’s a social buzz that social media users love to ‘coat-tail’ on over popularity. We must also recognize that Likes don’t create dollars for a business, as much as Links do. And for me personally, I prefer Links over Likes.

Links, as outlined initially, are actions that drive and support businesses. What are these actions? Direct visitors to a website destination, texts or phone calls to specific contact number, correspondence via email, and amplifying by sharing at any level. Knowing that most users will take only one action, and knowing what the actions can entail, ‘Likes’ are now sounding less important, because the action of ‘Like’ does not drive or support business nearly as much as the other actions of: calls, emails, shares and links.

So, when I get to have the conversation about social media ‘Likes’, I’ll always ask if getting ‘Likes’ or ‘Links’ are more important, just so that it’s clear that Likes aren’t as cool as Links. And while we may see Likes quicker on the feed, the unseen Links are far more valuable for sustaining business.