Comments 4x More Valuable Than Likes

Facebook has recently unveiled new metrics that allows us to monitor Shares and Clicks. Shares are a very important aspect of EdgeRank. They take Posts from one user’s feed and immediately seed it into the “Sharer’s” feed for all of their friends to see. This can create a truly viral effect on Facebook. We decided to analyze Clicks and Shares to see how they effect the usual metrics.

We analyzed how many Clicks a Post received against each major metric (Likes, Comments, Impressions). This can give a marketer a basic guideline on how many Clicks (on average) they can expect per engagement type. For example if you’re Post received 2 Likes, the Link on average should receive approximately 6 Clicks. The results are as follows:

  • Avg Clicks Per Like: 3.103
  • Avg Clicks Per Comment: 14.678
  • Avg Clicks Per Impression: 0.005

What does this mean?

For every Like a Post gets, it received on average 3.1 Clicks. For every Comment a Post receives, it results on average 14.678 Clicks. This ultimately means that the more engagement your update receives, the more Clicks it will receive. What is interesting about this data is that a Comment results in roughly 4 times the amount of Clicks.

Marketers often ask the difference in value between Likes & Comments. This data seems to suggest that (in terms of Clicks) a Comment is worth 4x a Like.

Wednesdays had the best Shares ratios along with the highest Clicks ratios. It is tough to say exactly why Wednesdays resulted in the highest Shares and Clicks, however the trend seems to suggest that more users are on Facebook midweek than on the weekend. It is interesting that Friday did poorly in Clicks, perhaps suggesting not many users interact with content as actively than other days of the week.


Day of Week Avg Shares/Fans Avg Clicks/Fans
Sunday 0.09% 0.43%
Monday 0.09% 0.39%
Tuesday 0.10% 0.47%
Wednesday 0.11% 0.49%
Thursday 0.09% 0.41%
Friday 0.09% 0.35%
Saturday 0.08% 0.39%

A few weeks ago we looked at the Impact of the New Hybrid News Feed. We found that big Pages were experiencing an increase in engagement, whereas smaller Pages were experiencing a decrease. Essentially, the larger the Page, the better the new hybrid news feed was impacting their brand.

We think this data suggests that smaller Pages are able to create more relevant content for their fans, which ultimately results in higher Clicks and Shares. This may be further indication that large brands should make multiple Pages to narrow down their audience. For example Nike takes this approach: Nike, Nike Football, Nike Basketball, etc. This allows their branding to be more focused and honed it, possibly resulting in more Clicks and Shares.

How did we analyze the data?

We examined a random sampling of 5,500+ Facebook Pages. We analyzed 80,000+ of their Posts over the month of October (2011). The 80,000 posts were all of the “Link” type, to keep Clicks more accurately represented in our data. Each Post was analyzed (clicks, shares, fans, etc) as needed for the above graphs.

Conclusion

Shares are very important in driving more exposure to your content. Sometimes asking your users to Share a Post can be enough to help the content spread further. More elaborate techniques will include creating “Sharable” content. Current popular objects that are being Shared are funny and/or entertaining images or videos. The trick is to get the fan to “share” this photo/video/etc with their friends. Make the photo/video/etc something their friends would actually want to see.

18 Comments on “Comments 4x More Valuable Than Likes

  1. vinod

    How are you able to get post shares information from facebook insights? i don’t think facebook has exposed access to shares data yet.

    • Chad Wittman

      As of approximately f8, Facebook upgraded the information available through the API. Some of the new metrics included Clicks & Shares. Hope that helps!

  2. Jexep

    This is the great post! I will share it on my site. :D

  3. Annalee

    I like where you say “Shares are very important in driving more exposure to your content.” I’ve always agreed that commenting is defintley in important to keeping audiences engaged in any aspect of social networking/media. It’s cool to see statistics that back this up! I will be sure to remind myself to join in on sharing more on facebook instead of simply encouraging with a “like.”

  4. If I read your chart above correctly, it also looks like smaller pages (less than 1K likes) get significantly more engagement than their larger counterparts. If these “niche” pages are also getting screwed by the new Hybrid News Feed, how would you suggest they go about getting more shares to compensate for that?

    Love the data and the article, BTW :)

    • Chad Wittman

      That’s a great point and question April! In our previous study of the new hybrid news feed, we found that Impressions were down for most Pages and Engagement was up for larger Pages. What this doesn’t take into consideration was what the pervious levels were. Perhaps smaller Pages had higher Engagement per Fan (which I’m guessing they did), before the hybrid news feed. With the effects of the hybrid news feed, perhaps it “even the playing field”.

      So on one hand smaller Pages had a decrease in Engagement after the hybrid news feed. But what we don’t know is how high above they were before the hybrid news feed. Does this make sense? So even though they lost some Engagement, they may have been doing even more amazing with Engagement per Fan.

      All in all, I think marketers need to roll with the punches when it comes to these studies and continue to focus on creating Engagement on their Pages. These studies simply help marketers better understand trends they maybe seeing in their own data. Hope that helps!

  5. Hi, Chad Wittman. These data are really very interesting. I’ll use them on my blog and to support some future work. It is important to show customers that the investment in the social media and online relationships with consumers has a direct influence with the brand value.

  6. Sharon Machlis

    How are you measuring clicks to each post? Are these all from pages where you have admin access?

  7. Again, brilliant! I have been wondering where to spend my efforts on a fan page. I’ll put some more thought into what would get people commenting. Thanks Chad!

  8. Rich

    Way to go, yet another 2000 words to say “make your content interesting”.

    But you haven’t addressed the real issues you’ve uncovered. You’ve exposed the fact that Facebook has weighted the game in favour of bland corporate offerings, thus taking another stab at the back of original content and shooting themselves in the foot in so many ways its difficult to know where to start.

    What’s up? Do you not understand your own analysis or do you just lack balls? We should be screaming at Facebook for this.

    • Chad Wittman

      I agree that the general synopsis of our content is to ultimately make your content as interesting as possible.

      I disagree that there’s anything to be found regarding Facebook weighting the game in favor of bland corporate offerings. I believe the opposite. I think Facebook is attempting to leverage EdgeRank as a tool to give extra weight and value to exciting corporate offerings.

      I also think it is foolish to stop the analysis at “make your content interesting”. To fully understand the task at hand, all levels of granularity should be explored.

  9. Rich

    True to the “exciting corporate offerings”, and whilst I agree that they need to gain income what they’re doing in reality is raising the barriers to entry and creating somewhere for the corporate drones to reside. People who enjoy innovation can’t get anywhere (do you know how much commitment you need to get 1000 likes?). Facebook was built on user generated content, not whatever “fun” offering the marketing manager of some joyless blue chip feels is safe enough to put in front of the committee.

    I, for one, feel like I had a role in building up Facebook, now I feel it has less and less to offer me every day. Soon enough someone else will get it right enough that the real innovators will be off, FB is already suffering horribly from corporate firewalls and now there is another barrier to doing new stuff. Don’t celebrate this bollocks, you might be making money at the moment but you can’t advertise at nobody.

  10. You conclude that shares are very important, but only ‘prize’ avg Clicks Per Like, Comment & Impression. Why not shares? Best Mikkel

    • Chad Wittman

      You’re right Mikkel, just need time to run the data as well.

      • Great info.

        I’m also curious about engagement rates for text posts with links versus posts with pictures but no links.

        • Chad Wittman

          We typically see Pictures > Status Updates > Links

  11. Thanks for the article and the many comments. Now I have a better idea of what Edge Rank is all about.

  12. Pictures get more comments than normal post, it is also gain traffic to the site. But still not all the time people will interact on facebook. Thanks for enlightening me.

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