What’s Better on Social Media – Likes? Reach? Conversions?

Understand Social Media Conversions

Building a powerful presence on social media is no longer optional – it’s a must for any brand that wishes to rise above its competition. When it comes to digital marketing, successful social media strategies complement content-based sales funnels, driving traffic to your site and producing conversions.

However, determining the effectiveness of your social media campaign can be tricky. There is no one-size-fits-all metric for determining the success of any post, ad, or referral. Marketers need to develop a deep understanding of the difference between impressions, reach, likes, and conversions – and create content suited specifically for each purpose.

First Impressions Are Key

Every time a piece of digital content appears on a social media users screen, an impression occurs. As Mark Jeffery points out in his book Data Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know, impressions tend not to count directly towards conversions – they don’t sell products or build email databases. However, they are valuable because they build brand awareness, which generates conversions further along the sales funnel.

Impressions and reach go hand-in-hand – the number of impressions a piece of content can generate is limited by its reach. This is why Facebook marketers spend advertising dollars to increase the reach of their posts. Importantly, reach is potential – it refers to the number of people who may see your content when scrolling through their feeds.

Likes and Engagement

Likes, comments, and shares are forms of engagement. Whenever a user clicks on a social media post, that user is engaging it in some way. On most social media platforms, there is no way to quantify just how interested a user is in your brand other than counting the number of times they’ve engaged it.

A user who likes a single post is substantially less interested in your brand than one who has loved and shared almost every single Facebook post on your News Feed. As of 2017, Facebook is the only platform that offers the smallest degree of quantifying engagements – users can like or love posts, as well as express a variety of other emotional responses.


Conversions are the end goal of all social media strategies. For retailers, conversions mean selling products – for bloggers, conversions mean building email lists or subscribing to special content. In both cases, the sales funnel leading to conversion starts with an impression, builds a relationship quantified through engagement, and moves on to convincing users to buy something.

For most brands on social media, attempting to jump straight to conversions will not work unless the sales funnel already addresses the public (generating impressions), friends and followers (through engagement), and customers and members (through conversion).

After conversion, brands on social media can further develop their sales funnel to create brand loyalists or advocates. The highest quality content drives additional marketing goals by relying on the users who are dedicated to the brand itself – the way powerful brands like Apple and Nike do.

Vortex Communications is a web design and marketing agency that helps build audiences through customized digital marketing campaigns. Have us build a sales funnel for your business and begin converting new leads through social media today.


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