If you’ve ever used Facebook before, you know that it allows you to ‘like’ pages with content that you’d like to see more often. But what about the mysterious ‘follow’ button, you might ask? Why wouldn’t liking a page be enough? Well, don’t worry, I’m here to settle the Facebook like VS follow debate once and for all.
The Three Tiers of ‘Follow’
Since liking a page means you’re following it by default, the ‘follow’ button is notoriously unexplored. But if you click on the dropdown menu, you’ll see three options to choose from: See First, Default, and Unfollow. These options further determine your engagement with the page.
The See First option overrides the regular Facebook algorithm and prioritizes the posts of the selected page above all others. By choosing it, you show that you’re a huge fan of the content and want to see more of it.
Default is the standard following option and the one most people choose, mostly because they don’t know about the others. When you opt for this one, the algorithm determines how often to show the posts from the page based on how often you view it. The more you engage with the page, the more you will see its posts.
Just as the name implies, the Unfollow option means you won’t be seeing any posts from that page once you click it. However, you don’t have to unlike a page just because you unfollowed it.
The Four Forms of Engagement
Now that you’re aware of all the options to follow someone, you may be wondering where likes come into play. There are four types of interaction with a page that depend on whether you liked it or followed it.
1. Like and Follow
This is the default and most common state of things. Usually, without much thinking, you like a page and automatically follow it. Depending on how often you visit the page, the posts will usually appear on your timeline, though you might miss a few.
2. Like but Unfollow
This one indicates that something in the relationship between you and the page isn’t quite right. You still like a page — maybe out of loyalty or because your friend made it and you don’t want to be impolite — but you don’t want to see the posts anymore. If you unfollow a page, you will never have to.
3. Not Like but Follow
Now, it may seem strange to only follow a page without liking it, when the results are practically the same. But there is one key difference – your friends can see which pages you liked, but they can’t see which ones you follow. So, some people prefer to only follow out of privacy concerns. Others may not like the page but have some reasons to still want to see its contents.
4. Like and See First
This is definitely the best type of engagement and one that all pages strive for. It shows your dedication and support of the content, and what more could a content creator want?
Like or Follow — What Is Better?
Although the number of likes may seem crucial to you, it actually matters much less than the number of active followers. If you have ten thousand likes on your page, but no one really sees or interacts with your posts, you’re doing worse than someone with a thousand likes whose followers engage with the content regularly. So it’s safe to say that in the Facebook like VS follow debate, the option to follow wins by a large margin.