Facebook Page Likes vs. Post Likes – What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference was between liking a page on Facebook vs. Liking a post or status update from one of your friends?

Or maybe you’ve wondered why you get plenty of likes on the things that you post via your company page, but only a handful of people have actually liked your page?

If so, you’re not alone. Between Facebook changing the names of what they call things (fans, friends, likes, etc.) as well as changes to their policies (see discussion of fan-gating below), many small business owners have questions about how to increase both their page likes as well as the level of engagement on their posts.

What’s the Difference Between Liking a Page and Liking a Post?

According to Facebook:

“Liking a Page means you’re connecting to that Page. Liking a post from a friend means you’re letting that friend know you like their post without leaving a comment.

When you connect to a Page, you’ll start to see stories from that Page in your News Feed. The Page will also appear on your profile, and you’ll appear on the Page as a person who likes that Page.”

Both types of likes influence the number of people who will see your posts and therefore the success of your marketing efforts on Facebook.

Why Post Likes Don’t Translate Into Page Likes

In order for a post like to turn into a page like, the following would have to occur:

  • Someone who is not following you (has not liked your page yet) would have to see your post.
  • Then they would have to click through to your company page (or hover over the link that produces the popup that contains the like button)

Here is an example from my Facebook News Feed. This post is from a magazine called Rebel Circus. I don’t follow them (I haven’t liked their page) on Facebook, but because one of my friends commented on it, it showed up in my news feed this morning:


Now, I happen to find this amusing, so I may share it with my network by liking, commenting, or clicking on the share button. However, if I do any of those actions, I won’t be connected to their page. If I want to make sure I see their future updates, I will need to either click on the link that takes me to the page, or hover my mouse pointer over the link until the box with the like button appears (shown below)so I can click on it.


Many people don’t even know that they can do that, never mind take the time to do so. Therefore, we can expect to get Page Likes solely from our posting activities; we need to take explicit actions to increase our page likes.

Getting More Facebook Page Likes

Business owners used to be able to use “Like Gates” or “Fan Gates” to require people to like their page before they could take an action – like downloading a free report – similar to the way you would set up an opt in form on your website.

Unfortunately, Facebook no longer supports like gating and there is no way to “require” someone to like your page before they can take an action.

Now, we must ask and entice people to like our pages. Just like all of our other marketing, we need to explain the “What’s in if for them” in order for people to like our page. There are plenty of ways to go about getting more likes for your page – here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Send an email blast letting your list know about your Facebook page. Let them know what they can find on your page and remind them to Like your page so they don’t miss out on any news.
  • Like your customers company pages as your company page (vs. your personal profile). Many people will automatically Like you back. Do the same for your strategic partners and people in your professional network.
  • Invite people who attend your presentations, webinars, and events to join you on Facebook by liking your page. Provide them with a good reason (benefit)for doing so.
  • You can also like the business pages of potential customers – people who you would like to do business with.
  • Consider running an ad to promote your page to people matching (as close as you can) your ideal customer profile.
  • Promote your Facebook page in your store, on your website, and/or in your email signature
  • Contests can still be a good way to attract people to your Facebook page. Again, since you can’t require them to like your page in order to participate, provide them with incentives and reminders to do so.

Now that you know the difference between page and post likes and why one type of like doesn’t necessarily translate into the other, you can take explicit actions to target the type of likes you want to receive.

If you have a favorite tactic for getting more Facebook likes, I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a note below.

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