Why Do Some Facebook Posts Get More Likes?

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Surf Rider
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10 Feb 2017, 1:43 am

I've been baffled lately at why some facebook posts get lots of "likes" and other don't. Most of the posts that get lots of likes are post that are generally vapid, insipid, narcissistic, and superficial. Then when someone posts something that's well thought out or that takes a great deal of talent or skill, it gets hardly any likes at all. I posted a picture of myself surfing, and it only got 6 likes. Then some undergraduate posted that she'd submitted an application to grad school and she got 104 likes for it - just for submitting an application. She didn't get accepted to grad school. She just submitted an application, and she got more likes than I've ever gotten for anything I've ever posted.

Most of the posts that get the most likes are pictures people dressed up or "looking good." It's so vain and superficial. Then I post something that I think is deep and profound and potentially life-changing, and it often doesn't get any likes at all.

Can someone explain to me why silly, vapid, insipid, narcissistic posts get lots of likes, while deeper and more thoughtful posts get far fewer?


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Joe90
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10 Feb 2017, 6:48 am

It can depend on how popular you are. Whether I upload a fascinating picture of me standing on the moon or post something as mundane like "I saw a duck and it went quack", I still get little to no likes. But a popular person on my Facebook would post anything, and gets about 40 likes if it's really interesting, and at LEAST 5 likes if it's mundane.


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HouseOfMadpeak
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10 Feb 2017, 5:49 pm

I've noticed several different things can influence this.

Of course, how popular you are. People want to feel acceptance by popular people.

If someone popular likes your post, it will likely get more likes as well.

Time of day you post it. If more people are online, it is more likely to be viewed.

And if you get some likes, more people are going to like it. There is a strong herd mentality, even if we are not aware we are doing it.



rats_and_cats
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11 Feb 2017, 1:53 am

HouseOfMadpeak wrote:
I've noticed several different things can influence this.

Of course, how popular you are. People want to feel acceptance by popular people.

If someone popular likes your post, it will likely get more likes as well.

Time of day you post it. If more people are online, it is more likely to be viewed.

And if you get some likes, more people are going to like it. There is a strong herd mentality, even if we are not aware we are doing it.


I came here to say this but you beat me to it. I would also like to add that if a well thought out post requires a lot of time investment, fewer people will like it. People nowadays tend to have a short attention span.



Kiprobalhato
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11 Feb 2017, 2:01 am

yeah, what's "vapid" and "superficial" to you might not be, to someone else. not everyone holds the same values.

the more likes an image has, the more likely it is to get even more likes, i think they did a study on this recently. it's a snowball effect.

maybe that other person just plain has more FB friends than you to supply the likes.

maybe - consider this - surfing is something you do relatively often, as do any other people, while submitting an application to grad school represents a major milestone in that person's life and a step forward, regardless of whether they are accepted or not. a large part of these people who liked the image could have been those in her family who maybe did not even have that opportunity in life (this reflects my and my own family's experience) and are showing that they are proud of her.


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the_phoenix
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11 Feb 2017, 2:11 am

Also, do you like anybody else's Facebook posts?
A lot of times, it can be an "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" kind of deal.
Reciprocity.
You like something of theirs, they feel obligated to like something of yours.



BigSnoopy126
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11 Feb 2017, 7:39 pm

Part has to do with who your friends are - I have a few Facebook friends who like my comments but they are long and take longer to read. But, more to what i mean, maybe your Facebook friends just are the kind, like me, who would rather comment than like something. I haven't liked a single post on Facebook - I feel like just a "like" itself is superficial.

Now, if I want to say congratulations, i will; if I see a picture I like, I will only comment if i can think of a cute or funny caption. I'll even LOL if I truly do laugh at soemthing, but a like is fleeting. I'd rather wait for the time when i can actually add something, even if it's a cheesy reference to something i have to explain anyway, becasue it helps kids learn. Like when this one girl in our church youth group that I help in posted about having an "obsessesion" with shoes becasue she had like 9 or 10 - and I said something like, "Uh, at that pace it would still take 283 years to match the biggest obsession, Imelda marcos." And, I posted a link to Ms. Marcos' wiki page. (To which the girl expressed amazement that anyone could do that - one reason the kids like me is I show them how to be real and not feel embarrassed by anything; with the other handicaps I have, too, i hope I['m an encouragement.)

Some of it is the time of day, too, I don't know if Likes are really a measure of who is seeing the picture/post and liking it or if it's just a function of the fact that a bunch of people happened to be on at 8 AM to see my cousin's little girl making pancakes with the awesome caregiver whom my cousin thanked in the photo. However, if my cousin posts the same thing when she has a free moment at work at 2 PM, by the time everyone views it 15 other things have come up on their walls and they just don't get to it.

i know, I may be overthinking it a bit, but to me, there are so many variables that Likes just aren't an accurate measure even of who sees it.



Surf Rider
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12 Feb 2017, 2:23 am

Well, I mean, yeah. I guess I was hoping to have a discussion about values, but yes, the number of likes does have a lot to do with the popularity of the person posting it, and there is a snowball effect, and maybe some people feel self-conscious about liking something that no one else likes. I try to avoid these behaviors, but that doesn't mean that other people do what I do. In fact, if something is very popular, I actually avoid liking it.

More than anything else, the way to get the most likes is to post a really hot picture of yourself. Like a pic of yourself all dressed up nice and looking sexy. Maybe I could try taking advantage of that. I still think it's stupid, but maybe I could try to make human nature work for me.


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blackicmenace
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12 Feb 2017, 5:20 am

Reminds me of Black Mirror season 3 episode 1 Nosedive. My thoughts on social media is, screw that superficial garbage.


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sonicallysensitive
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12 Feb 2017, 8:54 pm

Surf Rider wrote:
I've been baffled lately at why some facebook posts get lots of "likes" and other don't.
Illuminati. Or those pesky Russians.


Surf Rider wrote:
Most of the posts that get lots of likes are post that are generally vapid, insipid, narcissistic, and superficial.
Because it's Facebook, not the International Psychoanalytic Association discussion board.


Surf Rider wrote:
Then when someone posts something that's well thought out or that takes a great deal of talent or skill, it gets hardly any likes at all.
Because it's Facebook, not the International Psychoanalytic Association discussion board.



Surf Rider wrote:
I posted a picture of myself surfing, and it only got 6 likes. Then some undergraduate posted that she'd submitted an application to grad school and she got 104 likes for it - just for submitting an application. She didn't get accepted to grad school. She just submitted an application, and she got more likes than I've ever gotten for anything I've ever posted.
Maybe your surfing form is crap.

Maybe you have less friends.

Maybe she is prettier than you.



Surf Rider wrote:
Most of the posts that get the most likes are pictures people dressed up or "looking good." It's so vain and superficial.
Unlike posting a picture of yourself surfing...



Surf Rider wrote:
Then I post something that I think is deep and profound and potentially life-changing, and it often doesn't get any likes at all.
You post such content on FB for free? If it's so good, contact a publisher!

At the very least, stick your life-changing brilliance up on Arxiv.


Surf Rider wrote:
Can someone explain to me why silly, vapid, insipid, narcissistic posts get lots of likes, while deeper and more thoughtful posts get far fewer?
Because it's Facebook, not the International Psychoanalytic Association discussion board.



Pageognat
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12 Feb 2017, 9:25 pm

Honestly, there are astronomically few posts on Facebook that have any real redeeming social value. Everyone's there just to receive validation from everyone else, including you. Why would you surfing (which benefits no one aside from yourself) be worth more than your friend making an effort to be a more productive member of society? Most people care much more about education than surfing, so you're starting off with an obviously skewed example.

Also, it is very much a numbers game. Does this other person have more people connected with her as friends? If so, even if the same percentage of your and her friends liked your respective posts, she'd still end up with more.


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13 Feb 2017, 1:20 am

Surf Rider wrote:
Well, I mean, yeah. I guess I was hoping to have a discussion about values, but yes, the number of likes does have a lot to do with the popularity of the person posting it, and there is a snowball effect, and maybe some people feel self-conscious about liking something that no one else likes. I try to avoid these behaviors, but that doesn't mean that other people do what I do. In fact, if something is very popular, I actually avoid liking it.


i hope you only do this while staying true to yourself.

it is a good feeling, to me, starting correspondence with a post/thing/person hat initially had no attention given to it. :)

Surf Rider wrote:
More than anything else, the way to get the most likes is to post a really hot picture of yourself. Like a pic of yourself all dressed up nice and looking sexy. Maybe I could try taking advantage of that. I still think it's stupid, but maybe I could try to make human nature work for me.


that, or a picture of you and your partner or something. maybe a big stash of drugs. those seem to be the biggest examples of likebait when i was on FB in high school. are you actually hot? that may be a prerequisite.

i post whatever pleases me, and i don't lie to myself by posting other stuff in order to receive likes/replies/etc which may be pleasant in the moment, but ultimately don't matter. if i make a post about something i care about, and it gets a positive response, then hooray. but i don't expect it to happen often.

i keep my expectations low, and in that way i avoid getting hurt or disappointed. a wager of sorts.

Pageognat wrote:
Most people care much more about education than surfing


unless, of course...you live in southern california. :ninja:


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Surf Rider
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14 Feb 2017, 3:59 am

Kiprobalhato wrote:
are you actually hot?

Wouldn't you like to know? :wink:

Kiprobalhato wrote:
i post whatever pleases me, and i don't lie to myself by posting other stuff in order to receive likes/replies/etc which may be pleasant in the moment, but ultimately don't matter. if i make a post about something i care about, and it gets a positive response, then hooray. but i don't expect it to happen often.

i keep my expectations low, and in that way i avoid getting hurt or disappointed. a wager of sorts.


I've gone back and forth between posting stuff because I like it and because it's self-expressive, and posting stuff because I think it will get a lot of likes. Make no mistake, there is an enormous amount of attention-seeking behavior on facebook. We might even argue that the whole point of social media is to get attention.

In my approach to life, I've found it's best to have no expectations at all, inasmuch as that's possible. Having low expectations is a no-lose situation, because either you're pleasantly surprised, or you're right. But I've found it a de-motivating way to live. I prefer to have no expectations.


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blackicmenace
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14 Feb 2017, 12:09 pm

You probably shouldn't take Fakebook too seriously. I'm sure your picture was cool and you have plenty of thought provoking posts. I'm sorry more people don't take notice and appreciate your contribution to creating something of substance.


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14 Feb 2017, 1:49 pm

I surprised no one else mentioned the obvious--the difference in genders between the OP and the female undergraduate he used in his example. Women tend to get more attention on social media.

Neurotypicals are on social media to be social, for the most part, not to exchange information. Posts about life events (engagements, birth announcements, graduation pictures) will always get a disproportionate amount of "likes".