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Are the Days of Likes and Shares a Thing of the Past? What Reactions Really Matter on Social Media


In the digital age, the currency of likes and shares has dominated the way businesses measure their success on social media. However, as platforms evolve and user behaviour shifts, it’s worth asking: are these traditional metrics still the best indicators of engagement? At The Consult Centre, we’re taking a closer look at what reactions really matter on social media today.

The Evolution of Social Media Metrics

Once upon a time, a simple like or share was the ultimate sign that your content resonated with audiences. These actions were straightforward and easily quantifiable, making them convenient metrics for businesses to gauge their social media presence. But as the digital landscape has grown more sophisticated, so too have the ways in which people can express their engagement with content.

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter have expanded their reaction options beyond likes and shares. Users can now express a range of emotions, from love, laughter, and surprise to sadness and anger. This diversification of reactions offers a more nuanced understanding of how content is received.

Quality Over Quantity

The Consult Centre believes that the value of social media interactions lies in their quality rather than their quantity. A hundred likes might look impressive at a glance, but they don’t tell the full story. Engagements such as comments, saves, and direct messages often require more effort from users and can indicate a deeper level of interest or connection with your brand.

Comments, for instance, provide valuable feedback and insights into what your audience thinks and feels about your content or services. Saves and direct messages, on the other hand, suggest that your content is resonating on a personal level, compelling users to keep your information close at hand or share it privately with their network.

The Rise of Meaningful Interactions

The algorithms that determine what content gets displayed prominently on social media feeds now prioritize meaningful interactions. Platforms are increasingly recognising the value of genuine engagement over passive likes or casual shares. This shift underscores the importance of creating content that sparks conversations, fosters community, and encourages users to interact in more significant ways.

For businesses, this means adopting strategies that focus on eliciting responses that go beyond surface-level engagement. Asking open-ended questions, sharing thought-provoking content, and encouraging user-generated content are just a few tactics that can lead to more meaningful interactions.

While likes and shares are not entirely obsolete, their significance as metrics of social media success is diminishing. In their place, reactions that signify a deeper level of engagement are becoming more valuable. For businesses looking to truly connect with their audience and build a loyal community, the focus should be on fostering meaningful interactions.

At The Consult Centre, we understand the evolving nature of social media engagement. We’re committed to helping businesses across the Lancaster and Morecambe district adapt their strategies to meet the changing demands of digital communication. By prioritising quality interactions, we can help you build a social media presence that not only looks good on paper but feels meaningful in the hearts of your audience.