Thursday, October 18, 2012

The value of "Likes"

We all share photo's with the hope that our peers will "Like" them and perhaps share them.  So if you post to Instagram, Tadaa, Streamzoo or any other site where viewers can rate or "Like" do you get discouraged when your numbers are low?  I have been researching this for the last few days using my various photo sharing sites and have drawn the following conclusions.

First, no mater who you are the average likes to followers is between 2% and 6%.  I checked some of the more well photographers compared to the average person and found that this number was true for each for most sites.  The only difference was that the well known had over 100,000 followers but averaged about 6,000 likes on their posts.  The average person has around 500 followers and averages about 25 likes.  In both cases about 5%.

Between Instagram, Tadaa and Streamzoo, Tadaa seems to buck this trend with the likes running closer to 25% based on the number of followers.  This could be due to the fact that this community is more active in users sharing photo's they liked with their followers and that these photo;s show up in your stream.  With Streamzoo you have to visit a separate section to see photo's that people who you follow gave a shoutout to.  Instagram offers no way to share or shoutout photo's you or those you follow deem worthy.

So are likes important?  In the long run, probably not as these sites do not drive traffic to your personal web-site which is where you want people to go to.  They do give you an idea of who is viewing your work and it is always good for the self-esteem when you do get them.  I know that it always gives me a boost when photographers I respect like one of my photo's.

Below is my Instagram 366 photo for today which I shared on all three of the above sites. True to form I have received 15 likes on Instagram (where I have 509 followers), 18 likes on Tadaa (201 followers) and 8 likes on Streamzoo (355 followers) after posting it 2 hours earlier..  I found this very fascinating and wonder why someone would choose to follow a particular photographer and then never "like" their work.  Just a little food for thought and perhaps another blog entry.

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