How To Find Where Your Facebook Page Likes and Unlikes Come From

Ben Matthews

By Ben Matthews

In Blog, Empower Life, Moments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’ve been running your Facebook page for a while and often take a look at Facebook Insights to see how your page is performing, it can be a real boost to see the steady growth in fans that your page is getting.

At the same time, it can hurt to see those small red spikes that show a number of fans unliking your page – especially if you’ve just posted that meme gif that is doing the rounds at the moment and you thought would perform well.

What if you could find out the reasons where the people who like your Facebook page come from?

Or even more importantly, why they unlike your page?

There’s a hidden feature in Facebook Insights that might be one of its most important parts in informing your Facebook strategy. But not many people know it even exists or where to look.

We’re talking about the Page Like and Unlike Sources tab, which shows you exactly where your page likes and unlikes came from.

There’s a step by step on how to find and use the tab below, but it’s accessed from the “Net Likes” area of Facebook Insights.

Facebook insights already provides lots of useful analytics around how your Facebook page is performing, but looking at the sources of where your page likes and unlikes came from is particularly useful when planning your social media strategy.

For example, keeping a close on your Facebook Page likes and unlikes gives you a good idea if the content you are posting is resonating with your audience.

If you see a steady increase in page likes, you know you’re on the right track. But if you see a spike in unlikes when you post “hilarious” cat gifs, then it might be time to rethink your content strategy.

What does the Facebook Like Sources Tab Tell You?

So what kind of information can you get from the Page Likes and Unlikes tab?

Below is a list of the like and unlike sources that Facebook gives you.

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t tell you what each one means, so our team has taken an educated guess as to what each definition means.

For page likes, Facebook breaks down your fan acquisition into the following categories:

  • Uncategorized Desktop: Likes from users using Facebook on desktop
  • On Your Page: Likes from users visiting your Facebook page directly and clicking the Like button in the page header
  • Page Suggestions: Likes from pages suggested when users either like a page and are shown related pages by Facebook, or are shown pages that might be of interest in the right-hand column
  • Ads: Page Likes gained from Facebook Advertising you’re showing in the Facebook news feed, which contain a “Like Page” option in the top right corner
  • Uncategorized Mobile: Likes from users using Facebook on a mobile device or tablet
  • API: Could mean the Like button on your website, or from an app
  • Your Posts: Posts you’ve published and that people have seen in the newsfeed. Most likely from existing fans sharing your post with their friends, who then go on to like the page.
  • Search: Users searching for and then liking your page using Facebook’s search feature
  • Posts to Page: Page likes from users users posting to your page

For page unlikes, there are less options, but they’re still just as useful:

  • Suspicious Account Removal: Facebook cleaning user accounts that are fake, malicious or just plain suspicious
  • On Your Page and Posts: Users unliking your page after seeing a particular post, or visiting your page directly to unlike
  • Deactivated or Memorialized Account Removal: People who have left Facebook or where Facebook have been notified that someone has passed away
  • After Hiding a Post: A user has seen your post in their newsfeed, hidden the post so they don’t see your content again, then unliked your page

You’ll also get a percentage breakdown of the likes and unlikes on any given day, plus the actual numbers of fans you’ve gained or lost.

When reviewing the stats with our clients and Empower’s Facebook page, we were concerned that a lot of page unlikes would come from the Facebook ads we had running at the same time. After all, many Facebook users get upset when they see ads forced into their newsfeed, so we’d expect this to be the biggest source of page unlikes.

However, we were pleasantly surprised as we found that most page likes came from suspicious account removal – a sign that Facebook is doing its job in removing fake accounts, plus a sign that our content strategy was working. Hurrah!

Where do you find the Facebook Likes Sources Tab?

Here’s how to find where your Facebook page likes and unlikes are coming from:

1. Navigate to the “Likes” tab in Facebook insights

Head to your Facebook Insights page and click on the “Likes” tab. It’s the second option in the list, beneath “Overview”:

Facebook Insights Likes Tab

2. Scroll down to the “Net Likes” table

You can find the Net Likes table by scrolling down past the date picker and the “Total Net Likes for Today” tab. It looks like this:

Facebook Likes and Unlikes

3. Hover over any spikes in likes or unlikes

As you can see from the table below, the tab shows you the UnLikes, Organic Likes, Paid Likes and Net Likes over your page over time. Hovering over any of the days gives you a quick summary from that day. It’s worth taking a look at any spikes that stand out – positive or negative.

Facebook Insights Net Likes

4. Click on the relevant day to bring up the like / unlike sources

If you click on the summary info that appears when you hover a particular day, then a modal pops up that shows you the Like Source tab. This is a summary of exactly where your page likes are coming from, broken down into percentages and giving you the hard numbers for the likes from each source:

Facebook Insights Like Sources

5. Navigate to the unlikes sources tab

Click on the “Unlike Sources” tab to find the same stats for your page unlikes. This is really useful to  dig through and amend your Facebook strategy if you’re seeing lots of unlikes of your page:

Facebook Insights Unlike Sources

How can you use Like Sources for your Facebook strategy?

With this new information at hand, how can you use it to improve your Facebook strategy and content?

Here’s a few ideas from the Empower Team on how to use this new data:

  • Review spikes in Page Likes and map this against your published content to see which types of content are the most effective in gaining new fans
  • Review spikes in Page Unlikes to check which content is turning valuable fans away from your page
  • Monitor to see if any Facebook ads you’re running at the time are driving Facebook Page Likes, or if ypou’re advertising to existing fans, if those ads are making them unlike your page
  • See if that Like button on your website is driving extra fans for your Facebook page
  • Check if more Page Likes are coming from Desktop or Mobile
  • Are people searching for your page and liking you from Search?

How do you use Facebook’s Like and Unlike Sources?

That’s a few ideas from us, but would be great to hear from others on how you use Facebook’s Like and Unlike Sources tab. Let us know in the comments below.