(image by MIKI Yoshihito, used under CC BY 2.0, modified from original.)
“Hi there! I’m liking you from Shameless Shannan’s Sweaters.com! I love your (fill in the blank)! Please like us back!”
You’ve received comments like these on your page, too, right? Maybe you’ve even been, perhaps, the one (cough)… leaving the comment?
In the early days of my Facebook page, I admit that I religiously followed commenters like this back to their page and gave ’em a like. I even felt kinda special that this other business apparently dug me enough to include me in their circle o’ likes. And, of course, I was always thrilled every time my fan number ticked in the upward direction.
It didn’t take long for me to realize though, that these fans weren’t REAL fans. Shameless Shannan and her Sweaters obviously didn’t love my things that much because she never “liked” anything else I ever posted. My fan number was worthless.
But, that’s no big deal, right? I mean, increasing your fan number helps establish some social proof. Seems harmless enough.
It’s definitely not harmless, and I”ll tell you why.
Facebook is getting tougher and tougher on spammers. And I know you aren’t a spammer. But, if you are suddenly trotting around Facebook land, liking and commenting on a bunch of different business pages in a short amount of time, Facebook is going to think you are. Have you ever received a comment on your own page that showed up as a “hidden” post? That happened because Facebook flagged that person as a spammer. They might be one; they might not. Either way, I don’t want that to happen to you.
You may have also noticed some other little traps that have been popping up on Facebook lately. For example, when you are sent a friend request, Facebook now asks you if you actually know the person outside of the site. When you click “no,” you’re tipping off Facebook that this person could be a spammer. Well, the same goes for when you “unlike” something: that page is negatively impacted. The more a page becomes “unliked,” the less important Facebook thinks that page is, and the less their stuff will show in newsfeeds.
How does this impact YOUR page? Well, all these people who’ve gone around reciprical liking…most of them didn’t really like you. And that means, chances are pretty decent that they will eventually UNlike you (after all, we all like to de-clutter our newsfeeds every once in a while, don’t we?).
The last thing you want or need is for these fake likers to actually hurt your page. This completely defeats the purpose of trying to increase your fan number in the first place.
Social media is a seriously fabulous opportunity to build relationships with people – with potential customers.
The people who like your page just so they can promote their shop, are not potenial customers.
The people who trade likes with you are not authentically interested in you or your business.
And that’s why your goal for your social media pages is not to get just anyone. And it’s not to get everyone, either.
You want the right ones.
Don’t waste your time liking for likes on Facebook, or liking someone back who does it to you (unless you really do like their stuff). Your marketing time is so much better spent on other things, like writing a blog post, posting awesome things for your genuine fans, or creating your products. Building up your page over time, orgainically, will get you fans who are genuinely interested in your business, engaged with you, and will help you actually grow your business. For REAL.
What do you think?