Facebook “likes” has been the topic of some controversy for several years now—ever since brands began to get in on the action. The fact that Facebook continues to tweak the newsfeed algorithm and is introducing Graph Search keeps companies on their toes as they are forced to adjust not only their expectations but their approach.
Nearly all companies, causes, organizations, brands—anyone with a page rather than personal profile —on Facebook want to be “liked.” When someone likes a page, that page’s content then appears in that person’s newsfeed. And, that’s what you want, right? More eyeballs? No, actually, it’s not. A Facebook “like” has nearly no real-world value—until you nurture that connection. What you want is engagement. But you do have to have “likes” in order to nurture and engage.
I’ve seen all sorts of promotions and contests to get likes. One method, that is particularly troubling, was brought up by Gus Wagner in the #SocialIRL Non-Profits Conference series recently. And that is, companies partnering with a non-profit organization exchanging likes for monetary contributions. For example, a NPO posts on their page to go like this company and if the company gets x number of likes, they’ll donate x amount of money to the non-profit. The biggest problem with this is it is strictly forbidden by Facebook’s Terms!
According to Wagner, “Facebook audiences are not looking to connect with brands, or non-profits, unless given a call to action. Whether it is a coupon on a pair of Levi’s for a Like or a connection with a local non-profit for someone else to make a contribution, these are the motivations for average audiences to connect with a brand.”
As a matter of fact, there are lots of ways to get Likes. Here are some of them:
- First and foremost, know your audience—inspire them
- Increase your engagement so that others see your brand
- Add a Like box to your website and blog
- Offer something in exchange for Likes (ie. a free drink, a discount)
- Tag your page from your personal profile
- Ask and thank. Wagner says the two most powerful words in social is “thank you.”
- Advertise on Facebook or use Sponsored Stories
- Share original content—especially photos (which have recently shown to produce the most engagement, closely followed by video)
How is your brand or organization growing your Facebook fan base?