Social media is a great way to connect with family and friends; however, an interesting phenomenon has completely taken over social media making it one of the most magnetic and effective marketing tools. As an advertising medium, one can grow their platform and easily expand their brand by leaps and bounds with very little effort nor any real marketing know-how. This is especially true of Facebook where small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs seem completely obsessed with gathering as many “Likes” as they can for their fan pages.
Fan page owners need Likes in order to take advantage of many of the more advanced Facebook page features such as Insights and promoted posts. Likes are also how what you post on your fan page gets seen. Your Facebook fan page posts will only appear on timelines of those who have shown interest in what you have to offer. This means that the more people who like your page, the more people who will be exposed to your content.
Many fan page owners in their desperation to gain more likes, often turn to Like Ladders or join groups whose sole purpose is to trade likes for likes. Others may even opt to buy likes, a strategy that is often very much frowned upon and considered cheating. A Like Ladder is a post thread started within a group or on a person’s timeline that specifically requests fan page owners to post the full length URL of their Facebook fan page as a comment to the original post. Each participant posting his or her fan page is expected to like the fan pages posted by all other participants.
Although all the above practices will boost your likes in the short-term, the question remains whether all those random likes really matter in the grand scheme of your marketing plan? It seems the answer isn’t quite a simple yes or no.
As mentioned above, you need likes both to gain access to advanced marketing tools as well as to reach a wider audience. Unfortunately, complicated Facebook algorithms have made it more difficult for fan page owners to be seen even by those who do like their pages. Furthermore, can those who are somehow getting through Facebook’s smoke and mirrors be considered “quality” leads? More often than not, that answer is a big negative. Only likes that result in quality leads should matter. So what is a small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur to do to get more likes that really matter? Get strategic!
As with any other element of your business, you need to create a strategic plan around your social media marketing. This includes intentional methods to gain more likes. You need likes but what you need more is quality leads. To ensure your likes become leads and eventually convert to sales, first consider your target market. Who is your ideal customer and how do you serve them? Every piece of content you post should be in direct response to these questions. Develop a content calendar to stay on top of posting on a consistent basis. Get in the habit of sharing your Facebook fan page posts to your personal timeline as well as in relevant groups you participate in regularly. You will find that you will start attracting some likes organically.
Secondly, utilize Facebook’s robust marketing tools to increase the amount of targeted traffic you attract to your fan pages. Beyond promoted posts, you can also create Facebook ads. Facebook’s ad feature is not only inexpensive, it is also highly customizable to your needs. You can get really specific with exactly who you want to see your content. The more targeted your ads are, the more likely you will attract likes from your ideal customers. Also, as your ideal customers are attracted to your pages, they are more likely to engage with your content than those who randomly like your page with no real interest. Engagement directly corresponds to relevancy. That higher level of engagement makes a big difference in how visible your business fan page becomes to others because of how relevant its content is considered among your target audience.
You can definitely still benefit from Like Ladders and sharing groups; however, the same rules should apply. Choose only to participate in Like Ladders and sharing groups that cater to your target market. This strategy is pretty simple for B2B product and service providers given that most participants in these likes for likes sharing strategies are typically other business owners. Even so, the key to success here remains consistent, relevant content that caters to a specific target market. You determine if all likes matter.
What do you think about Like Ladders? Do you participate in them? Chime in on the comments below to let us know what you think. If you found this post valuable, please share with your networks.