We all know that some small businesses are struggling right now, but is now really a good time to resurrect the like ladder and other such tactics?
I think not. Let me explain why.
What is a like ladder anyway?
Like ladders were a big thing a few years back.
People would essentially post really nice infographic encouraging you to share your Facebook page link. Once a few more had been added, you essentially liked the page above yours in the comments. This carried on as long as people were adding to the post. On the face of it, this sounds like a really nice thing to do because you get lots of likes. But is it really?
You may be asking why are we mentioning this now? There has been a spate of posts coming around on Facebook encouraging people to get everyone who likes the page, to get their friends to like the posters page. OK, it’s not quite a like ladder, but it’s pretty similar!
Time for Facebook 101
Facebook has been around for ages now and during that time the algorithm has changed a lot.
The algorithm is a piece of code which serves your content based on a series of different rules. These rules are changed on a regular basis. So it can mean that every now and then you see a drop or spike in how your posts are doing etc.
When I talk to clients about social media, I often encourage people to think about what the mission statement of the platform is. This often gives you a really big clue as to what they like to see being posted.
Facebook’s is as follows…
“to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
Nothing unusual there, but their vision statement is this…
“People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
Can you see the subtle difference? They’re putting more emphasis now on connecting friends and family.
This means, essentially, that in the more recent changes to the algorithm, businesses have suffered. Hence the resurgence of “ask all your friends to like my page” posts, but that has been intensified since the outbreak of Coronavirus and businesses closing their premises.
Let me move onto my why I hope it will convince you I am not completely heartless and bonkers!
First of all, let’s get one thing out the way. Likes of pages are pretty much a vanity metric to a business. They do very little to help you in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I can understand why you want lots of likes we all do, but we need to think seriously about what is happening here.
Say I have 1000 people who have liked my page in the way above. That sounds great, doesn’t it? But does that actually mean anything to your business? The chances are it really does not. If we think a little more about the likes that we have. Who are these people? Are they 1000 people who love what you do and have bought your products or service? OR, are they your best mate’s aunty who lives 100 miles away and doesn’t really care about what you do?
This is where I have the issue.
I would much rather have 100 people like my page, who actually like what I do enough to use my services, than 1000 people who have no idea what I do, or worse who I am!
Another dimension to this is actually how many people see your content in their news feed. If there are 1000 followers and only 10% see your posts, wouldn’t you rather the 10% be people who actually engage with you? I know I would!
It’s all about getting the right people
What about the person you’re asking to like something? Have you thought about it from their point of view? If you just rattle down your friend list asking everyone to like something, you may actually end up actually offending people.
For example, I have no kids. I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve been asked to like pages or join groups which are related to being a parent. I genuinely have no interest in anything to do with subjects that most parents would like.
Depending on the person, this could actually be a really upsetting suggestion too.
We really need to make sure that we’re actually getting people who are interested in our businesses liking our pages. These people will engage with you more, so they are more likely to see your content and hopefully, they will then get to the point where they become a paying customer.
That is most definitely not a vanity metric.
So what can you do?
This isn’t going to go down well with some, but you need to be consistent in posting content that is relevant, and that your audience wants to see. I know this is easier said than done, believe me, especially now. We should be all looking at posting once a day to our different social media channels. I understand that this is sometimes hard, which is why I always advise people who are nervous, to start with fewer times a week – but always with great content! Build up to where you need to be.
We also need to remember that what our audiences want to see in the middle of the pandemic situation that we are now in, is not what we wanted to see even just 6 weeks ago. Understanding your changing audience needs really does work. It’s why pretty much everyone in marketing talks about ideal clients!
Reviewing your social media stats, particularly if you’re trying to build brand awareness. Are you actually reaching the people you want to potentially do business with? This is even more important if you’re using paid ads on social media to reach your target audience.
OK, there is a caveat to all this like stuff too!
I am not a complete lost cause on likes. Far from it. It often helps with small businesses like ours, if other businesses like and share our posts, especially if their network contains people who are likely to need our services, or know someone who will!
This is essentially like networking face to face. How many times have you met someone, and they needed something that someone in your network did? The strength of this likes in the connectivity of the two networks.
This is not the same as the random likes outlined above though. This still requires some thought and engagement. Just liking a page and never engaging with it, even as a business, is going to help no one.
So I hope this explains why I have a bit of a moment when anyone asks me to like a random page. I do understand the lure of this, I really do. But in the long run, you’re so much better reaching out to an audience that actually wants to hear what you’re saying!
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