How Bogus Likes Help You To Lose Your Edge

September 26th, 2011 by

Lately the hype about Facebook has surrounded the introduction of the new news feed and Facebook Timeline.  Yesterday I posted an extensive outline of the recent Facebook changes and how they impact users and their profiles, but today I want to get back to the business of Facebook Pages.  If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know how much I stress that social media is not a numbers game. In my post Like Me and I’ll Like You Back I stressed how numbers mean nothing if the followers of Likes you are generating don’t really care about you and your message.  However, with more companies out there pushing their products to gain you hundreds Likes for a nominal price, I thought I’d share how services like this hurt you more than help you.

Facebook’s EdgeRank

Before we get into how these services can hurt you, let me tell you a little bit about EdgeRank.  EdgeRank is an algorithm utilized by Facebook to determine if your content is worth showing to its users.  It creates an affinity score between your page and a particular user by gauging how often you and that user interact, adds a content type-specific weight (is it a link, a picture, status update, etc), and then adds an age factor to round things out (How recent is it, when was the last engagement with the content, etc.).  The second you post something on Facebook the score is determined and is then increases based on interactions.  The more people interact with your content, the higher your base EdgeRank is.  If people aren’t interacting with your content, your affinity score drops and essentially your content will show up less and less, or not at all, in that users News Feed.

How Buying Likes Can Hurt You

With the idea of EdgeRank fresh in your mind, let’s imagine that you went ahead and paid someone $100 for 100 new followers.  In most cases these Like’s are provided by Facebook accounts created solely for the purpose of inflating the number of people that Like Facebook Pages.  They will never like your content, they will never comment on your content, and probably never visit your page again.  Their lack of interest in your content and Page instantly impacts the long term growth of your Page’s EdgeRank and the probability of your content showing up in the News Feed of legitimate followers.

Finding Legitimate Likes

The key to keeping strong EdgeRank is the focus on quality Likes.  Much like backlinks for SEO, it’s not the quantity that’s important so much as the quality.  To gain quality Like’s you need to give people a reason to Like you.  Create an experience that will make existing fans interact and draw attention of other users.

  • Start Close To Home – Get your employees, existing clients, vendors, partners, friends and family to Like your page.
  • Share Unique Content – Videos, images, and updates that people won’t find anywhere else.
  • Post Content That Require Action – Ask questions, run polls, etc. Post things that make people click and interact.
  • Say Thank You – When users post on your wall, thank them and interact with them. Show them that you’re listing.
  • Integrate Social Media Into Your Business – Ultimately the more you entwine social media into your business culture the more fans you’ll cultivate.
    • Post signs in your business, “Join the conversation on Facebook”, “Find out about our latest specials on Facebook”, etc.
    • Have receptionsts end calls asking, “Have you joined the conversation on Facebook yet? Visit Facebook.com/YourNameHere”.

In conclusion, the number of Like’s you have doesn’t matter.  Build and maintain a quality fanbase that is willing to share your content and interact with it.  Your goal should be to become an influencer with content people enjoy and share, not a Facebook Page with 1,000 Like’s.

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