When building a social media presence, many small business owners begin with a Facebook page. It makes sense: they are familiar with the platform; it is very popular (with over a billion users); and you can get started rather quickly. However, soon after setting up most start to stress on how to get “likes” for their business. I am constantly asked “how do I get more likes? Here at Your Social Media Hour we believe in building an authentic social footprint. My motto is quality over quantity (which was taught to me by my dear friend Marcus Padulchick). You want to connect with current and potential customers and clients and not just have a high “like” number.
Recently there seems to be a lot of discussion around the topic of buying likes. Just yesterday I received an email from Mr. Nick Grey. He offered to sell me 700 Facebook likes to raise the ranking of my website on the most popular social networks. Having this many likes on a Facebook page does not get you anything. Do not fall for the scam. Buying likes artificially inflates your number and is a waste of money. You may think these likes look good for your page but if you have so many likes and no one is interacting with your content you look silly.
So how is the average small business owners to get the right type of likes? Here are some great ideas:
1) Do things like this where ever you can: “Click here to like my Facebook page:” and then include a link or a picture. In fact, if you click on the Facebook image in this post, guess what, you can like my page! Use every possible opportunity to promote your page.
2) Have a strategic and coordinated plan to get the right people to like your Facebook page. This can include inviting your friends. As a single mom and entrepreneur my friends are excited to support my business. Some are friends and clients who need the information. I have also reached to specific individuals from networking groups and LinkedIn who have a similar target audience. When they like my page it shows in their news feed.
3) Your business Facebook page link should be everywhere: the signature block of your email account; on your newsletter, and on each page of your website. If you are on other social media sites (you are, right?) every once in a while post a link to your Facebook page. When possible, include a link to your Facebook page in the bio section on other sites. Put a sign in your business, run a contest, and/or offer a special for those who like your page.
4) Share relevant content and provide value. The better the content the more likely your followers will interact with it and share it. When that happens your business may appear in their news feed (“Mary commented on a post by Your Social Media Hour”) which is free advertising and an endorsement for you! When an industry or local influencer likes my page I always receive a few others.
So back to address Mr. Grey’s email. I am sorry to say, there are several flaws with his system. While I am sure he can put the 700 likes on my business page, I believe Facebook not only knows what he is up to but it can look silly for the average small business to have that many likes overnight. These are not authentic likes and will do nothing to create conversations. I know of one consultant who has over 23,000 likes but no one interacts with his content.
Be authentic, build slowly and naturally, and share great content so your people engage with you.