Having tons of likes on Facebook is the goal for just about any social media manager in the business, but those big numbers may be hiding a dark tincture that’s slowly poisoning your online presence. What am I talking about? Allow me to explain.
I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and stumbled on an interesting video. Produced by Veritasium, a popular YouTube science channel, this 9-minute research piece digs deep into the legitimacy of Facebook likes. If you’re unfamiliar with Veritasium, don’t worry that it’s going to be some boring lecture. They put out well-presented and engaging content that’s thoroughly worth watching in its entirety. (The graph at 3:10 into the video does well to help illustrate the points being made.)
Didn’t want to watch the video? Fair enough. I’ll summarize…
As you may or may not already know (I didn’t), there are two ways of purchasing likes through Facebook:
- Paying a click farm X amount of dollars for Y number of likes. Employees of these overseas click farms are paid roughly $1.00 per 1,000 clicks. This method is explicitly forbidden by Facebook.
- Using Facebook’s built-in Ads; Paying Facebook X amount of dollars for a targeted campaign to reach an audience as defined by you.
Now while it may seem like the 2nd option may be a better way to grow an audience that actually cares about and engages with the things we share on social, the sad and unfortunate truth is, these targeted Facebook ads are also getting clicks from overseas click farms.
“Why is this happening?”
Well, as the video explains, apart from clicking “like” when explicitly paid to, overseas clickers in places like Egypt, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Pakista, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal also click “like” for free on just about anything. They do this to seem more genuine and avoid detection from Facebook’s fraud algorithms.
“See, we’re also liking X, Y, and Z, we must be actual Facebook users!”
I know what you’re thinking…
“No big deal, we have a lot of likes that don’t engage, so what?”
Well, A major downside to having tons of likes with zero engagement is that Facebook uses this metric to determine whether or not to show your posts on your followers’ news feeds. This would explain why some of rushIMPRINT’s posts weren’t showing up on our news feeds, even though we had liked the page. No matter how you slice it, buying likes (whether through click farms or targeted campaigns) is a sure-fire way to kill your engagement on the spot.
“Alright, so how do I get genuine likes?”
Figure out what questions your customers are asking. Create content that revolves around answering those questions. Share content from influencers in your field that address these issues. Post about topics that not only help your customer base, but also include things they want to view and share. No matter what type of business you’re running, the principle of content creation remains the same. Starting a new clothing company? Try creating posts on the hottest fashion trends of the season, how to wear the trendiest new attire, or maybe ways to revive your wardrobe using old hand-me-downs or clothes from the back of your closet. The possibilities are plentiful.
What Facebook posts have garnered the most likes for you? Which ones have gained the least? Have you attempted any unconventional or whacky tactics to try and go viral? Did they succeed or flop?