Hey there!
Welcome back to Focus on Your Small Business. Or Your Tiny Empire. A podcast for the single entrepreneur, or solopreneur, to learn what’s still working in the online world… and what’s not. And sometimes a reminder of popular myths that were never true.

This leads me to today ’s topic- getting likes on your facebook page. I was working one on one with a client last year and she had a goal of hitting 1000 likes on her Facebook business page. Now this goal is not flawed… just the strategies to achieve it… sometimes.

She wanted to run a contest to build up her likes. Once she hit 1000, she would draw a name from the list of people who liked her page, and give them a gift card.

Now, who do you think is gonna go like that page that didn’t already?

And what will be gained from their liking of the page?

The answer to the first question is folks who want a chance to win a gift card. The answer to the second question is… nothing positive. If these people had seen your page and didn’t like it, likely it was because it was a page that didn’t move them to do so.

You know what… I probably need to go over some facebook algorithm stuff first. Facebook wants people to stay on facebook. Facebook sells ads… that ’s how they make billions of dollars. The longer people stay, the more ads they can see… and the likelier they will click something.

So, how does Facebook keep people on facebook? It shows them stuff they want to see. So, that it can then show them stuff they might buy. But how does facebook know what you what to see? By your engagement with it. Likes, shares and comments. Even if your comment was negative… let’s say you see a post talking about a particular politician whom you despise and you comment “you suck” on that post.

You are gonna see more posts about or from that person. And this is still a win for facebook… because people who tend to be driven to write “you suck” on a post.. are likely to do it again… thus… remaining on facebook… to keep writing “you suck’ on various posts… and are likely to see more ads and maybe click one.

However, if you do not engage on posts or in groups, Facebook will show you something else. And if you are in a group that doesn’t really light your fire, and you don’t engage on their posts as they come across your feed, Facebook makes a couple assumptions. A) it wants to keep you on Facebook, so it will show you less of that group or page and more of something else…And B), it will assume that the post you just ignored is dull and uninteresting and it won’t show it to many other people… because it wants to keep people engaged on their platform.

Still with me?

This is why when I get an invite to like a page or join a group, I very rarely do. I’m not doing these people any favors by liking their page. In fact, I’m doing them a disservice. If it is not something that I will engage with, I won’t like it. That’s the best thing I can do for these people.

So, back to my client who wanted a 1000 likes and was basically bribing people to get there… her page is more dead now than when she started, because the folks that had liked her page without the bribe, actually liked her page. But as uninterested people joined their ranks… and were offered her content… and didn’t engage… fewer of the true believers ever saw it… Her reach plummeted.

Getting likes on your page or joiners of your group, is not the key to success. The key is connecting with people who really want to connect with you and your content. And when a friend asks you to like their page… you are not doing them any favors by doing so and then not engaging. Be honest with them. Tell them why you are doing them a favor… by NOT liking their page. Share this episode with them. The more they know, the better choices they can make in their small business… their tiny empire.

Thanks for joining me. I’ll be back next Monday.