Can page likes ever be a bad thing?

There’s a question, eh?!

Seems like an obvious ‘no’, right? But think a bit more.

Where are those likes coming from? Who are those people? What do they want from you?

Are those people your ideal audience?


Lovely, well-meaning Auntie Jean

It’s quite easy, and common, to have people like your Facebook page who are not in your ideal audience.

When you first set up your Facebook page you’re going to have people like Auntie Jean want to like it to support you and give you a thumbs up and say to her friends “look, our Lisa’s done this” and you think ‘isn’t that nice’.

Well that is nice Auntie Jean, but it’s not actually very helpful.

It makes perfect sense when you start out to have family and friends like your page to get the numbers up. But once you get people who are your ideal audience liking the page, that’s who you want more of.

Now it’s obvious that you want more of your ideal audience liking your page than your favourite auntie, but is it a BAD thing to have Auntie Jean like your page?


There’s bad, and there’s BAD

OK, I’m going to stop ragging on poor Auntie Jean for a bit, I’m sure she’s lovely.

Where the really ‘bad’ likes really come from, is people who liked your page for a reason but it’s the wrong reason (an unhelpful reason for you), and there’s loads of them.

There’s a Facebook group that I’m in where people regularly post links to their Facebook page and say “let’s all share our pages and like each other’s stuff”.

Now, on the face of it that’s lovely – they all want to support each other and that’s really nice. But in reality it’s not really very helpful.

How many of the people that have gone to like one of those pages actually ever goes back and interact with any of the content on it? Is it more likely that they see the odd post from the page and think ‘oh yeah that was that woman that I liked because we did that thing in that Facebook group’ and scroll on past..?

And there you are posting away hoping that all those lovely new people will like and comment on your stuff, but they just don’t. And they’re not not commenting because they’re mean, it’s because they’re just not really interested.

We see so much stuff in our news feed all day, we have to filter out skipped over the stuff that we’re not particularly interested in. We’d drive ourselves crazy if we tried to actually read every single post we saw – we’d get nothing else done. You know, those days when it does feel like all you’ve done is scroll on social media!


Competition time! Er, no

Another place where I often see people trip up in trying to grow their numbers with inappropriate likes is by holding competitions.

But Clair, how can competitions be bad?!

There are people who will scour Facebook looking for competitions and entering everything. You do not want those people liking your page – unless you’re a page that just promotes competitions!

People who like your page just to enter a competition are literally just there for the competition. They will not interact with your page any further afterwards.

There are ways to do competitions on your Facebook page to reward your genuine ‘ideal audience’ people who are already there, but don’t do it to grow your numbers.


Stop me if you’ve heard this before

Bigger audience isn’t where it’s at – BETTER audiences are where it’s at. Quality over quantity, every time.

Come on folks, you know size doesn’t matter!

Talking of small sizes, here’s why this stuff is important.


It’s the ‘how the flip does FB work?’ thing, again

The way that Facebook works is that when you first put a post out they show that to a very tiny number of people who follow the page. Like 2%. Tiny number.

If those people who see the post interact with it it, then Facebook sees that your post has value and will show it to another tiny number of people who follow the page – like, another 2%.

But all interactions are not equal. You kind of get Facebook points four different types of interactions on posts – clicking like is the lowest amount of points, other reactions are a little bit more, comments are more again, and sharing is the best.

Which of these is Auntie Jean most likely to do?

And which of these are your ideal audience most likely to do?

If your post first gets seen by Auntie Jean, and she clicked like on it, and then nothing else happens, that’s pretty much where your post ends. It will be seen by small handful of people, and then slide down the news feed.

People who are your ideal audience seeing your post are more likely to comment. That will send your post further out to other people, and also give you some useful information on what they’re interested in or how they feel about what you’ve said in the post – so you can use that later on to do even better Facebook posts.

The more activity there is on your posts, (comments, likes, sharing) the more Facebook sees that what you have to contribute is valuable, and the more likely they are to show your page in their ‘suggested’ places. The same goes for groups as well.


Good likes only, please!

So you can see see, you really want the people who follow your page to be the people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say, likely to benefit from it, and contribute to the conversation.

Having a large proportion of the people who follow your page not actually being interested in it is detrimental to your page.

Facebook wants to share your stuff but it only wants to share good stuff. Or shall we say ‘good’ stuff…


And now, another of Clair’s weird analogies…

If you went to a gig where there were 200 people in the audience but only 10 of them were actually up at the front dancing and singing along, and everybody else was sat at the back looking at their phones, would you think that band was any good?

Now, I’m not saying you should kick out Auntie Jean and the uninterested gig goers from your page, but what you should be doing is seeking out more like those 10 from up the front and encouraging them to come along.

And don’t just go to the nearest shopping mall and hand out vouchers for free beer if people come to your gig. These people will not buy your next album!


Seek out those good likes

You need to actively work to swing the balance back towards the much more interested, engaged people who will contribute.

Be interesting and helpful, and people will respond.

I have a whole pdf guide about how you do that sort of thing. It’s here if you want it.

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