If you find yourself scratching your head as to why your brilliantly executed and flashy Facebook campaign isn't getting you the Likes you wanted, it might be worth standing back and asking yourself whether people actually like (small l) you. There is an odd practice in marketing at the moment where the Like is seen as the holy grail of brand acceptance or approval by fans. But acceptance of what? Acceptance of the fact that they had to Like a tab to enter a competition that they probably have little interest in anyway, will get bored of soon enough and will probably un-Like you when they realise they haven't won and you have nothing of value to offer?
There is only one sure fire way to get Facebook Likes and that is to make sure that you, as a brand, are actually likeable.
Thank you for liking us
Because brands are entered into such an extreme race for Likes and are making fans jump through all sorts of hoops to actually Like a page, there is then this even stranger practice where Facebook fans are prioritised in some way, given precedence, discounts and exclusive content ahead of people who may actually like you - i.e. those that are going to your website and buying your products.
This really stood out to me when reading about the launch of a new Facebook commerce site by Omaha Steaks. A brave move when demand for Facebook commerce is low, but the approach is interesting because of how Facebook fans are considered. Todd Simon, owner of Omaha Steaks commented that "Facebook users expect some sort of bonus for being a fan".
Is this really the case? Do we see our Likes as so precious that we now trade them with brands, only doing so when we're given something in return? I can only say that this is true for those brands that I don't actually like at all. If I'm a fan of a brand, or I'm drawn to a page because a friend shares a link or I see a particularly impressive campaign that keeps my attention, I don't actually expect anything in return for Liking the Page, other than a continuation of what made me Like them in the first place. If I'm a fan anyway, it might be so I can see latest products I might be interested in, or maybe, just maybe, it's because the brand is so admirable and good at what they do that I just want to show I like them.
If you're finding it that hard to get Likes, firstly ask yourself why you want them in the first place. If you've got a great community going on your Page and referral traffic to your website and your content is spreading then you might be looking for success in the wrong places if you're getting obsessed with your Likes.
But secondly, keep it simple and just make sure that you're actually likeable. This doesn't just come down to what you do on Facebook, but it comes down to everything within your business. If you have an amazing Facebook campaign but a poor product or brand, people are probably not going to want to be associated with you on Facebook, no matter how good the 'reward' is for doing so.
And that is the big secret to getting Facebook Likes.
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