Facebook keeps sending me messages encouraging me to spend money with them to boost my posts so I get more likes.
I get it. Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s claim that helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing he is most proud of in his life, Facebook is in the business of making money. They figure my desire to be liked by more people will help them do that.
But it won’t. I know too much about marketing. Besides I got great advice years ago when I was first promoted to manager at CBS that I should be more concerned with being respected than being liked.
They also figure I am a person who believes getting more likes on a Facebook post is a viable digital marketing strategy.
A like is not real engagement
Liking a post is a passive form of engagement. It doesn’t mean the content was ever read or viewed or there was any action taken that might advance your brand – other than hitting the like button. On its own – getting more likes at best is a marketing tactic – not a marketing strategy.
Getting more likes is a tactic, not a strategy
It might make you feel better. It might feed your ego when you can brag that you got a thousand likes on a post – maybe. There is no doubt that it helps sway the algorithms in your favor so your chances of showing up organically in more of your followers feeds grows. But not by much. To ensure reach these days you need to put money behind your content. The social networks have designed it like that.
Liking someone doesn’t mean you want to date them
Liking someone doesn’t mean you want to date them. And when you’re marketing your products or services you want people to want to date you. You want action that eventually leads to sales. A like does not ensure any action. It just says I think you’re nice.
The secret likes
Instagram or as they like to call themselves now, Instagram by Facebook, is beta testing hiding the like counts from all posts. The owner of the account would be able to measure this but no one else would. The company’s theory is this will discourage people from liking something just because their friends did.
So it’s interesting that Facebook is promoting ways to get more likes. In fact it’s almost comical considering Mark Zuckerberg was quoted during Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings call this week as saying that his goal for the next decade isn’t to be liked, it’s to be understood.
“And my goal for this next decade isn’t to be liked, but to be understood. Because in order to be trusted, people need to know what you stand for.”
Mark Zuckerberg, January 29, 2020
That sounds like a reasonable goal considering how few people like him or Facebook right now. But I digress.
Choose the tactics that make sense
One of the problems with digital marketing is that there are so many tactics to choose from and they seem to be growing like lice. It can be so overwhelming that it’s easy to forget the wisdom of Sun Tzu and neglect to take the time to plan an overall marketing strategy first before you decide which digital tactics will be most effective in activating it.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”