Why asking for likes and follows is killing your blog’s influence
If you are a blogger, you are most likely part of an online blogger group, or forum. If you spend any time in an online space where fellow bloggers share advice and content, you will have seen bloggers asking that you go like their blog’s Facebook fan page or go follow them on Instagram. This is usually requested with the promise of liking or following you back.
Likes from people that don’t really care about your blog.
These requests have become a common trend in blogging communities all over the internet. This is because somehow the impression has been created that more likes will lead to more people seeing your content, and thus leads to more traffic to your blog.
Unfortunately, that is not how the internet works, and that is definitely not how Facebook works.
Use your blog to ask people to go and like your Facebook Page or follow you on Instagram. If they are reading your blog, chances are they will want to see when you post new content on Facebook.
How Facebook works
There is tons of content on Facebook. Thousands of pieces of content get pushed onto Facebook timelines every minute. Thousands of people shouting for the attention of other people.
Facebook cannot show you all the content from every friend you have and every page you like. If Facebook did that, most people’s timelines would be an endless stream of content that never stops moving and leads to us not seeing much.
That is why Facebook created an algorithm
You know that person that you are friends with on Facebook, but you never actually liked. Don’t you think it’s amazing how you hardly ever see anything that person posts onto Facebook? It’s almost like Facebook knows you don’t like that person, without you actually telling Facebook how you feel about that person.
You’ve been telling Facebook what you want to see all along
Facebook can see every single thing you do on Facebook, and they are watching you, because they want you to stay on Facebook. Just like every other site on the internet Facebook wants traffic. By showing you what you want to see, Facebook is ensuring that you will come back to their website.
How does Facebook know what I want to see?
By keeping an eye on how you behave when you are on Facebook. Facebook takes note of every piece of content that you engage with, and how you engage with that content. If you like, share, comment or click a link on Facebook, it would be safe to assume that you like that content. The more you engage with content from a friend or a page, the more content from that friend or page will appear in your timeline.
Just liking a page will not guarantee you see that pages content
When you like a page on Facebook, Facebook assumes that you will be interested in that page’s content. You will thus see some content from the new page you liked in your timeline, once or even twice. But if you don’t engage with that content Facebook will assume that you prefer seeing content from the pages that you have engaged with in the past.
It makes complete sense if you think about it: When you like, share, comment or click a link that has been shared by a page (or person), it directly shows that the content that page (or person) is sharing interests you. If Facebook shows you more content that interests you, you will spend more time on Facebook.
The less engagement you get, the less people see your content
You’ve asked for likes in your favorite blogger group on Facebook, and soon enough you rack up another 100 likes for your page. All those people simply liked your page so that you would go and like their page. You might see their content in your timeline once, and you simply scroll by it. Soon enough you will never see content from them again, because you never engage with their content.
Why is engagement so important?
If you and a couple of friends like the same page, Facebook can knows that you and your friends have similar interests. If the page you and your friends like shares a piece of content, and three of your friends like that content, Facebook will show you that content because you will likely also like the content. The content your friends liked appears in your timeline, and you like the content too. Now Facebook decides to show this same piece of content to a few other friends that you and your friends have in common, even though they don’t like the page sharing the content.
That is how you grow your audience organically.
Asking people to like your page that don’t really want to like your page is going to be detrimental to your organic growth and reach on Facebook. Most people that complain about low Facebook organic reach forget to mention that they might have a bunch of likes from people that are not really interested in the content, and since liking the page a few weeks ago, have not engaged with any of it’s content.
With consistency and content that leads to link clicks, shares, comments and lastly likes, your organic reach will automatically increase. You will reach people that are genuinely interested in your content, people that will engage with your content. This will lead to growth, a slow growth, but a valuable growth. When you start selling your first e-book, you want the people who really love your content to support you by buying your book.
What is the point?
The long and short of it is quite simple: Don’t beg for likes, as this will likely damage your engagement and organic audience growth in the long term. But keep creating engaging content, and slowly over time you will build up an audience that helps grow your traffic organically.