We recently got a call from a business owning friend of ours about why their brand-new to the market competitors seem to have thousands of page likes on their Facebook and Instagram pages, while their business is struggling to break the 1000 mark!
The short answer is, they bought them! (tsk tsk)
While you can pay pretty reasonable prices to get a swag of likes on your pages, it can come with some pretty undesirable consequences. See, these organisations can appear very credible, have great Google reviews and all the things you look for when vetting a company to help your business, however, here are some the very real issues you may encounter from employing such organisations:
Followers appear super quick (some in as short as 3 hours from payment) for a few days and you get all excited about your growth, however, you will notice that within several days, a lot of these followers will just magically disappear.
The real pros will sometimes even comment to try and prove how great your new followers are, however, unbeknownst to you they are programmed responses to your page and if for example, you run a funeral home and your swag of new followers comment generically with “Love this” or “how amazing” it’s not a good look!
The followers that are seemingly growing your online community are just completely irrelevant to your business, e.g. you are a localised business that only services a certain area and your new likes are all from well outside this area.
The rapid growth of likes on your page flags with Facebook or Instagram’s AI that polices “unusual activity” and your page is temporarily blocked until you can prove your validity. Or worse, your page gets taken down permanently.
Social media users are not stupid, and it becomes quite clear that you have thousands of followers, which looks great, however, your engagement on posts is ridiculously low. This is a clear red flag to any legitimate social users that your page is not well loved, it’s simply well-funded.
Basically, you might get away with it, but is the myriad of inactive or irrelevant followers truly worth potentially damaging your brand to your genuine followers?
It can seem frustrating and time consuming, but growing your page likes/follows can be done, even if you have no budget – all you need is some time and a little prep to get you on your way.
Below is a breakdown of over 30 strategies for you and your team that, while slower, are very unlikely to get your page banned, blacklisted or ghosted in the feeds of those you are trying to reach.
- Post incredible photos.
- Use the right hashtags on your posts.
- Use hashtags in your Stories and bio, too.
- Figure out who your audience is.
- Give credit where credit is due, i.e. tag people and brands, when relevant.
- Write better captions, i.e. in your tone, your personality – short and sweet.
- Geotag your location.
- Post consistently, at least 3 – 4 times per week, once a day is best if you can!
- Respond vigilantly. Actively engage on your pages, answer questions, like comments, etc.
- Post when your followers are looking. Be sure to find out when your followers are online and post then.
- Like and comment on other users’ posts
- Ask people to tag their friends in comments or share your posts if they like them.
- Cross-promote your pages across all channels, e.g. promote your IG on your FB and your FB on IG, etc.
- Post user-generated content – if done right, this is a great way to grow your engagement and page likes. e.g. Ask your clients to #tag you when they get home and place their perfect item they purchased from you in place at home, get the reaction of a friend if something from your store is gifted, etc. people love to share their happy moments and their friends will love to know “where they got THAT from”.
- Post behind the scenes content, funny – happy – fails, etc. people love the “realness” of these types of posts
- Video, people bloody love videos – there are some great apps out there to help you make quick, easy and highly effective vids.
- Research what your competitors are doing and emulate their success, but in your own style.
- Ask people for their opinions/ask questions – get your current community engaged and get them to engage their friends in the convo.
- Ask every client to like your pages if they are in store with you or over the phone, help them find it, help them like it
- Be sure that all digital receipts have a “while you’re here, like our socials to keep up to date.” Or something similar to make it easy to like/follow you.
- Tell everyone, invite everyone you know and tell them to invite everyone they know to support you, we do it for all our friends and clients.
- Each of your email signatures should have a link to your pages so people can quickly and easily find them and like them!
- Place a card into each wrapped, delivered, etc. item that is purchased that helps people find and like you online.
- Offer discounts to like through your POS or online store, e.g. if you are part of our IG or FB community, show us you like us and get a) something free b) a gift c) a small discount on your purchase, d) free delivery on your first order, etc.
- Offer “next time” discounts to clients if they invite their friends to join your channels
- Host takeover events with suppliers or staff members, everyone loves the personality behind the takeover!
- Encourage check ins with photos, these get shown to all of the friends of the person who checked in on their personal feeds, giving you more chance to have your page in front of a greater audience.
- Have suppliers do lives/vids for your page
- Test, test, test different kinds of content
- Stay on trend (big national dates, public holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, holidays, events, etc.)
- Get partners, staff, family members and raving fans to share your content and invite their sphere of influence to like the page.
- Have some fun, all work (products/services only) and no play (personalisation) makes for a less enticing feed 😉 bring some personality into your brand.
- Support your local community and businesses, i.e. talk about the new bars, eateries, cafes, what’s on, etc. get involved digitally in the local community, because they will support your right back x 10.
- Join relevant groups as your page and then be actively engaged with the pages, i.e. answer questions that are relevant to your business, showcase your busines (if appropriate) by posting to the group, etc.
If you do have some budget behind you, then here are some options to help you gain followers without the worry of blacklisting, bans or feed ghosting.
On Facebook you can run a paid page like campaign to get more followers and this is the way we would recommend growing your community on this platform. Targeted, legal and no chance of FB shutting down your page.
Unfortunately, Instagram does not have a similar offering, so there are two ways to grow via paid.
You can increase your reach with paid Instagram ads, put some budget behind your top organic posts and be sure to add in “Like our page to keep in the loop” or “drop us a like and tell us what you want to see in stock in the comments” or something similar to the content before you boost to encourage people to like and engage!
By far the best way on Instagram though is to run a like to win contest. Define your Instagram contest objective. Choose your entry method. Select a prize. Design your campaign assets. Pinpoint who will manage your Instagram contest. Launch your Instagram contest. Then boost the heck out of it! When running competitions, be careful to read the rules beforehand though as your page can be banned or blocked for not following the rules! Read the rules of competitions/promotions for Facebook and Instagram if you’re not sure.
Armed with these Like-boosting tips in mind, you’ll be on the path to greater success in your social media likes, follows and engagement. Share what strategies have worked for you via @sivacom on Facebook or LinkedIn. Good luck liking legends!
If you need help with your digital marketing and advertising, get in touch with Sivacom today! Click here.