Asking for Likes isn’t a Social Strategy

As a community manager, you need to be adept and keep in tune with your audience. How do they react to posts? Will they be your champions in a crisis? Do they really like you?

One of the

ways we find out if followers enjoy what we post is the good ol’ “like” on Facebook. It’s a magical button. It brings joy and makes the sky seem brighter and really makes kittens happy. Ok, I kid.

In all seriousness, we do measure likes. Facebook has stats for us to see just how many we have over a period of time. However, it’s a very deceiving stat because there are brands and organizations that will, flat out, ask for likes. It’s a weak strategy because it doesn’t really measure the effectiveness of what you are doing.

Here are two cases where, I believe, this is a bad move.


When I screen grabbed this Facebook post by the NHL on NBC Sports, they had over 2500 likes. But what does this prove? Can you effectively say that your social strategy works? You’ve asked people to like something if they believe it’s a “winner.” Personally, I would not recommend this as a social media strategy.

I’m a huge Mets fan, so I follow SportsNet New York (SNY), the TV home of the team. Many times when I look at their page, I see posts like the one above. I don’t see why this would inspire me to click “like.” Sure, they’ve followed it up with an ask for comments, but what does it tell management? (I’m also not a fan of using CAPS for words in sentences, but that’s for another time.)

Three quick points here:

1) Your strategy should involve talking to your followers, not insulting their intelligence.

2) You don’t need to beg or ask for anything. Your followers want to like you. Show them the love.

3) Do not post like a pre-teen. Just because others do, does not mean it’s effective.

Agree or disagree? Let me know. I’d love your thoughts.

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  • Kevin Smith

    I think you’re missing a key point about what the “Like” button actually does. Sure, it gives some meaningless number, but more importantly for the brand, it shows up in the stream of the friends of everyone that liked it. So if there are 2500 likes, multiply that by the number of friends that they have. And if someone posts a comment? Well, that shows up in everyone’s streams as well. So it’s not really about numbers, or what the actual comments are, it’s all about maximizing exposure.

    • Hey Kevin,

      Very valid points and I’m glad you chimed in on this. My feeling is that it is an easy way to just “beg” for attention. Sure, it shows up and gets lots of eyes, but what’s the real return? I’ve seen one brand use the “like this” strategy on most of their posts. I don’t see what the meaning behind that is. It may get “thumbs up,” but it alienates others.

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  • Anonymous

    I HATE when organizations — or individuals — ASK for likes. It’s the same when someone whom I barely know asks me to RT something on Twitter just because I follow them (it’s different if they’re a friend or a trusted colleague). If something is worth sharing with my audience, I’ll share. If not, said provider has to work harder at attracting his/her/its target audience.

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