brogan facebook likes

The Great Facebook Like Hoax

Two views of exhibit in window of Rothschilds' Department Store in Ithaca in 1917 ...

One of the most common questions I run into from my clients is how can they get more Facebook LIKES. It’s an interesting smorgasbord of approaches you can find being used out there, but what ones are worth the effort and investment? Lets take a look.

First let’s Get Real:

Lets understand what Facebook (as we know it today) was created for. If I asked you what Facebook has been created for, what would you say? “To connect with people I know, and stay in contact with people I have met.” “To share photos and keep up with what is going on in all my friends lives” Chances are you would say some variation of these two answers. The fact of the matter is that you would be wrong.

Facebook has been built to monetize the connection between brands and individuals.

Consider the fact that Facebook is now the number one provider of display advertising in the United States. Or the fact that they will gross 2 Billion dollars for those ads this year. Do you think that happens by accident? Of course you don’t. It happens because Facebook was created to make it happen, and to make ungodly amounts of money. Now lets think about Facebook Pages for a moment. They are created to allow brands or organizations create the equivalent of a profile on Facebook, just for a brand. They allow Facebook members to ‘Like’ a page and if they do the brand can share content with these individuals as they wish. FREE. Now does that help Facebook’s goal of extracting a fee for the ability of Brands to market to the individuals? No it doesn’t. So…

Facebook intentionally makes getting Likes difficult for brands.

Why is it hard for a brand to get a like? The standard Facebook page, one without iFrames custom built to modify the page, is what 95%+ of the pages are running. In that environment the individual who is prompted in some way to visit the page of a brand can visit and read and view the content whether or not they click LIKE… so the actual conversion rate is low. Why would a visitor take the extra step when they dont NEED to? This is what keeps like levels low, and what prevents proactive marketing from the page to consumer, which is what most brands want.

Want Proof? Chris Brogan is one of the most prolific and successful bloggers and new media marketing pioneers, he works on projects for fortune 500 companies, has an ad-age top rated marketing blog, he is a best selling author, and does an impressive amount of speaking on all these topic. His blog can be found at if you want to make sure he is the online marketing stud (despite the wacky pictures) that I am saying he is. The point? Getting likes for superstars not giving away a free gift, running a contest, or some other LIKE clicking motivator, is difficult. Brogan has 182,000+ twitter followers, yeah that many, and only 5,531+ Facebook likes. Sure having that many would be a blessing for you most likely, but it takes someone with online leverage that very few have to approach those numbers. It just isn’t something that you can directly make happen very easily, Facebook makes it that way intentionally as noted above.

Brogan twitter


brogan facebook likes

So what does this mean for you? Sounds discouraging I am sure, and I am sure there are those out there that promise to get your likes up in exchange for cash. My suggestions are what have worked for me, and they are not loaded with tricks. Facebook wants you to buy Ads, not get free access to their members easily. There really is no trick that they allow to make LIKEs happen.

As I mentioned, you can run a contest and reward people who ‘Like’ your page in some way. You can build iFrame modified pages that will reveal your content only when someone has ‘liked’ your page. I do this for clients, it works well, but it costs money and requires a hosting account. In general I host my clients pages on my host, but it still costs money. My favorite is probably the most honest of any of these.

I create relationships and then ask them to click like.

Yeah its not the silver bullet you may have hoped for, but it works. I say it is the most honest because those that are clicking LIKE want to hear about what you are doing. They are not clicking like to get a free iPod then clicking UNLIKE once the contest is over. They are legitimately interested in, connected to, and likely to follow up when you continue to post your amazing content.

So yeah getting LIKES is not easy, its hard.

  1. You should ask your personal friends to consider liking your business.
  2. You should share the pages content on your profile, and other social networks and encourage people to LIKE you there so they can keep up to date.
  3. You should consider themes for your pages instead of generic ‘Spiro’s Bar and Grill’ type themes. How about; ‘Spiro’s Hangar Steak and Chimi Churri Rules!’
  4. You should create relationships and ask them to click LIKE. That means paying attention to what they are doing and commenting.
  5. You should think about incorporating Facebook Deals into your business marketing, that way they need to click like to see the specials when nearby.

Hope this helps. if you have any ideas, tips, experiences, or love for me. Let me know in the comments. You will hear back. See you on twitter @spirocks much love, and success.

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15 responses to “The Great Facebook Like Hoax”

  1. Derek Riddle Avatar

    Good post, thanks. Relationships for Likes makes sense. Not sure about FB Deals though for not prod oriented companies.

  2. Mike Handy Avatar

     You are totally correct. However I think 2 points should be made… 
    #1. Facebook has gotten better at letting pages with an active community grow organically. If the brand in question can answer the question “why do you want more Facebook likes” they have a shot at organic growth. 

    #2 Facebook being a pay to play system is an advantage in a way. If a brand is able to generate likes they can send those likes to other locations around the web. The CPC is not that expensive all things considered and brings a huge life long value. 

    There are 2 options invest in people to generate momentum on Twitter and add tremendous value on Facebook that you can send them to, or Invest in Facebook ads and generate 3 to 7 amazing pieces of content each week. There are advantages and disadvantages to each strategy.

  3. Cindy Battisti Avatar
    Cindy Battisti

    Disagree totally… Facebook ads and their free updates are one of the best ways  to easily  target my very tight niche of potential customers. They account for 75% of my business at least. Ever since Facebook began to allow me to comment on other pages as my business identity and not as some random Cindy my “Likes” have increased rapidly and I can trace the majority of my sales back to Facebook Likes, ads and promotions through analytics and the coupon codes used in my promotions. BUT the likes need to be genuine. Sure maybe you’ll look and see my number of likes isnt what you would think is large. It doesn’t help me to have 200,000 likes from friends and random people who aren’t interested in my niche (opera)… but 200 passionate opera LOVERS DO make a big difference indeed.

    1. Spiro Pappadopoulos Avatar

      Cool I love a New angle. This is about likes primarily and in response
      to clients who ask how to get thousands of them. I look forward to
      checking checking out what you do.

      Thanks for the comment and insight.

  4. LindsayDianne Avatar

    I agree with this post because I believe this is the heart of all good social media. To create real content that is engaging, and to create real relationships that rewards both parties. Good things happen to companies who set up good social foundations….. And have an understanding of how to make this craze work to their advantage.

    1. Spiro Pappadopoulos Avatar


      Thanks for the read and the comment, I feel that Facebook for business has started to fall behind other networks and that was the primary impetus for the article. But relying on solid genuine foundations of honest human communication and sharing will never steer you wrong.

      Thanks again and I hope to continue to interact with you.


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  5. nicky fraser Avatar

    Great post Spiro

    I’m not an advocate of giving stuff away to get Likes. If people Like you because you’re giving away an iPad that’s social proof of the Awesomeness of the iPad not your business.

    Subscribed to your blog now. Cheers 🙂

    1. Spiro Pappadopoulos Avatar


      Love the name BTW, just always have. Anyway thanks for reading and commenting. Whats your twitter handle?

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      1. nicky fraser Avatar

        Thanks 🙂 my twitter name’s NickyElectric  I’m about to unplug myself just now – time for bed.  Speak soon though 🙂

  6.  Avatar

    I agree that users won’t take extra steps. I disagree that they made it hard on purpose. Also, Facebook was clearly not built solely for this. We all know that it started in colleges with no intention of marketing. Valuable read – offered an alternate opinion. 

    1. Spiro Pappadopoulos Avatar

      Facebook is incredibly different than it was when it was created and what is important for those marketing today is what it is today. A machine that is finely tuned to create revenue based on the collection of data it collects. Thanks for reading. -spiro

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