While the importance of likes for brands on Facebook has diminished in favor of engagement, Facebook users are people, and people like to be liked, don’t they?
Here are seven tips for boosting the like totals of your updates on the social network:
- Don’t be a party pooper: Think of mom’s old adage, with a twist. If you can’t say something uplifting, don’t say anything at all. Think of Facebook as a Friday night after-hours roof-deck soiree. Lanterns are glowing, music is pulsing, coolers are stocked with chilled bottles. Now, would you powwow around someone complaining about a grouchy boss, or someone explaining an exciting upcoming hiking trip? One guess. Facebook is a break from rigid reality. Status updates offer a chance to explore, to share, to dream, to make plans, to find ideas, and to tell stories and jokes. Entertain and be entertained, and you’ll nab more likes. In fact, a January 2012 infographic showed that updates with positive emotions get more likes than updates with negative emotions. Be the smiley face. But don’t force it — if you’re not feeling the joy, you’re not updating. Got it?
- Be an exchange student: When seeking to electrify the number of likes on a certain Facebook update, reach out to administrators of pages akin to yours that have comparable fan bases. Ask if they’d be willing to post your update and encourage their audience to like it, in exchange for your sharing any of their updates or pages they’d like to bring likes to. Keep in mind when doing this that you should look for Facebook pages and updates that are similar to yours and that have a similar number and type of followers. You’ll want the trade offering to be perceived as fair and appealing — a win-win, or, in this case, a like-like.
- It’s not all about you, honey: Narcissists? Snore. Facebook should never be seen as a place for broadcasting exclusively to the all-you channel. Have you ever been on a date with a person who spouts off ad nauseam about every last personal detail, never pausing to ask one question or, for that matter, take a breath? Exactly: Not long before you tune out, is it? You will achieve more likes if your aim on Facebook is to participate in a community, to listen, to speak, to give and to take, to engage. A recent study found that updates including the second-person pronoun “you” racked up more likes than posts including the pronoun “I.” Ask questions, pose opinions, seek responses, post commentary, elicit feedback.
- Don’t be curt: As surprising as this may be, longer updates tend to gather more likes, found the aforementioned study. This may be because more details mean a higher likelihood that one of them will resonate with a reader. So, go the distance. But remember, you’re not writing a novel. It’s still just an update. What’s key is to avoid the one- to three-word say-nothings such as, “Hi,” or, “Cheers.” They’re just not substantive enough for a reader to hang a reaction or thought on. Go with substance over cool.
- Let’s get (meta)physical: Surprising as it may be, it turns out that Facebook followers like getting deep with it. Updates that include broad concepts to help define reality and aid our understanding of life, that get at the nitty-gritty nature of being, get people clicking the like button more, found the same study. Why? We’re venturing a guess that these updates are relatable and real. Novels that explore the human condition through multiple characters’ life experiences tend to be the page-turners, right? We’re conjecturing there may be a correlation. Facebook provides, via updates, an easy way to record all of the little steps that make up the grand journey. Just keep that glass-half-full optimistic approach. The combination can be a dynamo and wrangle the likes you’re looking for.
- Be authentic: Nobody wants to play “keep up with the Joneses” when they’re taking a five-minute Facebook break with coffee and a donut. They want to connect with their social circle, get a taste of what’s going on with their friends, to see what’s hot, what’s now, what’s…fun! If all you do is showcase what new material possessions you have and how wonderful every little aspect of your life is, followers will catch on fast to that improbability and superficiality game and vacate — without clicking like. What you post in your updates is more likely to be liked if you’re real, relatable, and if you expose a bit of who you really are by sharing your challenges, as well as your successes. Keep it real.
- Play it again, Sam: Go multimedia funny town on occasion. Post videos, pictures, quotes, and inspirational moments that captivate and make people smile or laugh. Post things that can be easily shared and that can provide a little sip of pleasure or add an unexpected surprise to an otherwise mundane day — that’s what will get you likes — and keep your audience coming back for more. Just don’t oversaturate. Variety, as you know, is the spice of life, so keep them guessing.