Updated 26 November 2017
'Don't like your own posts'
In a Social Media Today post in July of 2015 (what prompted the original version of this post), Sarah Snow stated as the number one thing you shouldn’t do on Facebook, “Don’t like your own posts”.
Granted she was likely referring to personal status updates, and still the mention of it being like a black hat SEO practice, had me thinking it could be taken as applicable to liking business page posts. And that set me off. Why?
Liking and commenting as yourself on business page content is one of the simplest and most effective tools you have to help drive post views.Click To Tweet
To understand why and how, you need to first understand the current algorithm.
'After the Algorithm'
Facebook’s last major algorithm change back in April of 2015 effectively meant the end of your posts showing in the news feed of your fans. Getting posts seen now means either paying (not a good long term approach and really should supplement an organic strategy) or understanding the point of the algorithm and working with it.
A social tool
Facebook started out as a tool allowing individuals to keep in touch, share and see ‘content’ from friends. It was social tool. You connected with those you WANTED to be connected with and see the updates you wanted.
Fast forward a few years and Facebook opened up to businesses. With no checks and balances in place, you would see EVERY status update. Granted, if you connected with someone or followed a page, you would want to see their updates. That is, until, your feed was so flooded it was impossible to keep up. Add in limited time and you would likely miss the content you most wanted to see.
Enter the algorithm
While business owners cried it was an attempt to force them to pay, the core reason for the change was to shift Facebook back to what was intended. To curb the ‘spam’ in feeds, Facebook’s new algorithm focused on an individual’s behaviors within the platform and elsewhere on the web (a wonderfully insidious marketing tool called the Facebook Tracking pixel – a boon for advertisers – effectively tracks your entire online movement).
This data, combined with what the user provided in their profile, allowed Facebook to determine what was most important to you, creating a relevance score. They layered in something referred to as ‘timeliness’ and a ‘shareability’ score.
Facebook’s current algorithm controls what individuals see in their news feed based on relevancy, timeliness and 'shareability'.Click To Tweet
If you want your published content seen, first and foremost, it must be relevant. That means knowing your audience (you can start by not asking everyone to like your page) and creating valuable content they want to consume.
It means making that content timely. Don’t write about outdated topics. Leverage current trends where you can, tying it into your core content.
‘liking your own business page posts’
Here is where it gets a bit complicated and the ‘liking your own business page posts’ thing comes into play…
As much as you can try to create content others would want to share, that is out of your hands. Like the joke some find hilarious and has others wondering why, what you think is ‘shareable’ Facebook likely disagrees. The single best way to make something ‘shareable’, something others really want to see… is creating engagement AFTER the post is published. How? By getting engagement!
The more likes, comments, and shares a post gets, the greater the indication Facebook is given the content is relevant, timely, and shareable.
Liking your own business posts as yourself (not as your page) increases the odds Facebook will show it the feed of your fans.Click To Tweet
More so, your actions on Facebook are potentially visible to your friends. That ‘like’ may be noticed by someone else, driving them to the post. Doubt this? Look at what happens to a post or status update when it receives a new like. Within a short time, there are almost always a few more. Why? Engagement (and specifically interaction) tells Facebook the post is something others want to see – and they show it!
'It’s like black hat SEO on Facebook. It reads as smarmy.'
I can see how it could be viewed as black hat. Still, you are allowed to interact on your on posts. It is akin to me as voting for yourself in an election. Here is the rub. If the content is not relevant to your audience when seen and no one else engages with it, your post ‘like’ will not affect it showing in feeds.
Liking your own Facebook posts only helps if you first publish well-written, valuable content which is relevant to your audience!
The smarmy piece – if you are the only one who ever likes or engages with your business content – it stands out and simply looks bad. And it indicates to me you could benefit from reaching out and getting some help.
Think what you want. I have a decade of experience with Facebook business content. I will continue to like and comment on my post.
Original publish date 29 July 2015