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Should You Like Your Own Facebook (Business) Posts?

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

20 thoughts on “Should You Like Your Own Facebook (Business) Posts?”

  1. Hi Robert. I agree that you should absolutely “Like” your own Facebook posts because it’s the single most effective strategy for getting your content noticed by your desired audience in the era of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. I wrote this post on that very topic

    The Reddit world went ballistic and called me everything under the sun, but I’ve received literally hundreds of thank you notes from bloggers who tried it and loved the results.

    Thanks for the great post, Robert!

    1. Thank you Rick. I have been meaning to update this post for some time. It needs a bit of cleaning up. I was pretty well bashed on social when I posted and shared this. I was even bashed on a radio. Nice to know we are not alone!

  2. I was recently part of a 3 person panel discussing digital and social media marketing for community small businesses. The other two panelists insisted that liking your own business page was akin to “shooting your post in the head”, and that their confirmation bias indicated that it had a direct effect on the reach of your business posts. My experience has been the opposite. Do you know of any objective study or comment by Facebook that would validate this position? Because in my experience and practice, I side with you. If you have good content, sharing it and liking it shouldn’t impact your reach aside from helping it to get in front of your friends.

    1. Good morning Rich.

      The comments by the other 2 panelists are odd at best. At worst, liking your own business post cannot really hurt. Facebook doesn’t see the action as black hat in an of itself so you wouldn’t be penalized for it. I see it as a possible negative when you are the only one liking your business posts. At some point people ‘figure it out’.

      I do not know of anything objective to back up my point and have been searching. I do know the more activity a post has, even if not deemed’shareable’ initially (therefore not showing in the newsfeed), it becomes more shareable. If you can drive enough engagement on a post, where you liking your own content comes in, Facebookk will look at that activity. I have seen a sigmificant number of older posts resurface this way.

      Robert

  3. I think it’s lame and sad!! Like someone clapping themselves or laughing at their own jokes. If they post good enough posts and not everyday or over do it people will be interested and look without being pushed!!
    When I see it being done I feel disappointed in them and unlike the page so I don’t see them at all. Find it very sad!!

    1. Thank you Janie. You are correct. It could look sad, especially if no one else is liking or commenting on their posts. The problem is, even if you don’t post everyday most business page content isn’t seen and what does get seen doesn’t do much for driving business or building relationships so every little thing, when used properly, adds value.

      I’d personally clap for myself if it meant more money – sort of like those applause meters on game shows.

      Robert

  4. Was recently having this discussion with one of my clients… is it better to like your pages post as the organization or as your individual self?

    1. Eric, both work for the psychological affect – people being more apt to engage when others have first – but I prefer liking as your individual self. Doing it this way helps create potential reach by friends seeing your actions, either in their feed or the ticker. This is also one reason opening your profile to more than just friends can be extremely beneficial.

    2. This is what I agree with more. Like the business post as personal Facebook. It doesn’t look sad and lame cause most of the time the person posting isn’t the owner but someone on the front desk. Most people wouldn’t know their full name so wouldn’t look so sad or lame.
      I even told the girl at the front desk of my chiro the other day. I mean I don’t even see the business liking it like the personal pages. To see it I have to go back into the page when it was posted!! So what’s the point???
      Sorry but totally against liking your own post business or not!! Not a good look at all. There should be another way for business to do this on Facebook without using the like option!!

      1. Good morning Janie and thank you for your thoughts.

        I really am referring to you personally liking a post on your business page. Strictly from a value ‘reach’ or exposure standpoint, comments and likes by your page on one of it’s own posts doesn’t offer anything. Any ‘reach’ gain comes from you personally interacting. (Though, when it comes to Gooogle +, liking your own post as your business does add search value and I’ll do it even if others think it’s lame).

  5. What about liking your own post on a page as the page – not as an individual. Do you think it comes off the same way?

    1. Awesome question Vanessa! I think liking page posts as the page is closer to liking your own personal posts. Personally liking a page post can go unnoticed since most don’t know who the page owner or admins are. So yes, it does come off the same way.

      Would I still recommend doing it? Yes, but in this case after you already have a point or 2 of engagement. Each point of engagement helps. More improves the odds of someone else seeing the post, interacting. It’s all psychological. Being the first could have the opposite effect.

      Either way, my best advice is to see how it works for YOU. If you’re comfortable doing it, go for it.

  6. Ha, I found this to be pretty funny. Calling it akin to “blackhat SEO” is a touch dramatic to me. If I am on Facebook and I see a friend “like” their own post consisting of a dumb joke or a picture, it’s something I’d make fun of them over. But if it is in a business context, I understand it automatically and sympathize, even. Mind you, my perception is ignoring Facebook algorithms and actual SMM technique. I don’t share a ton of “work stuff” on my personal FB, but if I do, it’s more that I feel compelled to “like” any positive comments and interactions moreso than my own posts.

    Solid article either way and a valuable set of insights.

    1. Thank you Timothy. I certainly agree on the ‘liking’ of personal posts as well. There is something to be said for ignoring the algorithms and techniques but if embraced to a point, the results can be fairly dramatic.

      How you share business content to your business page is very similar to my approach but I have been toying with a different approach – one that ties into inviting friends to like you page. Rather than leverage your audience by asking them to like pages and possibly see your content (since most will like out of courtesy), bring the posts to them.

      Robert

    2. I agree—black hat seems a bit overly dramatic. I’ve always avoided it as an individual because for a person to do it, it’s a bit strange. However, it’s a little different when a business does it.

    1. Thank you Debra. I certainly see the vanity and insecurity issue. If you rarely receive likes or comments on your posts, always liking your own does give a false impression that content is well received. If however you are already getting some engagement and you normally do, there is a balance between vanity/insecurity and leveraging a tool.

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