Let’s pause for just a moment on this day two of my blogging challenge to talk about a little netiquette and the phenomenon of the Facebook (or Twitter, or whatever) “like ladder.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a like ladder refers to a post that starts out something like:
Hey! I’d love to follow all of you guys here on Facebook! If you like my page, I’ll like you back!
Or, as is more often the case with something like a blog challenge:
Share your facebook fan pages in this post once so that we can all connect.
And then everybody comments, leaving a link to their Facebook page, and you do too, and in theory you’re supposed to go through and like everybody else’s page and they’ll like yours. Tit for tat.
But there are two things that can happen at this point.
- First of all, unless the entire community is made up your ideal reader, you’re going to end up with some people liking you (maybe lots of people) who don’t really give a flying zucchini about anything you have to say. They’re going to inflate your numbers but not increase your reach. <–That’s an important distinction.
- Second, if you follow the rules, you’re probably going to clutter up your own news feed by liking pages that you don’t give a flying zucchini about, which helps neither you nor them.
Now, I’m not totally opposed to like ladders. In the right circumstances, they can be very useful. If, for example, the community really IS made up of mostly your ideal readers, then it’s totally to your benefit to participate. If you’re looking to get a certain number of likes on your page to unlock a feature on Facebook, that’s also a good reason to do it.
Just remember that there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. This is the wrong way:
Inevitably, if I participate in one of these things—or even just when I join a community like the Ultimate Blog Challenge community—I end up getting a private message that says something like this:
Hi! I’m your newest follower from the XYZ Community. Would love for you to come by and like my page!
No. Just. No.
I don’t mean to get all Emily Post up in here, but does anyone else feel like this just comes across as desperate? Most of the time, these aren’t even personalized in any way, so you know the person is just going down the list, copying and pasting. And I have to sigh at the waste of effort.
It would be like being introduced to someone at a party, and having them immediately say, “Hey! I shook your hand! Why don’t you take me out to dinner or buy me a present?”
It just doesn’t WORK like that.
Is it rude of me not to like that person back? Maybe it is. But here’s the thing: If I am actually interested in their page, I’ll like it. If I’m not, I feel like I’m doing us both a favor by not cluttering up both our lives unnecessarily.
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below.
Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Facebook_like_thumb.png