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Exchanging Facebook “Likes” Won’t Help You

Sep 6

Around a month ago, I logged onto Facebook and went to one of my clients’ pages to do our daily social media management. I was surprised to find that the number of fans had shot up, quite suspiciously, overnight. I knew that a drastic influx of fans in just a day’s time meant something fishy was going on.

And that’s when I saw it. The new fans did not come without a price; they had bombarded my client’s Facebook wall and inbox with messages requesting my client to “like” them back on Facebook. These weren’t genuine fans— they were people “liking” my client’s page only as a favor, expecting it to be returned. Where did they come from? Apparently, someone on my clients’ side had engaged in some sort of bartering system with his or her LinkedIn connections, promising them reciprocal “likes”!

It was a “face-palm” moment for me.

Many people use their connections from other online or social networks to trade “likes” on Facebook. This sort of thing isn’t new, nor is it illegal by any unwritten social media conduct. And on the surface, a “like-my-page-and-I’ll-like-yours” deal sounds like a no-brainer to grow your fan base right?

Yes, they will help boost your fan numbers, but you have to ask yourself this: Will this exchange of “liking” pages really benefit me?

It doesn’t.


Because these people are not true “fans” of your page; they only “like” your page expecting reciprocation. They very likely have no interest in you or your business, your services or your products. This sort of relationship will never go beyond the reciprocation of “likes”.

And on top of that, having these types of fans can actually harm you. Since these fans most likely won’t interact with your content, Facebook’s algorithm will detect these discrepancies, and penalize you by lessening your visibility on your fans’ newsfeeds.

Exchanging Facebook “likes” may seem like a great idea at first, but in the end, it won’t provide you with any value beyond boosting your fan numbers.

What do you think? Have you or anyone you know ever exchanged “likes”?

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Chau is a Content Editor at Katie Wagner Social Media. With a degree in Literary Journalism, Chau’s experience includes reporting, copywriting, technical writing and narrative non-fiction.

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