The "Like My Facebook Page" Fallacy

Posted on March 4th 2013

The "Like My Facebook Page" Fallacy

Lately, not a day goes by that my inbox doesn't contain a request to “like” someone’s Facebook fan page. More often than not, I don’t know the person or have had limited interaction with them. Have we become so mired in the “like” quicksand that we’ve lost the notion that there needs to be a relationship first? Try walking into a public square and approach a stranger with these words: “Please Like Me” and see what happens. Is it any different online? Not really. Annoyance, like unsolicited junk mail, is the usual response.


The click of a mouse has very little to do with loyalty to a product or service offering. You can buy “likes” by the tens of thousands and impress your friends with the “numbers,” but the stark reality is that no amount of “like” begging is going to cause thirsty customers to draw water from your well. So what’s the other option? Instead of asking for a “like” try developing relationships with key “connectors” who you can co-promote your brand with theirs. Offering a quality product or service might seem easy, but there’s often the issue of clearing those market barriers to entry when you aren’t the first mover.

As an example, there are numerous good photographers out there, but instead of asking for “likes” for your photography fan page, spend the time giving free photo shoots to draw customers to your service. Establishing relationships is the oldest and most surefire way of building loyalty to your brand. Begging for “likes” is the digital version of panhandling and it’s not scalable or sustainable.

In short, the advent of social media broadens one’s customer horizon but it doesn’t negate the time-tested value of establishing loyalty through investing in others first before expecting them to invest in you. 


John Serpa

John Serpa is a motivational speaker, and the author of LiNK: The Fascinating Ways Our Minds Connect. He's passionate about sparking creativity and innovation by helping organizations move from transactional to transformational. Serpa resides in Chicago, IL, and in his free time, enjoys producing techno music and storm chasing. His weekly blog is @

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Kent Ong
Posted on March 4th 2013 at 12:27PM

Hi John, I 100% agree with you. I realized someting that some of the modern marketers focus only on numbers of likes, followers, connections rather than conversion rate.

Posted on March 4th 2013 at 1:29PM

Thanks Kent for your comment. I have challenged marketers to show me the empirical proof that the number of "likes" one's page has equates to loyalty on the customer end and they come up short. Buzz is the key driver. For example, say you have 500 likes and 300 people talking about your page, that is a far better proxy than 10,000 likes and 30 talking about it. The issue comes back to the most basic business principle, deliver more and promise less and you'll always have a customer. However, the caveat is that the business leader must forge relationships and social media is a driver for that to happen.

Kat Karvess
Posted on March 6th 2013 at 6:41PM

I couldn't agree more with this piece. 'Engagement' has become almost over-used in online and marketing worlds, but I can't actually think of a better word to explain what constitutes successful social media efforts. Engagement is where it's at.

Thanks for the article John.

Posted on March 7th 2013 at 10:10AM

You are so right- I get a lot of please like me messages in my inbox and they are a turn off. They do not prompt me to like that persons page.  Social networking is about relationships and adding value.