Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why Facebook "Like Ladders" Are Bad For Bands

I remember when I first got on Myspace, and I started trying to get as many "friends" as possible. One day, I went through competing with a friend in Pittsburgh to see who could get the most new friends in a day……..he won. lol.

But there I sat with 2000 friends that I never connected with.

I'd occasionally get my band listed on a "friends spree" list, which would get people to come to friend my Myspace page, and made me feel important because in my head, I had that many new fans.

This was completely erroneous. I didn't have any new fans. No one new came to my profile and listened to my music. No one new interacted with me on Myspace. No one new knew who I was...but I had a lot more friends on my artist profile, which made me feel like I had a lot more fans.

What I didn't realize at the time was that the number of friends you have on your Myspace profile wasn't the important factor. How many people were posting about our music? How many plays did we have on our music player? How many times was someone writing me on Myspace to tell me what song x meant to them? Those were the important factors, and truth be told, the numbers in that regard were embarrassingly low.

Now it's 2012, and I've started to see something emerge on Facebook that just annoys me to no end, and reminds me of the "friends spree" on Myspace. I speak, of course, of "Like Ladders". This is where someone posts a bunch of pages that you're supposed to go through and "like", which will increase the number of pages that you've collected as a Facebook user. This does nothing for the bands that are on the like ladder, unless the fans are trying really hard to connect with each person who clicks the like button on their page. If someone hits the like button without listening to the band, then why would they engage in conversation with a band they know nothing about?
Like Ladders artificially inflate the number of Facebook likes on an artist’s page. They aren't the important number. I'd almost go as far as this blogger and say that Likes are doo doo, but I won't. But the blogger in question does have a point, which is that the important number lies in the amount of people talking about your page. This reflects the number of people who like a comment, comment on a page, share a status, or in some other way interact with your page. When they interact with your page, this shows up on their wall for their friends to see, and has the potential to bring curious outsiders into the conversation, which increases your chances of being genuinely listened to by more people.

To my knowledge, there's no way to fake the "Talking About This" number. Nope, you're going to have to actually talk to your fans and engage them for this number to go up. In theory, the higher this number goes, the more people will be exposed to your page. Also, the longer this number is up, the more likely those interacting with your page will be to become dedicated supporters of your band.

So while "Like Ladders" may make you look good, if they aren't increasing the number of people who are "Talking About" your page, then they actually are doing you no good. If you're not properly interacting with your fans on Facebook, then the new fans from the "like ladder" aren't going to help you any because they are just an empty number. However, if you are using your Facebook page to connect with as many of your fans as you can, then perhaps a like ladder could generate more exposure for your band. The catch is that you HAVE to connect with the people who have liked your page or they will always be empty likes.

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