I Liked Your Facebook Page, Why Don’t You Like Mine?

A client of mine was dismayed that out of his 600+ Facebook friends, only 20 had “liked” his business page. Like other small businesses, he wanted to use Facebook as a no-cost, low-cost platform to promote his products and connect with customers. Also, he was hoping to get the required minimum of 25 likes to land a vanity URL (www.facebook.com/username) so he could directly link others to his new page.

He was more irritated at those friends and colleagues whose pages he “liked,” and felt that reciprocity was in order.

I agreed with him.

If I helped your business out and liked it, it’s time for you to repay that favor. Then I thought about my Twitter account. I know there were people I was following who didn’t follow me. I’ll give Alyssa Milano and Hines Ward a pass. But my fellow Yinzers?  Heck, I even had friends and former co-workers who weren’t following me.

Last week I discovered a new service, ManageFlitter.com, to purge my Twitter account of those people I was following but were not following me back. As I began to delete these people from my social media life forever that got me to thinking that there’s probably a reason why some people don’t reciprocate.

One is because your tweets are annoying. In fact, I’m guilty of it at times. Instead of using Twitter as an information sharing tool, or to educate or inspire others, some use it to gripe. I know I get turned off when I see others do that so I click unfollow.

Another reason you may be unfollowed or not reciprocated is that you’re overtweeting. I tend to do this when my two favorite teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers, are playing. Thankfully, so many others do it too during the games, so my tweets often go unnoticed. Still, this can be bothersome to non-sports fans.

But back to Facebook, my client finally got over the 25 like-threshold. In fact, he’s nearing 100+ likes now, so he’s happy.  It just took time, which was one piece of advice I gave him, He also began to post more relevant information and became more conversational with his friends and even on the pages he “liked.” He sent out his like request again for his business and received a more favorable response.

I threw out my question about reciprocating on LinkedIn and received over 50 responses. Here’s what some of them had to say:

  • Kate Davids, Online Marketer: “There is no reason, and indeed some reasons not to, follow back. The reasons not to include: bogging yourself down with tweets and page updates that just don’t hold any value for you. For instance, if you are a personal trainer, you post about exercises, articles you like on dieting, etc. Your follower might be an accountant in another state who likes to work out, but you have no desire to read the accounting articles she posts about. Why would you follow her back? It only clogs up your Twitter stream.
  • Lorenzo Araneo, Screaming Lunatic (@screaminlunatic on Twitter): “I follow back on Twitter those who are real. They interact with others and/or provide valuable resources to my industry. As far as a company, I will follow those who interest me. On Facebook, it is a bit tougher because usually you want to reciprocate the follow back. Facebook can be more personal because your friends are on there. I have a few friends who just post non-stop so while I do “like” them, I end up using the “Hide” feature so nobody gets any bad feelings.”
  • Sherese Duncan, Small Business Strategist, President and CEO of Efficio, Inc.: “I’m not sure the important thing here is whether you should automatically reciprocate a “like” or a “follow” just because someone has “liked” or “followed” you.  They have made a personal- or business-related decision to like or follow you or your business because they can receive good direction or information from it.  Social media networking isn’t solely about building your numbers, rather, it should be about utilizing it as an added benefit of your business; another way to stay in touch with you and stay on top of what you are doing.  Quality over quantity comes to mind here.

Building social media networks is based on trust.  People do not want to fill their networks with spam and meaningless blabber that they don’t care about.

Neither should you.

Only reciprocate a “like” or “follow” if you feel there is an added personal or business related advancement or benefit from it.

  • Troy D. White, Educational Consultant, Cloud Owl Technologies: “As an open networker, I do reciprocate requests (and follows). Naturally, we don’t *have* to reply to all the get-rich-quick messages and MLM schemes. But for people that are making a legitimate effort at connecting or advancing their business/careers, I’m more than happy to take a minute and Like a page or review a resume and offer a few quick tips.”
  • Sheri Huesman, Owner, Cybertary Spartanburg: For me, social media is not a “numbers game”. (It is to many people). I only follow people back on Twitter if I am remotely interested in what they have to say. I do not follow back if they are blatantly trying to sell or advertise some “get rich quick” scheme.  Same with Facebook, I only “like” who I truly want to follow. I don’t purposely help them get a vanity URL. I don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t “like” me back.
    There have only been a few instances where I have “unfollowed” someone on Twitter because they send way too many tweets. Enough is enough! It is very annoying. If someone has time to tweet every 5 minutes they need to get a new hobby – or more than likely, they have hired someone to tweet for them.
  • Katherine Swarts, Professional Writer: My decision to “like” or “follow” is based on two questions:  (1) Is is someone I know personally, or a potentially valuable contact, or someone who was referred directly by such? (2) Is the topic or focus of particular interest to me? If the answer to both questions is “yes” or “no,” then the decision is the same. If only one question gets a “yes” answer, I examine the “whys” of both in detail–How well do I really know this person? Is this a topic I’d never study on my own decision?–to see which outweighs the other. Incidentally, those who say number of followers isn’t that much of an issue are right on the mark; just about everyone is officially “following” a blog or Twitter account, or officially “likes” a Facebook page, where they haven’t actually read a post in months.  What really counts–what really proves that your “followers” or “fans” are actually paying attention to you–is the number of comments you receive.
  • Michelle SeyfarthDevelopment Coach: I use Twitter and LinkedIn as strictly professional platforms while my Facebook is mostly personal, except for my business page. I will only “like” a friend’s business page, or any business page for that matter, if it’s something I could/would recommend to my family or friends. I’ve never “unliked” somebody’s page because they didn’t “like” mine nor have I stopped following somebody because they don’t follow me.  My criteria for following somebody is simply that they have intriguing, thought-provoking or inspirational tweets, or they are sharing resources (blogs, articles, news,etc.) that meet the same criteria.

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About Daniel Casciato

Daniel Casciato has his own business as a social media consultant, freelance copywriter, ghostwriter, and ghostblogger. The Pittsburgh native loves his Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Learn more about him at www.DanielCasciato.com.

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