Have you ever been to Egypt, seen the pyramids?
If so what do you remember?
Apart from being in awe of this magnificent set of buildings I remember some negatives. In particular as I stood gazing up at these ancient creations I remember young, local lads come up to me out of nowhere. Without warning they shoved something into my hand saying “A gift, for you.”
I looked down to see they’d shoved a tatty, cheap bracelet into my hands. I look a little bewildered then try to give it back saying “No thanks.” Of course this is futile and they wave their arms away and I can’t shove it back at them. Then they say, “Now you pay me. You pay me for the bracelet.”
You just said it was a gift. Anyway I don’t want it.
Ah, the memories. 🙂
Well this is how I’ve felt for the last few months with my Facebook page. I’m the poor, innocent bystander whilst the pushy, crafty, unwelcome sales person are other travel bloggers. Yes travel bloggers. Not all of them, certainly not all. Just some disingenuous ones. If you read on I’ll tell you why.
Social media – a maze to unravel
Facebook is one of the many versions of social media. It seems everyone is on social media these days and numerous forms of it. Yet out of all the social media platforms Facebook seems to emit the greatest emotion from people:-
“I love it”,
“I hate it”,
Well yes Facebook has changed a lot over the years and I’m in the camp of quite a few bloggers I know.
I don’t like it.
But before shooting down Facebook and the reasons why let’s give some credit first. Facebook has been kind to me, specifically in 3 ways.
How Facebook changed my life
Firstly and head and shoulders above all the rest Facebook helped bring my bride and I together.
Yes there was some Facebook flirting 😉 – you get the idea.
Secondly, not long after I signed up to Facebook I connected with a wide range of old school friends. And we were able to organise an amazing 20 year reunion (yes, I’m that old).
Thirdly, this is the benefit I get from Facebook now, is the travel blogging and blogging communities on there. There are some fabulous people sharing great support, exchanging ideas, helping and questioning what we do.
Disclaimer: if you are part of those communities and see me on there don’t think you know my name! Facebook won’t let me use “The Guy” so I have an alias account to utilise the communities. I’m not going to make it that easy for you to find out my real name now am I? 😉
So why do I dislike Facebook?
Firstly, it is a completely different animal to the one I first signed up for in 2008. The stream or feed is very much at Facebook’s discretion.
The algorithm they use to feed your stream is complex and not easy for us to understand. I often don’t get the updates from the people/things I’m interested in. Yet I get updates I am not interested in.
It has gone highly commercial.
I know we all have to pay the bills, I struggle enough as it is. The Facebook commercialisation is such that if you want to increase your chance of being seen in someone’s stream then you can pay Facebook to “Promote” or “Boost” your post.
Paying Facebook is also one way how to get more likes in Facebook.
Yes, well thanks but no thanks. I don’t pay for online advertising and don’t think I ever will. At this stage I’m not inclined to line Facebook’s pockets with gold for a few more likes then see engagement drop off again.
I’ll take my chances on learning how to get more likes on a facebook page free.
Then it comes to my Facebook page.
Why did I set it up?
I didn’t bother with LinkedIn (so please stop sending me invites to connect on there).
There are now other forms of social media, you can really pick and choose what works for you. No one can be a jack of all trades so it is better to stick to a small number of social sites.
At first my Facebook page was a bit of a back burner. There were very few Likes yet it was and still is an easy way to promote my blog articles.
I also engaged with numerous other bloggers. For engage read that I liked their posts, commented on them, shared them, supported them. I still do.
Then I joined a Facebook group which helped each other grow our Facebook likes. It was an easy way on how to get lots of likes on Facebook.
We mutually agreed (note the words “mutually agreed”) to like each others pages. This is a 2 way street and we knew who we were.
So what happens now.
Well things are quite different.
Virtually everyday I get messages either through Twitter or Facebook.
They say something like “Hey, I liked your page from my personal account, like me back, you can like my Facebook page here……….”
“Who are you?”
“Why would I want to like your page when I know nothing about you?”
Heck some of you only have a page in a language different to English. I only speak English so why do I want my stream filled with things I don’t understand?
Even worse, some are from people representing commercial companies. They are not even related to travel or anything I’m interested in. Yes of course I’d love to like your page about taxis or a pottery shop in Bristol or Outer Mongolia. Thank you.
To be honest I was quite naive at first.
Do you know what I did?
Yes, I reciprocated. I liked back every single one who made this rather forthright and dare I say rude request.
I even made it obvious by engaging on their page, something they never did to me.
Then what happened?
I got my weekly Facebook page update and this was interesting reading. I noticed that I’d received such and such a number of new Likes in a week. But hold on the total number of Likes of my page this week is less than that of last week’s Likes plus the new Likes this week.
These people have been unfollowing my page after I’ve liked them back!
That is why I call them disingenuous.
Not too long ago there was a discussion on this amongst a number of us travel bloggers. It seems everyone is getting these rather direct “requests” and now most people just ignore them.
To be honest I’m now going down this line.
I don’t know who you are. You’ve not engaged or supported me. You are just being down right rude demanding that I like you back.
To make it worse, it looks like people are lying to.
Virtually everyday I’m getting messages from people saying I’ve liked you from my personal page. Really?
Okay let me look.
I’ve had maybe 2 new Likes from personal pages in a week, not the same as the 7-10 fictitious claims I received that week.
Stop lying to me.
How I get people to Like my Facebook Page without lying or demanding a Like
To be honest I tried a different strategy a while ago compared to just a sidebar in my blog. This strategy is a lot more gentle and less pressurised than that used by disingenuous people.
I’d read of people having some success with an automated message when people follow you on twitter. So I thought that I would give it a go. It seemed an easy way how to get more likes on a Facebook page free.
What I do and why it is different.
When people follow me now on Twitter they receive a greeting from me which says “Did you know that I have a Facebook page too?’
Now I’m sure you’ve noticed a world of difference in this approach?
I am telling people something they may not know.
I’m not asking them to like my page.
I’m most certainly not telling or demanding that they like it.
It is entirely their choice.
Why is this important?
It is simple really, I want people to like my Facebook Page because they WANT TO like it.
I don’t want them being pushy, demanding something back. I want to be appreciated for what I do.
By all means engage with me on Facebook, contribute, let me see you are of interest.
Don’t just come stomping in making demands.
If I came stomping into your house making demands you’d show me the door pretty sharpish.
Aggressive, pushy behaviour does not make friends.
What has my Facebook page now become and why do I still have it?
To be honest I’ve considered whether I should even continue with my Facebook page.
It can be disheartening when you post something and come back later to see that Facebook has only shown it in the stream of 7 people. Gee thanks Facebook. (Maybe my preference for other social media channels means I deserve this?)
Yet I know many people are addicted to Facebook, yes addicted. They are on it all the time.
So if they are interested in what I do then I can provide my updates in a format they prefer. That format being Facebook.
Whilst I am not on Facebook very often there are 2 things you will see me do on there.
Firstly, I promote my blog articles.
Secondly, I engage.
I look at what other people are doing. I then comment, like and share what I think are great pictures, articles and updates. (Some of my page followers do this too and I thank you.)
If you want to know who is great on Facebook and social media then look at people such as:-
Mapping Megan – I think she is a genius at Facebook
I know many people don’t want to subscribe to e-mail lists and they don’t have to. They can follow me in a format they like.
Heck, I’ve made the mistake of following too many sites by e-mail. As I write this I have 32,564 unread e-mails. Yes you read that right, over 32,000!
Yes my e-mail account is a mess.
I keep meaning to tidy it up and will be moving numerous blogs I follow via e-mail onto following via Bloglovin. Then I can keep track of all my favourite blogs but only have 1 e-mail update a day rather than about 40-50. (If you own one of these blogs and notice I unsubcribe please understand that I am still following but through a different feed.)
Don’t let my e-mail inbox scare you though. If you contact me via the contact me page on my site it goes to a different inbox which is far more organised 🙂 I am able to work through all of those e-mails.
I don’t want to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. However I don’t want to spend all the limited free time I have lost in Facebook.
I’d much rather focus on such as Twitter which generates better results for me and I find easier to understand.
I am also now moving towards being more active on Pinterest.
I’ve read many great things about Pinterest over the last few months and it will also motivate me to be better with the images on my site.
If you are interested my Pinterest account is here.
How not to get people to like your Facebook page
I think my message is simple. If you want me or someone to like your Facebook page:-
– don’t message strangers asking/telling them to like your page
– don’t like someone’s page and expect an automatic like back
– don’t be disingenuous and unlike someone’s page as soon as they have liked you back
– don’t sit there silently in the background and expect to be found. Engage, interact and share the great things other people are doing.
I’m sorry if this has upset some of you genuine, newbie travel bloggers who are looking for a leg up towards success with your sites. You can blame all the crafty, lying and devious people who’ve gone before you. (That is not all travel bloggers, but there are a few bad apples in the cart.)
If you want success then politely introduce yourself, engage and support others. Through your good works and respect for other people’s time and efforts then the rewards will come to.
Now if you liked this post then go ahead now and Like my page on Facebook. (Only joking 😉 – only like my page if you want to.)