Web Toolbar by Wibiya Awaken Dreams Success Coaching: How Liking Ladders Will Decimate Your Facebook EdgeRank and Hurt Your Bottom Line

How Liking Ladders Will Decimate Your Facebook EdgeRank and Hurt Your Bottom Line

by Debi Auger

Have you ever had something happen on Facebook that made your jaw drop and really rubbed you the wrong way? It happened to me recently. I witnessed an event that really irritated me. It's not the first incident of its kind; as a matter of fact far from it. Something similar happened to me a while ago and it irked me then, too.

So why am I telling you about it? And why the outburst on my (personal) Facebook page... the kind you've never seen from me before? Because it's as relevant to your business as any other one with a business page on Facebook. Because they're exactly the types of things that happen when people go about willly nilly liking pages just to get reciprocal likes and increase their fan count.

A friend of mine, and fellow artisan, was holding an event and received a really rude comment from a "fan" of her business page. And, yes, I did feel the need to step in and have my say about it... I'm opinionated ya know ;-)

Essentially besides telling her she was rude, I pointed out the fact that the wonderful thing about Facebook is you control what you see and that, if she wasn't a fan of her work, she shouldn't have liked her page in the first place. I feel that was a fair assessment because her comment was extremely rude, insensitive, insulting... just plain nasty.

Why Would Someone Like a Page They Don't Like?

When people are focused on getting as many fans as possible, they often participate in "liking ladders" (also called tagging sessions and a number of other names). And this is the kind of thing that can result from them. People go around liking pages that they couldn't care less about, then later, when things are posted, there's backlash.

In addition to the negative situation that occurs between people in these instances, there are Facebook repercussions as well. That person will at the very least now unlike the page. Obviously they should unlike the page. However, the act of unliking is one of Facebook's negative engagement triggers so now a hard-working small business owner's page has been negatively impacted when in reality the person probably never should have liked it in the first place.

Asking For Trouble

There are two things that I'm really tired of seeing because, by participating in them, you're just asking for trouble. And I see them over and over (at least 5 times just today!) so I think they need to be discussed. There are two scenarios I repeatedly see:

     1) "Liking Ladders"

     2) The suggestion of "hey let's all like each other's Facebook pages and get more likes" that I keep seeing on Facebook, LinkedIn and in forums and groups all over the place.

No, no, no, let's NOT!


EdgeRank. That's why.

EdgeRank and What It Means for You

I've discussed EdgeRank here before and how it affects business pages; as well as the new changes to it that take into account negative engagement.

If you look at Facebook (or any other social media site for that matter) as a numbers game; all about how many likes you have, you're completely missing the point of having a Facebook page in the first place. Gathering likes from people who have no interest in you is absolutely worthless. And not only that, because of EdgeRank, it will come back and bite you in the ass.

You want passionate, engaged and loyal fans on your page. Not people who end up asking you why you're showing up in their feed!

How Liking Ladders Will Decimate Your EdgeRank

Unfortunately many people consider liking ladders to be networking. They're not. I admit I participated in a few of them when I first started on Facebook, before I knew better. 

In case you've never heard of this, they're basically an event, usually involving a pretty large group (I've seen these things last hours!), going around liking pages and leaving their own page info to get a reciprocal like, most of the time with no further exploration of the page being liked... at that time or in the future.  

You're usually required to like every page in order to participate and therein lies one of the biggest problems. This causes people to, in the moment at least, like pages they have no interest in. They don't care about you, will most likely remove you the next day and if not, they'll hide you from their feed. Either way Facebook's negativity radar has been alerted and it will hurt you. 

Imagine a ladder of 100 people all come and like your page tonight during one of these events. A few of them actually like you and stay. But the other 80 unlike your page... all within a short time frame. Whoa... EdgeRank is going to hammer you!

Another Risk of Participating

There's another risk you face as a participant. If you like and comment on too many pages in quick succession, Facebook sees it as spam and you'll end up in hidden posts or worse... Facebook will block you (put you in a time-out). I've seen people put in time-out for 30 days!  Not a good place to be if you're trying to run a business!

Another No-No While We're At It

And, since we're looking at engagement and ways to stay out of trouble, another thing I've stopped completely is giveaways on my Facebook page. And I don't just mean the kind we used to all run before Facebook "ruined our fun" a few years ago. I don't do them using the Facebook-approved apps anymore either. Because they cause the same effect that liking ladders do. 

People find your giveaway via the app and all of a sudden you get a large number of likes from people who want to win whatever it is you're giving away. The problem is they're often just looking for anything they can get for free, then you never hear from them again, or worse... they stick around for the wrong reasons and start causing drama on your page. Either way, they're not very likely to become a paying customer. So your EdgeRank suffers for no good reason.

TIP → When I want to hold a giveaway, I do it for my newsletter subscribers and fans of my page and I hold it on my blog. Yes, that's my way of making sure the proper people are rewarded with a giveaway and that Facebook isn't telling me how to do it.

To Do or Not To Do

Sometimes you can find great pages, items and people by participating in these things. I met some awesome people this way. But I don't think it's worth the risk. There are better ways to accomplish the same thing.

I seriously caution against joining ones that require you to like every page you visit on your "trip around Facebook" for the reasons I mentioned.

Also, these events waste precious time that you could spend networking in ways that are actually beneficial to your business and will produce results, not just likes.

Grow Your Likes Organically

You're much better off to grow your likes naturally. It will be slower but you'll end up with fans who have a genuine interest in you and your product/service and be more likely to engage with you on your page.

It's the engagement that's important.  Likes don't help your page as much as lack of engagement will hurt it.

Protect Your Bottom Line

If you have a business, Facebook can be a huge opportunity for you to attract leads and even make sales. So don't be careless by participating in activities that can have a negative effect on your presence there.

If you play with finicky Facebook's fire, you're going to get burned. And ultimately it's your bottom line that will suffer. Possibilities:
        • EdgeRank... and therefore page views and interaction... decreases which causes a complete negative snowball effect.

        • You could get put in Facebook time-out... for a long time.

        • You could have your page shut down all together.

And remember... there's really no way to contact Facebook. I've watched this happen to people and there's no way to argue your case. You're at their mercy.

So let's agree...
        • NO liking ladders

        • NO mass liking campaigns of any kind

        • NO unapproved giveaways that violate Facebook's policies (even better... reward your true fans by doing them elsewhere)


So How Do I Do That?

1. Give people every opportunity to connect with you and invite them to!

     • buttons on your website, blog and any third party selling site that allows you to share them (like ArtFire)

     • a written invitation on relevant pages of your site (I.e. Home page, About page, FAQs page, Contact Me page, etc.)

     • a standing invitation, using buttons or other means, in your newsletter (You are publishing a newsletter right?!? If not, we need to talk!)

     • an invitation every time someone buys from you (I send it in my shipping confirmation/thank you email.)

     • cross-promote your social media accounts on other social media accounts whenever possible (I.e. put all your links to your website, blog, ArtFire, Etsy, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc on your Facebook About page)

2. Network with people and make friends which will normally result in the mutually supportive act of liking each other's pages. The key here is "mutually supportive!"

Networking the Right Way

Networking is something you should be doing and it can be very beneficial to both you and your business in many, many ways if you do it correctly.

Find groups of people with similar interests, ask to join and get to know the people in them. 

Do your own "Liking Expedition"... use Facebook's new graph search to type in things you're genuinely interested in and see what comes up. Go explore those things... people, pages, groups, etc... like those that you're truly interested in. 

Join groups that interest you. Introduce yourself. Make friends. Network with those people.

I run and belong to several Facebook Groups and you can find them for just about anything under the sun. For example, I run a Color Combo Challenge Group where we vote on a color palette each week and come up with a design in our medium including at least 3 of the colors in the palette, then reveal them in the group the following week. The purpose is to challenge artisans to work with colors they don't normally use and combine colors they wouldn't normally think to combine so they can grow in their work.

I also belong to several Mastermind Groups. And I started the aWAEHQn dreams Mastermind Group so you could reap the benefits of a Mastermind Group specifically geared toward artisan entrepreneurs. Mastermind Groups are a great way to network with like-minded people who will support you and your work.

My Solution and Recommendation

My solution... I don't like pages of people I don't know unless I genuinely like what they sell or what they're about. Period.

You need to follow best practices and look for ways to BOOST your EdgeRank if you want to be successful on Facebook. So be careful out there ;-)

And yes, absolutely, if you like me, and my mission and message resonate with you, by all means like my page. I'd LOVE to hear from you!

There are all kinds of fun and unique things going on on Facebook and all around the world wide web. Join in!

Much Success,

Share your thoughts...


  1. Another excellent post, thank you! You have given us some wonderful, and very helpful advice. I wish that I had not jumped on the ladder like wagon, but the great thing is that it is never too late to make positive changes from this point forward. :)

  2. Thanks Debra! Don't feel bad... I did a few of these two when I first started on FB. Most of us probably did. And before EdgeRank it wasn't a problem. Unfortunately now it is.

  3. Interesting Debi, I didn't know this effected EdgeRank. Thanks for sharing the knowledge

  4. You're welcome! Yeah those "empty" likes can really hurt you. Exchanging likes with people who support you, interact with and share your content is beneficial though. Hmmm.... maybe that should be the topic of my next post! Thank you for stopping by :)

  5. Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment! I'm glad you liked it and happy to have you here :)

  6. Wow, this was sooo informative. I'm fairly new, a slow learner, and I didn't even know there were groups to join on Facebook. I must admit I have participated in mutual likes, though I'm generally discerning and don't "like" everyone, however, I think I will discontinue this practice. It's very much like "endorsing" on LinkedIn. It's meaningless when people endorse you for skills you don't have or really have no interest in your work. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. Thank you for the article. Very interesting. I'm guilty of doing this thinking it may help my travel page. I'll think twice now :)

  8. You're welcome! Glad it was helpful. Definitely better to have people who are truly interested in your business liking your page. Best wishes! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment :)


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