Quit Liking Things on Facebook

Several small businesses recently closed their doors in mid-Missouri, and the news spread like wildfire on Facebook. This kind of social media marketing happens many times each day all over the world, but the buzz that businesses get on Facebook after they’ve shut down always makes me shake my head.

After the doors have closed, it’s too late to lament the loss online. To paraphrase the famous line in Airplane: “Smoke ‘em while you have ‘em.” 

Facebook fans generally love to promote their favorite small businesses. Today I want to tell you why likes might be the easiest way to interact on Facebook, but that they’re not actually always the most effective way to support small businesses.

There are three ways to engage on Facebook that are far more powerful than liking a business page:

  1. The Share
  2. The Check-In
  3. The Comment

The woefully under-utilized Facebook Share button allows you to add your ringing endorsement or pithy comments to the Facebook Timeline of your favorite brands and businesses (and friends).

Shared content is published on your timeline for all of your friends and subscribers to see. This is just one way social media content goes viral. (Think of all of those funny vintage greeting cards you’ve shared about wine, parenting, and politics…it works the same way when you support your local winery, BBQ joint, or clothing store.)

Facebook Check-Ins are another great way to engage with small businesses. When you physically go to a business, you can check in at their location on Facebook. This interaction shows up in your Facebook timeline, allowing your friends and subscribers to see your real-life support of your favorite Missouri businesses.

Leaving comments on Facebook business pages is another way to promote businesses on Facebook. So the next time your favorite store or restaurant gives you a great product or service, stop by their Facebook page and give them a virtual pat on the back.

The Share, the Check-In, and the Comment all supersede the Like in Facebook influence and viral power, so the next time you want to help a favorite Missouri business, engage with their Facebook page by sharing, checking in, or commenting.

Are you a Missouri business owner or membership organization? You can use what you’ve just learned to encourage greater Facebook interaction with your customers or members. Check out this post, “On Facebook, Do What Works” for some specific tips.

Keep in mind that social media is a constantly evolving set of tools, and that you should be constantly testing methods, content, and even times of day to see what works best for your business.

There are so ways for customers and businesses to communicate using social media. The first step to making the most of Facebook business pages is to quit just “liking” things, and start sharing, checking-in, and commenting.

Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter. His Welsh Corgi, Taffy, lets Gus and his wife, Farrah Fite, live with her in Jefferson City, Missouri.