You’ve created a new business or fan page on Facebook. You have a great logo and cover photo that you worked hard on. Branding is on point. You completed all the “about” sections and your page looks great. However, you have zero likes, and that does not look good. So what do you do? Most people immediately invite their personal Facebook friends to like the page.

Don’t do that!

There use to be a time when inviting your friends to like your Facebook Page was recommended. There might be a time in the future where it will be beneficial. It is absolutely not beneficial today nor has it been for a few years. Here is why it is not and what to do instead…

The reason why it’s bad to invite your friends to like your page (especially when your page is new) is because of the Facebook Algorithm. You need to work with the algorithm, and having a page initially comprised of likes from your personal friends is bad for the algorithm for one reason: your friends are not your target audience.

Having a page initially comprised of your friends leads to these two problems:

1. Lack of Engagement:

The more people that interact with your posts, the more people Facebook shows your posts to. When you invite friends to like your page, they usually will. However, your friends, mostly due to them not being your target customer, aren’t really interested in your content, they are just interested in supporting you.

They aren’t likely to engage with your content. Engagement is important because the more people engage with a post, the more people Facebook shows that post to. If your initial page likes are mostly from friends, and they don’t engage, your organic reach will be very low. Basically, if your page likes are mostly from friends, nobody will see your posts.

This leads to the second problem…

2. Lack of Reach:

Facebook will show your posts, your page, and recommend your page to people similar to those who have liked your page. They give the option to boost a post to people who like your page and their friends.

Let’s say you have a small business that sells only in Chicago but you spent most of your life in New York and you invite mostly friends from New York to like your page. All your initial engagement will be from people in New York. They can’t buy from you in Chicago. They aren’t in your market. Facebook does not know that. Facebook just knows that people from New York like your page and content, and they’ll show your content to more people like that. Those people won’t be interested in your content, and won’t engage, and that will drastically lower your reach (and views).

Inviting your friends to like your Facebook Page hurts your page. However, you want your page to have likes/fans shortly after you start your page.

Here are a few tips to help you in the first few days and weeks after creating your page.

  • Invite only friends that fit your target customer demographics. Reach out to them personally and let them know about your page and ask for their support. They’ll be more likely to engage with the page, which will help you.
  • Run a small ad campaign to acquire likes and boost your first few posts to a targeted audience. These ads will not likely perform well, but that’s not the point. You’re looking to gain a few fans that are well within your target audience. This is a way of working with the algorithm and essentially teaching it who to show your page and posts to. It also makes it simple to then run some quick boosts and ads to the friends of those new targeted fans.
  • Share the page with customers. Push the page in its initial stages. Put the Facebook link/icon front and center on your website. Instruct employees to ask customers if they’ve liked the page.

Your goal in your first few weeks of your new Facebook Page should be to build a small number of likes from very well targeted people. The more inline your initial likes are with your target customer, the easier your page growth and marketing efforts will be in the future.

Remember, it is not so much about getting the like and attention of that one person. Instead, it’s about getting access to market to people like them and to give Facebook an accurate understanding of who your customers. That way, the algorithm will work with you, not against you.

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