Facebook Myth Demystified: Asking For Likes is Not Penalized

Viral-Reach-When-Call-To-ActionHave you heard the rumor that Facebook penalizes people for asking for likes? You’ve probably seen these calls to action before, called Like baiting. Here’s an example:

Please, please, please click LIKE this if you’re having a great day!

One way marketers have been able to increase their Facebook EdgeRank (or whatever you want to call Facebook’s News Feed algorithms these days) and fan engagement is to add Like bait to their posts. Just posting “Click Like,” or “Fill in this caption,” however, can be monotonous – and seem like a ruse. In fact, the effectiveness of Like bait strategies like this is so well known by Facebook marketers that it seems the practice has gotten out of hand.

Like bait has grown so common that some feared that Facebook was implementing a penalty factor against posts containing Like bait. Fortunately a study by EdgeRank Checker that examined 35,000 posts during July puts this rumor to rest: EdgeRank Checker found that Facebook does not appear to be levying any penalties for posts that contain calls to action.

“Like” Call to Action: Viral Reach and Influence on Engagement

Using a call to action for Likes still significantly increases the engagement and Viral Reach of a post:


“Like” Call to Action: Organic Reach

EdgeRank Checker also found that posts containing Like calls to action did not impact organic reach. This seems to validate that Facebook is not instituting any penalties for using “Like baiting” or any other types of calls to action!

Even so, could Facebook consider adding a penalty for Like bait in the future? Considering that Facebook already prioritizes feedback from your fans when deciding which of your posts to spread, it’s important to post things that will genuinely please your fans rather than merely ask your fans for Likes. Using gimmicky calls to action in your posts will most likely cause your fans to hide your content and, even worse, unfollow you. If you are going to use Like bait, make sure you do so wisely: monitor your potential Negative Feedback on your Facebook analytics page to ensure that your fans still consider your campaigns engaging.

Do you use any calls to action to increase the success of your posts? Feel free to share some successful examples in a comment below!

Daniel Zeevi

By Daniel Zeevi

Daniel is a social network architect, web developer, infographic designer, writer, speaker and founder of DashBurst. Full-time futurist and part-time content curator, always on the hunt for disruptive new technology, creative art and web humor.

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