Businesses who have been purchasing “likes” to make their Facebook page seem more “likeable” may start to see some consequences. Facebook announced that it was going to remove “likes” gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes. Honestly, it was only a matter of time, and we hope you were smart enough to avoid the temptation.

How does this affect photographers?

We’re all small business owners in a competitive, localized industry where word-of-mouth referrals and online visibility play critical roles in our success. In other words, we’re in an industry where Facebook is very important and purchasing “likes” may have been very tempting. Any single giveaway by Nike or other major brand would yield thousands of fans. But where does a part-time photographer, full-time dad get his likes? He might ask his 2000 friends, of which 500 might join; but where did the rest of the 10,000 come from?

Why is Facebook Doing This?

Here’s an excerpt from the post: “A Like that doesn’t come from someone truly interested in connecting with a Page benefits no one. Real identity, for both users and brands on Facebook, is important to not only Facebook’s mission of helping the world share, but also the need for people and customers to authentically connect to the Pages they care about.” They go on to say, On average, less than 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by our terms. These newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes. While we have always had dedicated protections against each of these threats on Facebook, these improved systems have been specifically configured to identify and take action against suspicious Likes. “(read the rest here).

How Do You Get Real Facebook Likes

There are a ton of proven methods to getting legitimate, targeted Facebook likes for your photography business. “Like-gating” your content is one way, where you have exclusive content for your fans. Contests and giveaways help immensely, as does connecting with, tagging, and mentioning vendors and other industry professionals. Creating targeted viral memes, videos and other content will organically generate likes. And having a strong, visible Facebook connection from your website and blog to your page can only be good for your like count.

With some of these methods, and a lot more, we’ve been able to grow our Lin and Jirsa Facebook Page to a decent number. (And mentioning it here might even grow it by a few more .. tricky huh?) The idea is that every like counts.  It’s a long term process with no short cuts.

What do you guys think? What are some other ways you organically grow your Facebook fans?