Why I Don’t Join Like Ladders – And Neither Should You!

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Why I Don’t Join Like Ladders – And Neither Should You!

Have you ever used a like ladder Facebook to grow your page? Perhaps you use them to grow your Twitter and Instagram following too? I don’t use them, and I advise my training clients not to use them either. Here’s why…

don't join like ladders


What is a like ladder?

A like ladder is usually a post on Facebook – most often a picture. The poster invites you to comment with a link to your Facebook page (or other social media account). The idea is that you “like” or follow the page linked above yours, or perhaps the two above yours. The next person to add their link will then “like” your page, and so on.

Sounds good, right? You like someone’s page, and then someone else comes along and likes yours.

Why I don’t use like ladders

In short, I don’t join like ladders because the person liking your page really doesn’t care about it. They’re not interested in what you might post; they are only liking your page, so that the next person on the ladder will like theirs. They will not be part of an engaged audience. They may never comment on one of your posts.

But you still get an extra page like and that’s good, right?

Yes, if you’re still in secondary school and want to look really popular.

In reality, the number of likes your page has means nothing. I always tell my clients not to be intimidated by the number of likes a competitor’s page might have. Instead, look at how much engagement their last few posts have. You can have thousands and thousands of page likes, but they mean nothing if nobody is liking, commenting on or sharing your posts.

Furthermore, when we pay to boost a post, most of us will choose the option to advertise to “people who like your page” or “people who like your page and their friends.”  At that point, you begin paying to advertise to the people who only liked your page because you were above them on a like ladder. They weren’t engaged in the first place, and they don’t care what you’re posting – but you’re paying to advertise to them nonetheless.

Who do like ladders benefit?

Many like ladders are posted in groups by well-meaning people who want to keep the group active and engaged, and provide a service to the members.

When you see a like ladder posted on a Facebook page though, think twice. Who benefits from that post, when people begin to like it and comment on it with their links? The original poster suddenly has a lot of reach and engagement on their post. The fact you have commented on that post shows to all of your friends, and Facebook’s algorithms learn two things. Firstly, that you want to see more from this page, and secondly that this page is popular and its posts should be shown to more people. So a like ladder really only benefits the person who owns the page where it was originally posted!

So how do I get more likes on my Faebook page?

I know what you’re thinking. You still want to grow your page, to have more people liking and commenting on your posts.

But as I mentioned above, having more likes on your page does not necessarily translate to more reach and engagement, and it definitely won’t translate to more sales or clicks on your links.

Instead of chasing after more and more page likes, as if they’re useful for anything other than appearing popular, focus on building engagement with the audience you have. Ask them questions, listen to what they’re saying, build trust and reciprocity. Once you have this, the extra likes will take care of themselves.

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By | 2017-07-13T08:48:36+00:00 February 12th, 2016|Social Media|10 Comments

About the Author:

Vicky is a social media and blogging trainer who offers workshops and one-to-one coaching in Salisbury as well as online training and webinars. You can read her personal blog at SingleMotherAhoy.com.


  1. Avatar
    jeremy@thirstydaddy February 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I agree with this in theory, but there is also the aspect that some brands only want to work with people that they believe to have significant reach. One way to show that reach is with high social media numbers.

    • Avatar
      Vicky Charles February 14, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Good point Jeremy; I think eventually more brands will come to understand that numbers don’t count for much without interaction.

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    Yet Another Blogging Mummy February 13, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    I did occasionally try them out, but gave up on them ages ago, coming to a similar conclusion, but I don’t really have the time to focus on my Facebook page, so do find it only gets an occasional new like, whereas I am very active on Twitter and get lots of new followers there

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    Bread February 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Good post. I see a lot of these types of posts and like for like posts in blogger groups and I think it’s nice to have likes and all but the engagement is more important.

    • Avatar
      Vicky Charles February 17, 2016 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      I think PRs and brands are coming round to this way of thinking too; a big number looks impressive but if you can’t back it up with reach and engagement it’s sort of a moot point.

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    Random Musings February 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    I’ve never come across one of these before. I agree with you about having an engaged following, but I still find a lot of brands don’t look at that – they look at numbers. In an ideal world, having your engaged followers is perfect, but it doesn’t hurt to have some extra numbers too 🙂 #blogstorm

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    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks March 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    I’ve stopped doing this. I have definitely seen you mention this before (in a Facebook group I think) and it just made so much sense to me. Plus on top of that I’m spamming my actual friends with pages and posts that I’m not actually that interested in. They are all going to block me!

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      Eileen Daniel December 19, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

      I agree with you that you will get blocked. I tried explaining that to a client who was also posting (micro managing) on her business page that she had me posting on. She didn’t like that the “likes/numbers” weren’t coming fast enough. I tried to explain that to her but I don’t think she get’s it. There is no “short cut” to success. Yes, you can play around with the numbers but ultimately, getting people engaging and liking by interest, is going to make you successful for the long haul and bring organic customers.

  6. Avatar
    Alan aka omgitsagirl2015 April 27, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Very interesting post Vicky.

    I actually came across one of these the other day and popped a link in. (It was before I’d read this post )

    I did get a bunch of RT’s on twitter, but no increase in pageviews at all.

    Thanks for the great advice.

  7. Avatar
    Marinda October 18, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply

    Exactly. The point of a business is to provide solutions to the people who need it. Therefore, welcoming and targeting people who have no interest in what you do is irresponsible and a waste of time.

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