“How do I get people to like our Facebook Page?” is one of the first questions we hear in our Facebook training courses. And our answer is always, “Likes don’t matter as much as everything else.”

The latest bad advice making its rounds in the Facebook small business community is “go to our business page, to the community tab, and invite all your friends to our page and it will really help us out.” And, because hearts are big and times are tough, you do. But just because you can invite friends to like a Facebook Business Page, doesn’t mean you should.

In fact, it will potentially cause the business harm, in Facebook world.

The most important piece of social media is your audience experience.

Being spammed with invites to pages that aren’t relevant to their interests, actually creates a negative brand impression with your audience. It possibly will generate enough irritation, that people will stop responding to page invites altogether. You know, like what happened with groups back when people could add all their friends without their permission.

You’re also diminishing the business’ ability to invite people who have liked their content, to like their page, which is a valuable growth tool for small businesses.

Engagement is a key factor in being seen on Facebook.

You don’t need a ton of likes on your Facebook page. What you need, is a ton of engaged fans. Content that is meant to develop relationships, and reward your audience with experience and interaction. Those people who are liking your page to help, are likely not engaging with your content. And that, friends, will cause you problems with Facebook.

Organic reach is already hard enough to achieve.

Most small business owners and page managers we’ve spoken with, find organic reach to be a problem. Adding more audience that won’t interact with your content, who aren’t interested in your products, won’t ever click your links, or share your posts, will damage your organic reach.

Imagine, owning a pet shop. But you ran a contest that created a crowd of people who want an iPad standing in front of your door. Will the 3 dog people feel valued? How much will they want to come through your door? Will you even know they’re there?

The people who like your page matter to Facebook.

Facebook takes a look at who likes your page and then develops a picture of who your target audience is. It then uses this information, to put your content in front of the right people, and to offer audience suggestions to help you out.

You want INVESTED FANS. The RIGHT audience. Not ALL of the audience.

So how can you help?

The most valuable things you can do are:

  1. Share their content to your Facebook timeline, your Business Facebook Page, or via Messenger to someone who might be interested.
  2. Comment on their content.
  3. Love, Ha Ha, or Wow their content.
  4. Check-in when you’re shopping with them.

That last one – that’s an important one. They need you to actually shop with them. Show up with dollars in hand, and tell others you did. (Businesses don’t stay open because of Facebook Likes).

Here’s a pro-tip for you if you’re a business owner.

When it comes to your business, take advice from professionals. There’s more to social media than what you see in front of you. And it all matters.