19 November 2012

#Like #Ladders on #Facebook

Independent businesses need to support each other as much as possible and I believe that here in Enfield, they really do. Most of the people coming to my SHOCK Cash Mobs and pledging to spend a tenner in a local and independent business, are independent business owners themselves! Those very same people have also wholeheartedly joined in with The Ideas Station's 'Like Ladder' generously giving each other support and advocacy, in 'Liking' each others pages. In fact it was local award-winning hairdresser James Whittaker, that suggested doing a 'Like Ladder' in the group, in the first place. Thank you James!

What is a 'Like Ladder'?

A 'Like Ladder' is done on Facebook, usually in a Facebook Group, where people post the link to their Facebook Page, then underneath that, someone else posts the link to their page. If they post a link to their page, they have to go back to the ladder and then 'Like' everyone else's pages that have been posted. Everyone gets more likes for their pages, thus increasing their chance of friends of friends of others seeing page activity and then also choosing to like that page. Of course this is all made even more effective when, if you have 'Liked' someone's page, you also comment on the posts on the page and 'like' some comments too.

You can propel this all up another level by, after liking a page as yourself, click on the settings icon to the right and chose 'Add to my page's favourites'. If both the pages have done this to each other, this is a great way of cross-promoting. By mentioning the other page, on your page, your post is seen on the other page! Does that sound complicated? Yes, it does, doesn't it but it's so easy when you actually do it and see what happens.

Make it into an event!

I have found a better way to create a LIKE LADDER is instead of posting it in your group. The problem with posting a like ladder in a group is that people will forever add to it and post conversational comments, that like ladder will then stay as the top post on your group page, as there will be so much activity on it, however the group will look very one dimensional and uninteresting. The way that I have found to combat this is to create a LIKE LADDER event. As you can see here.

Some might argue that 'Liking' another's page, just for a reciprocal like, has no or limited value, however, I would claim that actively 'Liking' another's business page, even if it might not be a product, or service that you have a use for, is an important part of being a player in your local business community. Just as in my shop, I have leaflets up advertising other services, even other shops and businesses that sell similar products to us, I use the online forum to ensure that our business helps other local businesses to promote themselves, as much as they possibly can.

Connect and Be Seen!

There are so many reasons why being connected to and promoting other businesses is a valuable and important part of your business' marketing strategy. The most important one being that you are giving your customer added value, extremely important added value. They begin to see you as a useful resource of information and knowledge, they think of you first when they want to find something out. In fact this is just one of the many reasons why the Independent Shop can survive, even thrive, wedged between Chains and Supermarkets. That local knowledge and those important local connections help to propel you higher up in people's consciousness, not only that but this pattern is mirrored on the internet, in your search engine optimisation and higher search results on Google, for your business.

My advice is, to keep promoting other small, local and independent businesses, as much as you can. This makes sense on several different levels, such as it strengthens the local economy, you make fantastic friends and connections that you might never have had and the feel good factor of sharing the success that your business has with others, feels so good! Sharing your customers with other businesses doesn't, in the long term take business away from you, it might seem counter-intuitive but passing on great local information brings success and prosperity to the area, rather than empty shop fronts and closures. On a personal level you ensure that those quirky local businesses that you love to enjoy too, on your days off, can also thrive!

Join a Like Ladder NOW!

So, the Like Ladder on Facebook, is this ethos, created in an easy to follow online format.If you have an independent business in Enfield, you are welcome to join the Like Ladder event, on the Ideas Station Group, here.

You can learn more tips and tricks about how to make social media work for your business at The Ideas Station with monthly workshops, or one to one training, here.

To make it even easier for you to 'Like' others' pages, I will be updating the list here too, with links to the pages already posted on the Like Ladder so far.

The Ideas Station Like Ladder...

Work your way down the list and like all the pages, then go to here and add your own page.

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