5 Ways to Gain Facebook Likes (And be a Total Dick)


I used to write a series of social media and blogging tips until I realized how silly it was to write tips for a medium which is constantly changing. Google + hangout what? The minute you think you’re an expert in this field, something new comes along and suddenly you’re not nearly as swift as you thought you were.

So who am I to judge what’s right or wrong in social media anyway?

Well, I take it back; I’m judging. I’m judging the shady and ridiculous ways people are using to gain Facebook likes because it’s enough already. It’s frustrating to people who actually try and build community on their pages and it’s deceptive for people who use Facebook innocently for fun.

Plus, those pages that crop up and suddenly have 100K likes overnight? They’re getting sold for a hefty profit and guess what, you just made some sketchy creep rich off of your like. Congratulations!

Don’t want to do that? Then avoid falling for these practices…

1. The “I don’t want to seem like an asshole or curse my future children” like. Joey has pediatric cancer. Cancer is bad. Joey is cute. Like if you hate cancer. Like if you love an old person. Like for world peace! Like if puppies are adorable. Like if you support our troops. Like if you love gay people. Like if you are against child abuse. Like if you love your mother. Like, like, like!

Cancer Facebook Scam

Remember “Mallory,” that sweet little girl with Down Syndrome who didn’t think she was beautiful? Her brother posted the above picture along with a plea to like it, in order to prove to his sister just how beautiful the world thought she was. People clicked, more than 3.5 million times. You, go, Mallory!!

Except that it wasn’t his sister Mallory after all, it was actually Katie, the daughter of Terri Johnson and the last thing Terri feels is appreciation for your like. Want to help sick kids or make a difference in the world? You’ll have to do something more than click a button. Sorry.


2. The “let’s let complete strangers make important life decisions for us” like. We’ll have another baby if we get 10,000 likes! He’ll propose for 100,00 likes! She’ll say yes if I get to 250K likes! Is Facebook going to be picking up your dog’s shit at 3AM because she ate a jar of Play-Doh or paying for your marriage counseling because, it turns out, you married the wrong person 100K likes later? No. I’m afraid not.


3. The dead celebrity who’s not really dead phenomenonThis page told you to click if you were sad that Morgan Freeman died. Who wouldn’t be sad that Morgan Freeman died? Except that he isn’t dead, almost a million likes later. Whoops.


4. The type to watch something happen, except nothing does like. You want to see Jesus appear on your screen? Or watch a jpeg come to life and illustrate a bear eating a man? Or receive a hidden message about the secret of life? I suggest you look somewhere other than Facebook.


5. The “share for share” phenomenon, also known as S4S, where pages do nothing but pimp out other pages and beg for a pimp-back. What a lame ass way to interact.

How about we bring Facebook back to what it was once about — actually connecting with people? Can we at least try?

P.S. Those Ugg boots or Cheesecake Factory gift card you’re waiting for from sharing some link on Facebook? They’re never coming.


About the writer

What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill's stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Learn more here.

From Around the Web


Christian Newman 2 years ago

I started a Facebook page recently and just received and invitation to S4S. It didn’t feel right, so I turned to Google and found this page. I want people to visit and like my page because what I post there is helpful to them – nothing else. I’ve made my decision. Thanks!

sears coupon codes 2 years ago

Coupon was found in comments and posted by kalpana. In fact, girls shoes are embroidered with sequins and
beads that give these shoes a touch of elegance and pure style
that was always the most important factor for girls. ” in big letters he wanted to go get some, even thought I regularly pay $1.

Stacey 2 years ago

I hate those “Cancer/child abuse/global warming/black market baby goat rings sucks and if you have a shred of decency, you will like and share this post on your wall for one hour. If you don’t, you’re a heartless asshole who is going to spend eternity burning in hell”. Those statuses are the online annoyance equivalent to Jehovah’s Witnesses banging on your door at some ungodly hour…no thanks

Beth 2 years ago

Can we make a plaque out of this and hang it everywhere? The people of the world need to see this. I hope this post gets a million likes.

The Next Step 2 years ago

and for chrissake check snopes.com before you share something wildly fantastic that just seems to good to be true!

and you were TOTALLY not bitchy, but those others were. And they can’t use then/than properly.

Sharon H 3 years ago

I have to say that I had not seen the picture of “Mallory” or the fake story circulated originally. But a couple days after this post I happened to see that a popular boy band had reposted the story (a friend posted a comment on it, I swear I don’t follow boy band fb pages). Because I had seen it here, I posted the link to the real story of Katie. Within an hour the story was pulled. She IS a beautiful little girl. It’s a shame about how her picture has been used.

Debbie Spence 3 years ago

Hah, I actually just came to you from a Facebook Share!

I can’t believe someone would go off on you like that. I’m a busy body with my page. 99% of the time, I’m on my page, and I visit other pages as my page and chat. If they don’t want me posting as my page, all I need is a message to my inbox saying so, or a comment and I’m cool with that. But I go as my page to other pages I’m interested in and I interact. If I’m not welcome as my page, I move on. I would never think to react like that girl and freak out like that. Nor would I request someone to share my page like that, unless I knew from previous experience that that kind of thing was okay. There are a few pages that we share each other’s contests etc, so they just message, or post and I do the same. Honestly, if she wanted you to share she could have sent a message and asked politely if you wouldn’t mind sharing, and then if you said no, then move on.

I’ve actually never heard of “S4S” myself, though I have seen those pages where you must share to get a share back, but those pages are specifically “Like” pages.

I personally enter a lot of “Like and Share” contests, Rafflecopter contests, etc. And sometimes I get sucked into the “Like this Photo for whatever crap reason”. But it does bug me that people “expect” you to share their page, or share their contest, etc.

When I do contests, I use a Shortstack program that gives me their name, email address and address for mailing the prize so I can just confirm with the winner and send it out. The “like a billion pages or follow a billion Twitter accounts” contests annoy me, even if I enter some of them so I don’t do them because I know many people have expressed distaste for them.

I guess if I was like other pages and relying on “sponsors” for prizes more often, then I guess I’d have to do the same sort of thing, but at this point I don’t, nor do I normally ask for people to “Share” my page or my contest. I like active fans who I recognize and will chat with me on a daily basis. I would much rather they NOT share a contest I’m having because that just means that some random person might win and they don’t even actually know what my page is about or care, and that bugs me. It happened my last contest and I never even heard from some of the winners if they received their prize. A true fan posts and lets me know they’ve got their prize because they’re on the page interacting with me already anyway.

And, I just blabbered on. Nice to meet you by the way!

Suburban Snapshots 3 years ago

PREACH. (You horrid cunt.)

Lane 3 years ago

Well said! I can’t believe she had the audacity to call you that. Kudos for sticking to your guns.

kc @ genxfinance 3 years ago

The things people would do just to get noticed. Sometimes, I think it’s pathetic already…

Kristen Brakeman 3 years ago

Wow that’s just funny. My best Sally Field here: I “FB” like you, I “FB” like you!

I hate the desperate please for likes in FB and twitter.
But I know where it comes from – agents telling authors that no one will publish them unless they have huge following in social media.

Jane D’Oh 3 years ago

Hey – I know you blacked out the names, but not very well. I can still read them – the initials a AD and SH.

    Debbie Spence 3 years ago

    I noticed the same thing.

Lisa 3 years ago

I love this post. All those Like this post crap makes me crazy. And then the conversation between you and that other person who asked you to promote his/her blog is just too freakin funny. That is something I would want to say, but am too chicken. You go girl:)
Sharing this post on my facebook page for sh$$ts and giggles. Cheers!

Mama and the City 3 years ago


I keep trying, and trying and trying to explain this to my idiots friends – who all come from my third world country. They believed everything since the era of email chains, remember those? yeah. I got ton of spam at my work email. Not it’s on my facebook feed.

– the spam doesn’t cure cancer
– facebook won’t donate for my ‘like’
– etc. etcetera

I guess they need it explain by someone else. I will share them this. Thank you.

Nadia @ Mama and the City

Arnebya 3 years ago

It’s the religious ones that irk me: Like my page and prove that Jesus didn’t die for nothing.

I’ve tried my best to build a community but Facebook is just not gonna do it for me; I want to care, but… (well, that’s not true; I do care but not enough to ask people to like my page because Jesus wept.)

just JENNIFER 3 years ago

Building my Facebook community is actually what I’m working on right now. I cannot stand the stupid things you described above! Should we be twisting people’s arms? I think not.

June O’Hara 3 years ago

Inspirational messages…Please share, please share, please share…I can’t. I’m just the wrong person for the job.

Elle 3 years ago

Dang you scared me. So I liked your page. Only cause I was scared though!!

And I didn’t think you were at all bitchy. There was a great deal of stupidity in those comments however…not pointing any fingers though!

Mary Jo 3 years ago

Soooo…what you are saying is that cut of Bill Gates’ billions isn’t coming my way because I shared and liked that picture of him?
WHHHHAAAATTTT? That’s just straight up BS!
Well, I will be smarter next time and only share a pic to get that free $1,000 Walmart Gift Card.

hee hee! :)

Thanks for this! I loved it! I ALWAYS think the same way when I see those “share” or “like” posts.

Darcy 3 years ago

These tactics are crappy for sure. And if she wanted to ask S4S she could have asked privately or just let it go. Some of that stuff is easy to fall prey to when new but usually you do that with other newbies not a big respected page.

Also I wish FB didn’t show what I liked in the feed. I should be able to like whatever I want w/o friends/family seeing it constantly. Save that for when I decide to share it!

Abigail 3 years ago

Okay clearly this S4S person is a genius. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to promote someone’s page after being called bitchy and the C word? Obviously I’ve been doing this Facebook thing all wrong because I thought writing well and being a decent human being was the way to go.

Shay Trashay 3 years ago

I cannot believe that someone treated you that way! I have only been chatting with you for a couple of weeks, and you have been the nicest, most helpful blogger I have ever encountered. I can attest to the fact that you are a huge promoter of blogs and do all that you can to get our work out there. I know that you weren’t fishing for compliments with this post, but I just had to say something. The NERVE!!

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 3 years ago

I just ignore the S4S crap. And the randoms who ask me to share their page on my page. And *especially* the randoms who beg me to share their page and I find out they sent the exact same message to my blogging peeps. Spammers, beware: bloggers talk. We know your tactics.

Sometimes I wonder if people resort to these desperate tactics because Facebook is showing our posts to fewer and fewer of our fans. Ex. I post a link to my latest post, and maybe 1/10th of my fans see it. Grrrrr. I’ve thought about the “pay to promote” option, but many of my blogging friends said they got punished by FB and after their paid posts ended, their regualr unpaid posts reached even LESS fans. Sigh.

I’ve gotten so fed up with FB that I’ve taken to Pinterest more – and it’s been my #1 source of traffic most weeks. And I’m warming up to Google+, though it’s still a bit of a ghost town!

    Evalynn Rose 3 years ago

    I hope Google+ stays a ghost town… it is seriously creepy the way it ties everything together – all without your permission. Not a fan.

Lady Jennie 3 years ago

Let me scrape my jaw off the floor from that last exchange.

Kim at Let Me Start By Saying 3 years ago

Sometimes, Jill, you complete me.
I’ve worked hard for each one of my Likes, never ONCE cursing anyone with genital fleas or Bubonic Plague for deciding they didn’t like my sense of humor or writing style.


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