Getting People To “Like”, “Retweet”, or +1 Your Blog; The Truth

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of posts being written that purport to tell us how to get people to “like” our page to Facebook, encourage them to retweet our content to Twitter, or the new thing, to +1 our sites or blog posts for Google. All well and all except for one thing; once again it’s garbage.

via Flickr

Okay, that’s not quite fair, so let me say it another way. It’s repetitive, boring, and kind of untrue. If you look at it like I do, what you’re getting from people is the same thing you got from them when they said they were going to tell you how to get more comments on your blog posts, or how they were going to teach you how to drive more visitors to your blog.

What are the ideas? In a nutshell: write great content, write posts that ask questions people can respond to, make sure your style is conversational, write about things you know something about, check your spelling and grammar, on and on and on.

In a way it’s probably not fair to bust on people writing this stuff but someone has to call it for what it is; a major waste of time. I ask you, if you’re checking these posts out like I’ve been doing, are you seeing anything new? Truthfully, is there anything new to offer?

Actually, there is, although most of us hesitate to do it. That one thing, which I’ve done every once in awhile, is to just come out and ask someone to “like” or “retweet” or “+1” your blog post. Why would you do this, and how should you do it?

You do it because most of us are blind to these things. Just like most of us become blind to Adsense after awhile, and more and more of us start becoming blind to ads on someone’s blogs, we tend to become blind to the buttons that allow us to highlight posts we might like. Some of the buttons people have near their posts are small and easy to overlook after awhile. For my blog, just recently have I started getting more of my posts retweeted by through that bit Topsy button you see at the top right of my posts; that’s not a bad feeling.

That’s why you would do it. But it doesn’t do you much good if you start adding it to the end of every post either. At a certain point your regular visitors will become blind to that as well, and then it becomes a worthless phrase for you. This means that if you’re going to do it, at least from my perspective, you should do it on posts you absolutely know are premium posts. How will you know? If you don’t know when you’ve written a premium post then no one else will either.

Of course, to some of us it seems kind of self serving to ask people to do these things for us, which probably explains why I’ve rarely done it. If I was going to do it I can easily point to the few posts that I believe deserve being better known. And it’s that reason, that I know it’s “few” as opposed to “all”, that I believe it’s feasible to ask for it for certain posts that you really feel are special.

Let me ask you; have you seen many people advocating what I’ve just mentioned? Is it something unique to some of you? That’s all I’m saying; some of these folks need to try to give us something new every once in awhile, step up their game. What say you?

28 thoughts on “Getting People To “Like”, “Retweet”, or +1 Your Blog; The Truth”

  1. Hi Mitch,

    I’d want a comment first then anything else is a bonus. If I had to choose anything else, I’d go with a Retweet (I spend more time on Twitter than I do on Facebook so it’d be great to engage/interact with new people who share my content there).


    1. John, we all probably would like comments first. My point is that it’s hard to just expect people will do any of the other actions all the time unless encouraged, and even there don’t do it all the time.

  2. I once ended a post with the announcement that it was my birthday (and it was) and what I wanted as a gift from my friends was for them to go to the Prattle’s Amazon page and post a review. I didn’t even have to be a positive review, just post what they feel about the Prattle. I was surprised by the number of people who did this for me.

    Of course, that was a one-shot deal on a special occasion, if I asked something like that on every post many would turn a blind eye to it, just as you said.

    I’m thinking the best way to get people to Like, tweet, plus 1 us is to make it easy for them. Like commenting, the more hoops and hurdles they must jump, the fewer will be willing to complete the process. And of course saying something worthy of repeating helps.

    1. Great stuff Allan, and I’m glad you’ve shown how it all can work. My post from two weeks ago today got a lot of retweets and FB likes but I think I only asked people in other places to read it and share it; I don’t think I had a call to action on the post itself. Luckily, it struck a nerve.

  3. Hi Mitch,

    I agree with you. There’s nothing new out here…people are saying the same things. It gets redundant after a while. I believe when we write good content and people truly get something from the post, they will share it with others.

    I never ask anyone to tweet posts. I figure if they like it and believe it will benefit someone else, then they will share it..just as simple as that.

    I’m always amazed when I see a lot of tweets. That lets me know that post pretty good. 😉

    Take care,


    1. Evelyn, it has to be important for me to ask people to share what I write here. I’m happy to see that some of my missives are shared without my asking. As for new content, well, we can always hope, right? 😉

  4. You know Mitch, I look at some of the posts that have been retweeted heaps of times and I sit back and scratch my head because for the life of me I didn’t think it was all that good.

    These posts usually belong to high profile bloggers who have heaps of followers so I figure people tweet them because they want to be noticed and hope they get some recognition in return.

    I rarely ask people to tweet a post as I hope they do it because they thought it good enough and not because I twisted their arm.

    1. I’m with you Sire, but every once in awhile I’ll ask for a cause, like that post I wrote two weeks ago. Actually, I didn’t ask on the blog, but did ask on Twitter and it caught fire, which is what I was hoping for.

      1. Yeah, nothing wrong with that, especially if you’ve written an especially good post, as you are want to do 😉

  5. It seems to me that there’s very little advice on the ‘net that is original per se, it’s just written about over and over again. It’s when the advice is given in a different voice and from a different perspective – which is what you do so well – that it makes things hit home.

    I have the option in my blog of putting buttons for various sharing networks on all or just some posts. To date, I haven’t used them as I’m a bit… er, eccentric (for want of a better word) about them, but I might in the future so I leave my options open. The sharing buttons are for any reader to use, but there are also specific ‘like’ buttons that (annoyingly) are only for users – and, as far as I know, are only visible to logged in users. I used to turn them on on a post-by-post basis, now I only turn them off occasionally.

    I know the sorts of posts that get the most ‘likes’ from people (and would probably get the most shares if I turned on that option) and they are mostly the ones in which I give away something or in which I’ve asked a question about something that the majority of people have experienced. And yes, I think it’s quite reasonable to ask people to click those buttons. As you say (in different words) if something becomes too familiar, it’s pretty much ignored.

    Anyway, talking of sharing, there’s some blog-love for you in my current post (that I’ve linked to).

    1. Val, I’m with you on some of those buttons. For instance, I only have a few buttons here. I’ve left out things like Stumble Upon, Digg, and just removed Technorati; at least I think I removed it. I think those things muddy up the landscape and I think people are blind to them as well. And thanks for the kudos, but really, why do so many people seem to have a hard time figuring out how to maybe talk about something that’s already out there with a new voice?

      And I’ll be checking out your post; love blog love!

  6. Mitch,
    I’m like Sire. I rarely ask people to re-tweet my stuff. However, I LOVE re-tweeting others—especially if they’re known to produce quality posts. I actually do RT others quite often.

    If someone chooses to RT what I’ve written, I am more likely to see them in my “Romper Room Magic Mirror” 🙂

    1. Is that how the criteria works for the Romper Room! lol Hey, didn’t you used to have an avatar for your name, or was I just imagining things?

  7. No that’s not it 🙂 It’s my “romper room” secret. And if you’re talking about a picture with my comments, I did have one but have no earthly clue as to what happened to it.

    1. Okay, I know what it is. You don’t have an avatar for all your email addresses, just the one.

  8. Quality content related to trendy topics always get more retweets and likes. Articles in 2-3 parts also get more retweets and like.

    1. Carl, I haven’t noticed where articles in more than one part get retweeted more often; I’d think that might irk a lot of people. I don’t mind reading some posts in multiple issues because some posts really need that, like my post of more than 3,000 words. Overall though, I’m just not really sure.

  9. lol- I +1’ed you!

    I think it’s a crock though, because people will be doing +1 exchanges and such just like link exchanges….

    Does that say a site is good or bad, or just that you’ve found a lot of people to +1 you if you +1 them?

    1. Carolee, it doesn’t quite work like that. The +1’s only work on Google and other people only see it if they’re in your Google circle, I believe. So, there’s no link love, so to speak, in the process.

  10. You haven’t lied at all!

    There’s no way to control what people are going to do in any given situation, so some of these posts purporting to have the answer just don’t add up.

    There’s been so many times where I’ve read a post and thought “man this is AWESOME”…then I just clicked away. No comment, no nuthin. And that’s for a post I loved.

    To me you’re right that if you don’t ask then you won’t get. Moderation is the key, though as you wrote. I don’t want somebody beggin’ like Keith Sweat every time I drop in.

    I just don’t think there’s any one panacea that’s going to get you re-tweeted or Liked in a clockwork manner.

    That said, I’m off to share this post. Peace!

    1. Thanks John. That’s why I call it the truth because there’s just no convincing people without asking in my mind. Now, maybe we all get one shot at being lucky and going viral, but until that happens, nothing we can do about it except to keep on keeping on.

  11. Hi Mitch. It’s a very interesting topic to share. What I don’t really get from the Facebook “like” button is when people entered their own status, then they click the like button for themselves. For what? I don’t get it.

    1. Andrew, some people think they have to “like” themselves while others see it as a way of promoting themselves; I don’t always get it either.

    2. I actually know the answer to this one. Go figure!

      If it’s from a “page” as opposed to a profile, they’re liking themselves as a crude form of notification in case someone comments on the post.

      Initially with pages, there was just flat-out no notification of comments. You’d just come back a day later and see some comments you should’ve answered. So that little workaround started catching on.

      I did it a couple of times but I thought it was making me look stupid (more so than usual) and I quit doing it. I decided to check in more often just in case.

      The notification system is kind of half-assed fixed now. Sometimes I get emails telling about comments and sometimes nothing.

      If you see this sort of thing on someone’s actual *profile*, well then they’re just some kind of self-absorbed prick 😛

      1. That’s funny John. I had a discussion with a couple of ladies a few nights ago on Twitter about this and they were adamant that it was a way of letting people know they liked what they’d written. I figure I at least like everything I put out, otherwise I would never share a thing. I’m not saying it’s all great, because for the most part it’s for other people to determine that for themselves, but it’s out there so people can make their own choices about it.

      2. LOL well I guess I stand corrected.

        I agree with you in that I wrote it, so it should be implied that I at least like it, even if I don’t love it every time.

        So if they forget to click the Like button, does the audience then think “wow, they don’t even like their own post”?

        If it works for them then it’s cool with me.

      3. Nah, we don’t stand corrected; that’s their opinion but we ain’t doing it. lol And what you just said would be the logical belief on the other end, something I hadn’t even thought of.

  12. So many people attempt to use other people’s blogs and forums in efforts to generate some traffic to their site. Don’t get me wrong, utilizing other well established blogs and forums is a great way to get free instant visitors. But, in order to receive good amounts of traffic using this method, you need to do it the right way. Now, keep in mind that they’re numerous ways to do this correctly. There certainly is a wrong way to do it, but I’ll share what I feel to be the right way and what has worked so well for me.

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