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What do you have to do to get likes on Facebook? It’s a question I’m often asked on my social media training workshops. And the answer I give is simple: be likeable. Just like in the real world if you’re not very nice in the virtual world you’ll end up as Billy No Mates.

There is another way of getting likes – paying for them. It works out around 14p per like which may not sound very much but that’s £140 per thousand and unless you get your money back by converting those likes onto something tangible you’re unlikely to see any kind of return on that investment. The BBC’s technology reporter wrote recently on this very subject  And in any case again like the real world you can buy friends but are they proper friends? Quite.

So we’re back to winning friends/likes by being nice. “Nice” in social media terms means offering something of value to your target audience. It might be funny, profound, insightful, thought provoking, creative…the list of content possibilities is long. It might be words, audio, video, a picture. It might be long. Or short. All your own work. Or a comment on somebody else’s.

Good content attracts visitors to your Facebook page or other social media sites. Consistently good content wins you friends, followers and likes.

That’s why content creation is the single most important part of your social media strategy. And the most time consuming.