TrumanIf you’re a fan of Roundpeg on Facebook, you might have noticed that we like to post cat pictures. A couple times a week, you’re likely to see a picture of Clyde or Truman snoozing, fighting, tormenting interns or engaging in other catty behavior. Sure, this all feeds into our brand image (We’re fun! We’re irreverent! We have cats!), but there’s also a more mercenary marketing motivation at play here.

People like cats. When they see pictures of cats, they click that “like” button. Sometimes they even comment. And when they do that, we’ve got ’em.

See, even though you’ve clicked that “like” button and told Facebook you’re interested in seeing a company’s updates, Facebook doesn’t necessarily show you all of that page’s updates–according to Facebook, the average post by a brand is only seen by 16 percent of fans. Facebook uses a complex algorithm called EdgeRank to determine whether or not you’ll see that update from Pepsi or DisneyWorld in your newsfeed.

In essence, Facebook is trying to guess what content you’re most interested in and serve that up to you, while filtering out the noise of updates you don’t care about. It does that, in part, by looking at how often you interact with that brand’s content–that is, liking, commenting, sharing and so on. Liking is the easiest action to perform, so it gets the least weight in the algorithm, while leaving a comment takes time, and so gets more.

You see where we’re going with this?

When you like our photo of Clyde with her paws in the air, you’re giving me a chance later to show off a work sample or to share a great blog post. You’re giving me a chance to pop back into your feed and say “hey, remember us? Here’s what we really do.”

You have to be careful with this; it can bite you. Overwhelm people too much with “like bait” content, and they’re likely to forget what it is you actually do. But if used in a way that supports your brand and your overall Facebook marketing goals, giving people something to like is an excellent way to make sure they keep seeing you. Maybe for you, it’s not cat photos. Maybe it’s inspirational quotes or fun pictures or jokes. Whatever it is, there’s content out there people will enjoy seeing and connect to your brand. And that gets your foot in the door. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.