This post was originally posted as part of the Nashville Business Journal’s Social Madness Series.

There’s a new danger sweeping social media that seems so harmless, you probably haven’t noticed. “Like farming” has become a way for Facebook page owners and Pinterest users to spam users after building their audience by posting compelling images that go viral.

Grow you brand's Facebook page

Have you ever seen those “Like” to win an iPad posts or “Share this post with friends to see the image move” posts? More than likely, these are posts from “like farmers.”

After growing their page, these page owners pull the ultimate bait and switch, by either changing their content to promote a product or sell their page to other businesses looking for a large audience.

Are you guilty of “like farming?”

While most of you reading this aren’t trying to build your social media presence to sell it to the highest bidder, you could still be guilty of breaking some of the same principles. Some brands are guilty of pulling a bait-and-switch on their audience despite their best intentions. Just because someone likes your page or follows your Pinterest board doesn’t give you the right to spam them with promotional content week after week. You have to continually earn their trust and gain their attention.

Here are a few tips to help you grow your likes organically:

1. Know your audience. The more you know your audience, the better you become at sharing content they find interesting. This increases the chances of your posts getting shared or liked faster than anything else.

2. Establish a content schedule. Deliver your content with structure. Develop a schedule for consistently publishing content to regularly get into the news feeds of relevant people with content they value and will share.

3. Identify when your fans are on Facebook. Facebook provides some valuable insights to help you know when your fans are online. Use this to your advantage and schedule your posts during these times. The more fans that are online, the more visibility your posts receive.

Facebook is a place where people go to connect with family and friends. If you’re not sharing content with that context in mind, you’re missing it. If you’re constantly sharing promotional content, you’re probably being ignored. If you don’t have a strategy for how you’re going to continually add value to your audience, all of the likes you’ve accumulated are pointless.