Any SEO expert worth hiring will offer social media marketing as a service. Social media has become the single most effective way to reach people online. Having said that, it is not the be-all and end-all of digital marketing. It is possible to take social media too far. So many companies do just that when they start chasing Facebook likes.
There is no disputing that Facebook boasts billions of users around the world. In addition, the social media giant owns other properties that they have conveniently integrated with Facebook. Their reach is almost unfathomable. Here is the problem with that, from a marketing standpoint: business owners simply assume that Facebook exposure equals big profits. It doesn’t. It never has.
Chasing Facebook likes is all about exposure. But people who equate likes with exposure do not understand social media dynamics. Whether it’s Facebook or some other social media site, likes are largely meaningless from a business standpoint. They are actually pretty meaningless from a personal standpoint, too.
Likes vs. Followers
The goal of social media marketing is not to collect likes. The goal is to make people exposed to your company followers of your company. There is a significant difference. It’s found primarily in motivation.
Left to their own devices, people will like social media content they find interesting or entertaining. However, business owners have a bad habit of asking people to like and share their content with the mistaken notion that volume equals sales. Here is the thing: just about anyone will like a post if you ask them to. But liking your content doesn’t make someone a follower.
You could plan a Facebook marketing event that gets 1,000 likes in the ten days leading up to the event. But when the day comes, only ten show up. Worse yet, they want to talk about things that have nothing to do with your business or your products. That is a waste of your time.
Followers Are Better
Followers are better because social media users tend to be a lot more discriminating about who they follow, as compared to what they like. Liking a post rarely has any bad consequences. Following someone is another story. The good news is that one a Facebook user voluntarily chooses to follow your company, they are making an active decision to engage with your brand.
Also understand that followers are absolutely necessary the more specialized your business is. Take the Umai anime clothing brand. The company caters to a niche audience that loves all things anime and manga. As popular as the two genres are these days, fans are still considered a niche demographic in the t-shirt business. To market effectively with social media, Umai needs genuine followers. They don’t need people willing to click ‘like’ because someone asked them to.
A Setup for Heartbreak
Businesses just getting into social media marketing have a tendency to look at likes as a gauge of interest. If a ton of people like a post, that must mean the company is doing something right. Perhaps such assumptions are correct. But they might not be. If hundreds of likes never turn into serious followers, they won’t turn into sales either. And without sales, where are you going?
Chasing likes is chasing an arbitrary number that doesn’t mean a whole lot. A better way to utilize social media marketing is to work on cultivating followers who actually participate with you in the social media conversation. Those are the ones who show genuine interest in your company and brand. They are the ones most likely to support your business financially.