You’ve heard “it doesn’t matter how many likes you have on Facebook” right? Or, “the number of followers you have on Twitter isn’t that important”.
What matters is what you do with these likes and followers, or so the advice says.
Social media consultants get caught up in the industry. They (we) get caught up in the numbers that show us how effective we are being, and a simple like or follow does very little to represent this.
We forget that our clients (you) don’t have the time to learn social media for yourselves- which is why you hired us.
We forget that you don’t know what a follow to unfollow ratio is. You don’t download your stats and try to dissect every number to see what is working.
Sure all of this is important, for someone who understands, but for you, a like is a big deal. Social media consultants forget this. Hopefully this post will help us all remember.
The reasons likes and follows are still important for social media
Simple positive indication for the customer– First and foremost, new likes show the client that things are working.
Sure it isn’t the best indicator for a social media consultant, but from the outside, from the client’s point of view, it’s exactly what they need to see. Remember why you got hired, they don’t have the time and education for this- we do.
Social proof– Whether we like to believe it or not, a lot of likes and follows are social proof that shows others the popularity of a fanpage. This alone may do very little to bringing in other likes and follows, but it would be silly to overlook social proof when we ourselves consider it.
Think about it, when was the last time you visited a company on Facebook and saw a small number of likes, and thought “why do they have so few likes?”.
You can tell quite a bit about a company just by the number of likes. For instance if a small brand started their page last month and already has 5,000 likes, you assume they bought them.
When you see a small brand that’s been active for years and they have 200 likes you know there is a problem. Similarly, a social media company with few likes makes you wonder exactly how ‘social’ they are.
Keeps the Community Fresh– New likes and followers are new people to the community. They help reinvigorate a dead fanbase, their responses encourage others to respond and they are more likely to actually comment, retweet, etc for the company. New fans and followers are new hope.
Exposure from Virality– On Facebook new likes often show to their other friends, they come up as recommendations in the sidebar, and the fanpage gets more exposure. While this doesn’t always mean more new likes, it certainly can, and as we all know new likes can lead to more business.
Fan Turnover– If we’ve learned one thing from Facebook and their edgerank, it’s that there is a serious fan turnover rate in social media.
As fans stop being as active, they stop seeing the updates. Although you’ll see all of the tweets on Twitter, there is still a turn over rate, usually with followers simply unfollowing. Either way, as less active fans move on, it’s important to bring on more active followers.
Virtual Pat on the Back– No matter how little you play down these simple numbers you have to appreciate how good it feels to watch more and more people like and follow a business you are working with.
In the grand scheme of social media and business, it may mean very little, but at the end of the day it feels great to get that pat on the back, the virtual endorsement that says “hey, I like your company, thanks for what you do”.
Future Potential for Business– If you have a good system of building a relationship with new followers and fans, every new like is something to celebrate.
If you know how to keep them engaged, and lead them through your sales funnel, while also becoming their friend, a new like is future potential business.