One of the most common mistakes we see from clients (And their ad agencies, frankly) is thinking the goal of social media is to get as many people to like their page and follow their Twitter feed. Both the client and the agency ask all their friends to ask all their friends to like a Facebook page. This is a horrible idea for so many reasons, it simply blows my mind when I see this approach in 2017. It negates the entire goal and advantage to social media. This approach leaves out every bit of growth and knowledge we have gained in the social space over the last number of years.
Every time we look at a page like this, it becomes obvious what has occurred. People with no earthly interest or even ability to buy a product have found their way into the audience of a page. What good does that do anyone? I argue that it not only fails in its simplest task but dilutes any opportunity to properly leverage the whole point of building an audience. In other words, it’s counter-intuitive. Let me explain.
- Facebook (for example) changed its algorithm to only allow 7% of the entire audience to even see organic posts (posts you put on your own wall). With a diluted audience, you are lessoning the chance that real prospects will see anything you post.
- Audience size does not equal credibility anymore; content does. Today, anyone can buy likes or followers and more and more people know that. A large audience does not offer the social media cred like it used to so diluting your audience only serves to hurt your efforts in harnessing the opportunity social media brings.
- You are killing your own analytics. A diluted audience, full of people with no likelihood to convert, completely removes the opportunity to leverage analytics to understand what content your real prospects do and don’t like. Today, the primary benefit to an organic audience is in testing messaging and content for engagement before capitalizing larger, dark posting campaigns.
- Running “like” campaigns delivers the same diluted results. Sure, you will grow your audience but not necessarily with Harley buyers or steel buyers (for example). Do not fall for the agency metric of pure audience growth as an indicator of success.
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Social media today is real opportunity and it’s serious. Your approach to it should be as well. Audience size is great if you’re growing the numbers using targeted campaigns engaging exactly the right people but frankly, anything else is pure silliness and a waste of time and resources. A quick review of your audience’s sentiment score for your product/service category will tell you everything you need to know about your next steps. Give us a call and we will find out what your followers look like in terms of likelihood to buy. It’s really the only way to know.
When agencies tell you they can grow your audience, simply ask them two questions:
1. What kind of people will you be getting to follow us?
2. How will you prove it?
If they stumble with either question, give us a call.