You see it every day: Businesses plastering this request all over their storefronts, trucks, etc. trying to get as many Facebook likes as they can. It’s nice that customers are willing to do this, but what does it really mean to a business and their prospects? Not much - and here’s why:
A Two-Second Tribute
It only takes a person all of two seconds to like your page and they might never visit your page ever again. Whoopie!
A Measure of Kindness, Not Loyalty
In many cases, the majority of likers have little knowledge of the business, the quality of work, etc.; they simply have no reason to dislike your business. You asked them to, and they like being helpful. So yay.
It Could Be a Waste of Your Time
To those who are serious about using social media to grow a business, Facebook page likes are a poor measure of how good you are at what you do. In fact, they may just be an indicator that you are really good at gathering Facebook page likes. As such, tracking page likes is really a fairly insignificant and shallow metric to determine social media marketing success.
But Beyond Those Likes, Facebook IS Valuable to Your Marketing Efforts
Social Media Marketing Paydirt
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, however. As part of an overall content marketing strategy, many brands have had great success advancing their business goals using social media. In all those cases, they have not simply been on a crusade to garner Facebook likes. Their approach is decidedly more intentional, strategic and focused than just begging to be liked.
Count the Comments and Shares
Smart businesses realize that social media’s real value is in the creation and fostering of deeper engagement between brands and customers. What they've found is that through the ongoing interaction about products, shared values, humorous moments and more, they are able to grow true brand loyalty. They also nurture, strengthen relationships and foster ongoing communication between themselves and their customers.
As such, comments and shares on Facebook are much better indicators of the health of their customer engagement efforts. If you can build a stream of dialog with customers, you can listen closer for things like customer sentiments and trends in the marketplace. You will have an easier time getting feedback about customer preferences or sharing deeper detail about the business or testing the waters about a new design.
Not All That Complicated
I talk to customers all the time about using social media as a marketing tool and generally I get this furrowed brow accompanied by questions. It's a frightening black hole to traditional brick and mortar businesses. Good news: It’s not all that complicated. As business people, you interact with your customers all day long in person or over the phone, and really, the same principles apply. Much doesn’t change: customers’ needs, hot buttons, preferences and biases. Social media is just another forum for creating value and gathering data that will help you do better at what you do best.
BTW - If you really like this post, you should comment. We should talk. I'd like to hear your thoughts.