Hey Kat – I own a small business in Alberta and I want to use social media to connect with people. Some pages have a lot of likes, how do they get them?
You may remember that back In 2007, Facebook launched FB Pages and if you can believe it, there are 60 million business pages as of September 2016! Five years later (In January 2012) they began showing featured posts in news feeds; if you can remember that it was when posts would show up in your newsfeed from pages that your friends were engaging with. Therefore, a few years ago if you were building a business page on Facebook it would have been relatively easy to get ‘likes’ & engagement from the Facebook world. Plus that coupled with advertising (aka: pay-to-play) would most certainly get you a high return on dollars spent (in fact, recently I was looking at old ad campaigns in PowerEditor and could’ve cried.)
Things have changed:
With this changing social landscape it’s become even more clear that companies need to integrate social media into their business beyond communications & marketing.
E.g.: Back in 2013 I worked with a company to create a social media savvy culture. We offered employee training on the various social media platforms, encouraged social media activity, put social media resources in place and provided guidance. In fact, one of the programs I specifically worked on was a LinkedIn pilot program for sales people. We worked with sales people to identify their personal brands and how to appropriately connect with people via LI; in fact, one of the sales people wound up landing a quarter-million dollar account! Working with employees & offering this level of social media training and creating social media ambassadors can be hugely beneficial to your business – no matter the size.
Consider the fact that the average person on LinkedIn has about 275 connections. Or the average Facebook user has around 338 friends – think of how many that could potentially increase your reach as a business!
E.g.: If your business is running a Facebook contest with the goal of reaching Albertans across the province, what better way than to have engaged employees who know that not only are you running a social media contest BUT they understand HOW they can help make it a success.
We already know that people trust their friends and connections more than media or advertisements. And not much has changed in terms of ‘know, like, trust’ so creating an environment that engages employees, who can then engage a wider audience is critical.
But with that said, it becomes confusing when you see mixed messages online – numbers are important vs. numbers aren’t important. Recently someone sent me a screenshot of a LinkedIn profile whereby a member claimed in their headline to have “100,000+ connections”; a different scenario was a business who saw that a competitor had 10x as many likes as them – leaving them puzzled. Did you know that there’s an entire industry built around fake followers? Besides the fact that you can be penalized on social sites for buying fake fans, it’s hard to know which advice to take and where to spend your energy. So let’s break it down.
In short, certainly when you have a high number of followers you can theoretically reach more people; and if you reach more people it could theoretically result in more business. However, we know that on sites like Facebook business page organic reach tends to be low (and on the decline) so if your fans aren’t engaged you likely aren’t converting.
Always remember that our social programs should tie us back to our business objectives. From there we should decide upon goals that will support those objectives.
E.g.: I want to be a brand ambassador for a camera company based on the personal brand I’ve built for myself.
OBJECTIVE: Create awareness to become a brand ambassador.
GOAL: share content that from website to social that reinforces online/offline branding/advertising
MEASURE: KPI could be something like branded traffic and custom reporting via Google Analytics.
E.g.: I’m an insurance professional and I want to generate leads via Facebook
OBJECTIVE: Generate Leads for your insurance business
GOAL: provide information that’s relevant/useful/engaging to the audience such as a downloadable ‘How to’ ebook on the claims process; Capture leads — Widgets like MailChimp baked into Facebook already;
MEASURE: KPI could be Conversions and # of downloads
Don’t forget to use UTMs. UTM are simple code that you can attach to any custom URL. It allows you to track a source, medium & campaign name. So when you pop over to your GA it can tell you where searches came from.
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