Tag Archives: Facebook Likes

Promises Promises

promise

I recently had a potential client ask me to make them promises on how many “likes” my product advertising would gain for the business. I wouldn’t do it. But why? Shouldn’t a marketer be able to promise a return on investment? Absolutely, but for so many reasons this request was simply wrong. Let’s break down why.
As I’ve written before, likes are largely irrelevant. If you want guaranteed likes, well then you can just buy them. They’ll be completely worthless. Let me correct myself; they’ll cost you to buy and then, later, they’ll cost you when you have to pay more to get your content out to your page since you now have a page that’s filled with people who don’t care about your stuff. But hey, if that’s your measure of success then you can, indeed, just buy them. But you’ll need to find another person to do that for you. I don’t do that kind of work. I also won’t sell you a bridge. Ruining my reputation isn’t worth it.

Another reason this request didn’t work is that this contract wasn’t about likes or growing the page. It was specifically about advertising product for purchase. Now granted, a side effect of advertising product is almost always growing a page. If people like and purchase a product, they’ll often like your Facebook page as well. It is important, however, to keep the actual end goal in mind. Do you measure your sales success by how many people like you? I hope your mortgage company takes likes as payment. Mine doesn’t. Measure sales success by sales.

I should stop here and say that I have done work to grow a page’s following. Lots of work focused on that end goal. There is a time and place for that. But how you go about that is VERY different from how you sell a product. It’s important not to mix the two. Just like friends, you don’t want your friends constantly selling to you, and when you go to buy something you don’t want someone spending all of your time trying to become your good buddy. There’s a time and a place for everything.
So then, will I guarantee sales? Probably not. But, isn’t that what the ad was about? You bet. And I’ve done exactly that in environments where I had control of ALL of the details that went into selling a product. The minute that one of those details changed my ability to guarantee sales drops to zero.

I can bring you in sales leads but if your sales team doesn’t follow up on those leads nothing I can do will make your product sell. I can get people to your website but if that website doesn’t convert there’s nothing I can do to make people want to buy. I’m more than happy to guarantee at least industry standards for metrics; frankly I’d be surprised to see anything that poor… I’ve yet to have rates that low.

If you want me or any marketer to guarantee something, they’d better have full and complete control over whatever it takes to make that thing happen. Are you willing to let your marketer do that? Check out this AWESOME post on just what a marketer should ask for regarding control should you want to guarantee sales…

As a marketer part of my job is setting realistic expectations. Some of that is working with customers to determine what they really want from their marketing. Many people don’t truly know. It also means sticking to an end goal. “I want ALL THE THINGS” from a single campaign doesn’t work. It’s the very reason many people believe Facebook and social selling doesn’t work. They’re doing all the things at the same time.

It also means making sure a client knows that a sales process isn’t simply putting out an ad. “If you build it they will come” works in fantasy baseball movie land. A true sales process is far more complex and requires effort across all parts of a company. If any part of that is broken the sales process suffers.

A final note. While all of this is “sales” related the same is true for nonprofits. Perhaps even more so. Many nonprofits have trouble determining what the end goal is for their social media campaigns. Or alternately they start with the hard sell before they’ve established any friends at all. You might be able to do that with a great product. As a nonprofit, you’re VERY unlikely to do that, even with a great cause.

The final point? Sometimes the person you need to hire is the person who will tell you no. No, you can’t (or shouldn’t) run this wire through your bathtub no matter how much you want to. Don’t listen to the electrician who tells you yes just because it’s what you want to hear.

Anyone can tell you yes, but that yes comes at a price. And that price is getting the results you ACTUALLY want.


Breaking the Law

It never fails that you’ll see an article here or there on the “Rules” of social media or marketing as a whole.  Sometimes these rules are pretty solid.  Sometimes they’re stupid.  But like anything else, there is always a time to break social media rules.

One of my personal rules?  

Never link accounts.  What do I mean by that?  Never have what you post on Facebook automatically post to Twitter.  Never have what you post on Instagram post automatically to Facebook.  Etcetera.

Why?  

Each of these platforms has its own unique ways of operating.  If you automatically post your Facebook content to twitter you’ll get tweets that are truncated and look bizarre.  You’ll usually be missing hashtags that could make you a part of a conversation or topic and you’ll likely not tag people who might need to see what you’ve written.

The same is true if you post your Instagram to Facebook.  Instagram LOVES hashtags.  HASHTAG ALL THE THINGS!  It’s how people find content they want to explore.  But seeing an endless stream of hashtags on Facebook is both annoying and tacky- Facebook doesn’t do hashtags except in joke.  

And really, regardless of the medium, your fans deserve quality content and effort don’t they?  Well… mostly yes.

But as with anything, there’s an exception to every rule.

 

Nial McGaughey of Hovercraft

 

Meet my friend Nial.  He owns and runs Hovercraft Amplifiers.  He builds beautiful stuff and does an awesome job of posting it to Instagram along with personal pics.  His fans love him and he’s growing a huge following there.

 

(you can see more of the Hovercraft Instagram feed HERE)

 

But Nial is also a sole proprietor who does everything himself, from answering endless emails to building these amps to packaging and shipping them out- and EVERY OTHER THING in between.

He doesn’t have time to manage every social media channel.  To be honest, he doesn’t have time to do half of the stuff he’s actually doing.  The fact that he can find time to even be on Instagram is a miracle.

And yet being on Facebook would be solid for his business and indeed Hovercraft has a page there… a page with 10k fans.  A page that he has no time to manage and has basically “shut down” by telling folks he won’t be posting there anymore.

My advice?  

You got it.  Link your Instagram account to Facebook and have it automatically post to Facebook for you.  He should be able to even turn off comments or at least, let fans know that they can’t get in touch with him on Facebook (remember, he has no time for community management… no really, he doesn’t).

This would help keep his page alive, with content and when it comes time to advertise on Facebook folks could see that something was being posted on the page.

 

For normal folks this would be problematic

REACH and all… but unlike most folks his fans actually are pretty rabid… he doesn’t need to worry too much about his reach and right now, with a page that isn’t being used, it can’t actually be less.  Remember, he posts pictures of his dinner on Instagram and people still love it.  Not everyone can get away with that.  He is a celebrity for the work he does and people want to see his process, even if it’s not well-polished marketing content with solid community management and perfect response times.

So yes, there are times to break rules.  Does this mean YOU should instantly have all of your Instagram posts pushed to Facebook?  Probably not.  Do you honestly have 10k fans you grew without trying who would care what you ate for dinner?  No?  Then the answer is NO.

The key to breaking rules is to know when it’s actually appropriate and not just doing it because you want to.

 

For those who want to learn more about Nial and the work he does you can read more about his work in this Popular Mechanics post here, or purchase his stuff here.


Why Followers Aren’t Important

For quite some time I was an admin of a page I no longer managed.  It was basically a service to a business I had worked with for years since the people they had taking over were still learning how to manage their page and their admin roles.  As such, I had a unique opportunity to look inside the workings of someone else’s social media strategy to see what works, and, in this case, doesn’t work.

To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention at first, occasionally popping in to look at their posts.  Most were not interesting at all- links without pictures and poor headlines.  They received few if any likes.

But, like anyone who has admin access to a page and has it set up, I regularly received updates on their statistics emailed to me from Facebook, specifically their “like” or follower numbers.  And here is where I saw something that sparked my interest.

FANS

Each and every week they had new fans.  Not just a few, but a LOT.  Considering they were a major player in their particular knowledge base this might not have been strange except for a few little facts.  First, as mentioned above, each post had few if any likes and almost no shares.  They were not creating a lot of traffic from their content.  But hey, maybe they were getting traffic elsewhere.  Completely possible.

No, that’s not what really raised the red flags.  It was the number of new fans.  Each and every week for more than 6 months they had an increase of 100 fans, sometimes it was a few more, but NEVER less and almost always it was EXACTLY 100 fans.

You might be thinking, that’s AWESOME, how do I do that!?  Let me stop you there.  It’s not awesome.  There’s only one way you do that.  You buy it.  You buy fans.

Why NOT?

Great, you think, now you’ve got a huge fan base!  But what value is a like if those fans really don’t care about what you’re doing?  I’ll tell you, not only do they have no value, they actually are COSTING you.  It’s true.

You see, because these paid for fans don’t actually care about your content, they don’t interact with your content.  They don’t click on and read your posts, they don’t like your posts, they don’t share your posts.  And as you have more and more fans who don’t interact with your post the more your reach goes down.

Reach is a metric Facebook uses to see if you’re producing good content that people like.  And well, now that you have a bunch of fans who don’t care what you do, your content is seen as bad content.  You’ve just paid to make sure your content is seen as bad content.

So what does that mean?  It means that all those fans you had who actually liked your content are even less likely to see your stuff.  Why?  Because Facebook is pretty sure your content is garbage.  As a percentage, very few people like or interact with the stuff you’re posting, so why should Facebook show it to anyone?  You’re posting junk.  Of course the fans who actually like you might not think so, but those paid fans do.

You’ve literally ruined your Facebook page by paying for fans.

Another Version

As a note, there’s another version of paying for fans.  You can pay for fans AND get them to comment too!  Great right?  Not so much.  I’ve seen a small nonprofit do this with horrible results.  How could I tell?  A post about a slaughter of a pack of wolves had people posting comments like “this is great!”  You see you’re not paying for people to post good comments or read your articles and, with that, you’ll get nothing but comments like “this is great” or “cool” to absolutely anything you post.  It degrades your community and eventually your real fans will wonder what is going on with your page and why you have fans who don’t seem to care at all about what you’re doing.

The Proof

So check out the graphic below…  The top page is a look at the page in question.  Check out the total reach compared to their total page likes?  See what a small portion of people are looking at their content vs the total number of people who like their page?  Now check out the pages that I manage.  Every single one has reach far beyond the number of people who like the page.  My fans are seeing my content.

If all you care about is how many people like you then why are you on Facebook?  It’s not to sell your product (people aren’t seeing your posts or your product) and it’s not to get your message out to people.

Your goal NEEDS to be getting people to see and CARE about your content.

This isn’t a popularity contest folks.  Trying to be popular is a failure proposition… just check it out below!

 

(Note: Click on the picture to enlarge)

 

Compare Weekly Total Reach to Total Page Likes..Social Media (2)