Being liked on social media is addictive. As an individual it makes you feel great. As a business, it can make you feel successful. But the harsh reality is that it can be addictive, and detrimental if you follow it down a hole.
Many businesses shy away from social media because they fear it won't be liked or shared and that in turn is a bad mark on their reputation. On the flip side, many businesses try to post as much content as possible in the hope that some will stick and receive high numbers of likes and shares.
Chasing likes and shares is a dangerous game. More likes and shares in no way translates to more sales or customers. Many businesses have put money behind social media content to 'boost it' and get it seen by more people and receive more likes and interactions. This results in a more popular social media page, but, sales or return on investment doesn't seem to follow.
That's because social media is far more than a platform to sell your business or products. The idea that a post with hundreds of likes, comments and shares will translate to sales is misguided, and chasing those high numbers will inevitably lead you down a dark road trying to maintain this continued momentum.
If you post something promotional, such as "like and share this post to get a free product" you'll see a lot of people liking it, and sharing it, and in turn people seeing the shared post and re-sharing it and so forth. But what percentage of those people have no interest in your business or services, but only want something for free? The result is a post with huge positive social media engagement but very little return on investment.
Has the user looked at your page to see who you are, what you sell?
Is the user in your demographic?
Are the people they share it with interested in your business/products?
Have they followed your page as a result of this interaction?
Sure, it's great to look at that post and think it was a success, but how many people from that exposure became a customer, follower or interacted with you?
Instead, focus on keeping your social media on-brand with a consistent narrative that communicates your business, products and message. This will undoubtedly result in lower 'popular posts' but more a more focused approach and engagement with customers.
A mechanic's garage publishes a post about bodywork repair, addressing issues like alloy wheel scratches, paintwork and cosmetic damage. It's not a massively interesting post, but a user who has a need for this service sees this post and leaves a comment asking "how much, or can you fix this". The garage interacts with the user and replies to their comment with helpful information and a lead is generated.
This type of post may only reach a couple of people. But if one of those people generates a lead, it is far more beneficial than a post that reached thousands of people with no return on investment.
Many businesses and brands don’t post content to social media with the fear that they will not get any likes which will in turn make them look bad. After all, if you’re posting something you’re proud of and nobody likes it, this has to seem like a bad mark on your product, right?
So, many smaller businesses that fear they cannot create content that people will like, end up refraining from posting any content at all, leaving their social media profiles empty and/or not updated regularly.
Well that’s not necessarily the case.
The previously held notion that social media is all about likes and followers doesn’t apply to every business. Sure, if you want to be an ‘influencer’ then it’s important to have a lot of followers who like your content so you can content getting free stuff from brands.
But for the majority of businesses using social media, it’s not about chasing likes.
Social media provides users with a window into your business; an insight into your philosophy, your products, your workplace, your staff outside of the store-front image.
If your business is heavily focused on renewable, eco-sourced and recycling friendly products then this narrative can be told through social media with posts about what you do, how you do it and why you do it. You shouldn’t expect people to immediately LIKE YOU as a company, or your products because of this, but you are making it known how you operate and to those who value this socially conscious approach, if they see this they may be inclined to visit/buy from you.
Without talking about this, potential customers may never know.
By posting regular content on social media, you can naturally grow your business presence and build that audience organically. Those who see what you do and like it, will follow you. They will appreciate your brand and efforts.
Your website or store-front is where customers can purchase your product. Your social media should communicate who you are and what you do visually on a regular basis from day to day. It gives users an insight into your business during their daily social media routines.
Let's look at a coffee shop as an example.
We know they sell coffee. So it's not about advertising "we sell coffee" every day on social media. BUT, what if this particular coffee shop closes their cafe at 5pm BUT is still open until 10pm serving coffee to takeaway? That is worth mentioning on social media because not every coffee shop does this AND, this will be very useful info to people who want a good coffee after hours. Perhaps while the kids are at football practice, after school class, scouts etc... This is a NICHE.