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Posted on December 8, 2015 | Tyler Jacobson
The right way to accumulate new followers on social
Nothing of value comes easy. That statement has never been truer than with digital marketing. We can hope that we make something go viral and that our brand is suddenly on everyone’s tongue, but as I always say, “if your marketing plan relies on hope, then you have no marketing plan.”
So how do you acquire those short-term wins, and how can they affect your long-term digital strategy?
The case against buying Facebook likes
DON’T buy “likes:” You can go on a site like Fiverr and buy 500 likes for $5, but DON’T go on a site like Fiverr and buy 500 likes.
“But, I only have 95 page likes right now,” you say, “and I could really use a boost.”
Before clicking away your online credibility, ask yourself, “what benefit do those 500 extra followers give me and what are the negative consequences?” Five hundred ninety-five page likes might look better than 95 likes, but who’s looking at that number besides you and what does it really tell your audience?
- First, because of a digital-age phenomenon known as “social proof,” those 500 new likes will get you absolutely nothing other than 500 new likes. Social proof is similar to “group think,” where the behavior of a group has significant influence over an individual. According to experts, social proof works best when it’s tied to people we know. Those 500 new likes you just bought? You won’t know any of them, and they won’t know each other. They won’t be engaged with your page or with your company.
- Second, 595 likes isn’t enough social proof to adopt when none of those people are connected to each other. It’s not an overwhelming number to convince anyone that he or she missing out on something that everyone else loves.
- Third, you don’t suddenly have 500 new customers. These profiles follow your page as a result of you buying them, but none of these “people” will ever turn into a sale. And isn’t a sale (or a new customer) what you really want at the end of all of this?
- Lastly, the power of Facebook’s Graph search has been robbed from you. This is the biggest reason not to buy those likes. With a mere $5 purchase you have diluted the magic potion that gives you powerful insights into who your customers really are. What are the true demographics of the people who honestly like your products or services? What else do they like? Where do they live? Are they men or women? You may never know, because 80 percent of your audience is fake and never had any affinity for your company to begin with.
DO use Facebook and Twitter advertisements to acquire new likes: There is no guarantee with this method, which is a good thing. If there were guarantees, you’d never know what weaknesses to shore up or what strengths to illuminate.
When you use Facebook or Twitter promoted page strategies to increase likes, you are essentially running an advertising campaign promoting awareness of your brands and the opportunity to engage with them. Like all advertising, your message will resonate with some people, and those people may like your page. It may fall on deaf ears (or blind eyeballs) with others, and still others may find your message just another advertisement for a product they’ll never buy. Know that all of this is good. It separates the wheat from the chaff, or the engaged fans from the not-so-engaged fans.
Both Facebook and Twitter focus on the wheat (to continue the metaphor). Through complex algorithms, they optimize where, when and to whom these ads are shown based on who likes or follows your page and where and when those clicks are occurring.
Also, back to that idea of effective social proof that I wrote about earlier… because these are real people, they have real friends. And those real friends are more likely to follow and engage with you than any contact you buy.
Of course, there are strategies for building followers without investing money. Check out my follow up article on building likes instead of buying them.
Give me a call at (303) 394-2366 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk social media strategy. We’d love to help you overcome social media challenges or hear about ways you’ve found to gain those valuable followers.
- Tyler Jacobson