The most overrated metric in social media marketing

Posted & filed under Advertising, Social Media.

social media overrated metric“How many Likes do we have?”

“That page has more Likes than ours; we need more!”

When it comes to Facebook, marketers are obsessed with the almighty Like. And while people liking your page is important, I’d argue that the Like is to social media what Coldplay is to rock music – popular but overrated. In fact, it’s probably the most overrated metric in social media marketing.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that pages need Likes to survive. But the addition of a new follower only goes so far.

For example, let’s say you own a sandwich shop. Joe comes in one day, eats a turkey on rye and leaves. Joe enjoyed his lunch, but he never tells any of his friends, family or co-workers about how great the food was. What’s more, he doesn’t come back for two months. So while Joe “Likes” your business, you didn’t gain much.

On the other hand let’s say Jane tells everyone about her great experience at your shop. She even posts a photo of the sandwich on her Facebook page and says it’s the best sandwich in town. Now her friends are dropping by, and telling their friends about you. This is the type of customer you want. Because, you see, a Like is only as good as what comes after it.

After liking your page, you need that new fan to engage with your content. You need them to like, comment and share your posts. You need them to tag your page in their posts. Not only do these interactions immediately put your post in front of more eyeballs (friends of friends, etc.), Facebook places more weight on your future posts. This means that your next posts are seen by more of the people who have officially liked your page.

Remember, with Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, an average of only 15 percent of those who like your page see your posts – unless your engagement levels are healthy. Basically, more engagement equals more eyeballs on you.

To put it in a numerical perspective, having a page with 1,000 Likes and no engagement is not as beneficial as one with 500 Likes and excellent engagement. On paper it may not look like it, but in this case, 500 is greater than 1,000.

The moral of the story is one you’ve heard before – provide content that your fans will enjoy. And trade in those Coldplay CDs for some R.E.M.

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