We all want to be liked – right? From the playground to the board room. Wait a minute, no where is it more important to be “liked” than on Facebook! Well, my so-called friends, these times they are a changing – already. It seems just liking someone or a brand on Facebook isn’t translating into the loyalty or the pay dirt we all envisioned when we started encouraging companies to dive in to social media. And for quite a while, it was truly a no cost channel in which start-ups and up-starts could make some “friends” and hopefully some brand fans. But, now we all have friends now that we’ve never met, friends we wouldn’t take home to our parents, friends that look remotely familiar to the faces on the FBI’s most wanted list – is that really our goal – just a friend number? Companies are trying their hardest to reach 1,000 fans or 5,000 fans or even 10,000 fans. But are these YOUR TRUE FRIENDS/CUSTOMERS?? Being “liked” by 10,000 tiny squares filled with tiny faces just isn’t doing it for brands anymore. I may have 10,000 friends, but really, who knows me, who loves me and who is willing to stand up for me and buy and brag about my brand?
So aiming to gain more friends than France has grapevines is no longer the key to success. Now, the true reality comes out. It’s no longer about how many friends you have, it’s all about the engagement. Yep, we just moved from friending to engaging. In an November 19 Ad Age post, the WPP media buying division of Group M conducted research and the findings are significant enough to add thought to your social media planning. They found in reviewing 25 brands that the share of Facebook users was down 38% after seeing organic posts from a brand they “liked” in the five weeks after Sept. 20, to 9.6″ from 15.56%. But engagement in the form of comments are up significantly. This is really good news in that those engaging in the brand really, really LIKE the brand as opposed to those who just ‘”like” a brand in order to participate in a promotion (yes, we know who you are.)
But reach is still a key factor in building that loyalty and creating that engagement among fans. That means ponying up some ad dollars for Facebook advertising. At LBM we have too often seen a new client’s fan base climb steadily and then plateau. At this point we suggest creating a Facebook ad strategy to reach out and bring in the fans that are very interested in our client’s products. With as little as a budget of $100 a month, we’ve seen an increase in overall numbers and in the quality of fans. It’s about participation and conversation within the realm of any given brand. It’s how we go from “liking” to “engaging” to “family.” So, don’t go comparing your fan numbers with any other brand, compare those engaging posts!