A few days back I got a frantic call from an ex-intern. He had moved on to work as the social media executive for a mid-sized publishing firm. He was facing a piquant work situation where his boss, the business owner had his own perception of how Facebook operated and was frequently chastising him for not ‘generating enough likes’.
My young friend had been trying his best to convince his boss that ‘getting more likes’ was not what social media marketing was all about but was having a tough time. He was on the verge of finally succumbing to the temptation of the “1000 likes for $5/-“syndrome that afflicts most social media managers early on in their career.
How do you convince someone who is bent on pushing you down the path of ‘buying likes’? Simple you educate them, which sadly most agency personnel don’t. It is my belief that the more you raise awareness and knowledge amongst your clients, the greater is the trust and credibility that one builds up which in turn leads to a strong long term relationship.
It is this ethos that Facebook marketing needs to embrace- Building Trust. Building Credibility. Building long term relationships with your fan base. You do that by following the 5 stop signs that show what you’re doing wrong.
- Stop ‘buying’ likes
Buying likes is a sham that one is trying to perpetrate on your client. This is usually done to make the client feel good about making the right decision to hire the right agency. As a client, if you see a sudden spurt in the number of followers that you have, you can be assured that they have been ‘bought’. Just as you can’t customers, you can’t buy fans. You need to create fans. And it’s hard work.
- Stop trying to do a regular update.
90% of all Facebook marketing that I keep seeing comprises of a bunch of regular companywide updates. The underlying assumption behind this thoughtless bombardment is that if you tell people enough times what you are doing, they will love/remember/engage with you. It’s the old style mass media approach.
Nothing could be more off track than this! Stop trying to ensure that you post regularly and frequently. Facebook’s new algorithm doesn’t ensure that your messaging will be seen by all your followers and worse, you’re likely to be un-followed or hidden from the timelines of your followers.
- Stop spending a ton of money on Facebook advertising.
I regularly get to see a sponsored advertisement for buying property or for buying women’s shoes. Would have worked great if I was into cross dressing or looking to invest in property. The ugly truth is that brands spend a ton of money blasting their way through Facebook looking for that elusive consumer who is getting more and more difficult to get by.
Consider a simple fact. My timeline today comprises of at least 30% of sponsored advertising and another 20% of company updates from the various company pages where I am a follower. Do I spend time bothering about them? No. Perhaps I do click on a few as a casual clicker, but that’s about it. Spending a ton of money on Facebook advertising is not how you handle Facebook. It’s still the classic “Mass media advertising approach”. Never will work on Facebook!!
- Stop making weekly content schedules
Don’t believe the fact that by making a weekly content and scheduling it for the week will make your social media work on Facebook. It won’t. All it will do is make your daily life a little less hectic. But unfortunately many agencies tend to talk of how effectively they are managing client’s social accounts by showcasing the weekly scheduling that they are doing.
Nothing is further from the truth. If you have bad content, no matter of weekly advance planning is going to further your social impact. All that it will do is ensure that your followers get a daily dosage of the same mindless content in regular frequency!
- Stop believing and start learning
If you are a client looking to really leverage social media for your business, you’re not going to get far by believing in everything that you read or hear. I have heard of social media experts expounding on aspects like the ‘best time to post’ with scant regard to the fact that they are operating in a market different from the geography on which the research on ‘best time to post’ was done. Talk of blinkered vision!
Instead of believing, start learning. Marketing is not an exact science and despite what technology has to offer us today, it still isn’t. You learn by experimenting, by analyzing data points and drivers each of which are unique to your brand and the audience you’re trying to engage with. Stop believing and start learning.
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