Let’s start with what it’s not. It’s Not More Likes.
Believe it or not, getting new followers on social media is relatively easy. On Facebook, you simply pay a small amount to promote your page and bingo! New Likes. On other platforms, you work your networking, you promote yourself, you put out new posts, you follow others and interact with them, and, boom, the followers come pretty fluidly. People like to believe that a social media account with lots of followers or Likes must be successful, but that’s not necessarily the case. Just because a personal trainer has 8,000 social media followers does not mean she’s reaching 8,000 people with her posts.
What it is. More Engagement.
Engagement is social media jargon for “interactions.” When someone clicks on, likes, comments on, shares, or retweets your post, you’ve engaged them. On all social media platforms, the more engagement a post gets, the more it’s shown to users. [On Facebook, for example, this is called Reach – the actual number of people who see any given post.] The more your post is shown, the more people have a chance to engage with it. This is why you can have 8,000 followers and only 500 might see any given post. If this is happening to you, your posts aren’t engaging enough. If you have 8,000 followers and 2,000 of them see any given post, you’re doing pretty good.
Just 2,000 out of 8,000? What’s The Point?
Good social media marketing 1. Establishes meaningful relationships with current and potential customers, 2. Promotes brand awareness, 3. Provides a means to advertise your products and expertise.
Social media marketing is not a print ad. It’s not static. The goal is not simply to get your ad in front of the largest number of eyeballs. If that’s what you want, you’re better off taking out an ad in the newspaper.
The goal of social media marketing is to establish meaningful relationships and create what we call “brand ambassadors,” or followers who will do more than simply look at your post. They’ll react to your posts, they’ll share your posts with their friends, they’ll extoll the virtues of your business to the masses via social media. Your goal is to get followers who don’t simply glance at your post, but who embrace it and pass it on.
So if 2,000 people out of 8,000 see your post, that’s 2,000 more than would have seen it otherwise. If 50 of those 2,000 engage with the post in some way, those are 50 brand advocates who find your posts interesting enough to share their thoughts with others. They like it and they’re not afraid to say so. Over time, produce enough interesting posts, and you’ll see your engagement growing. The greater your engagement, the more new people you’ll reach. Those who engage with your posts are your real customers. 50 will become 100, which will become 200, and so on. You’ll see your overall Likes and Followers grow too, but more importantly, you’ll see your engagement grow.
Those who engage with your posts are your customers or likely customers. They’re the ones you want to inspire. They’re the ones who will buy from you. They’re the ones who will tell their friends to buy from you. They’re hot leads. You don’t want new followers. What you want is more engagement.
In order to develop engagement, however, you simply must create inspiring posts. If your posts are ho-hum, don’t offer any new information, aren’t much fun, aren’t provocative, then you won’t get engagement and you won’t get much reach. You won’t create new brand ambassadors. You must be creative to make new posts on a regular basis which keeps up that trend of developing your engagement. Social media marketing is not for the lazy or dismissive. In order for it to be successful, you have to put real effort into making posts which will draw the attention and engagement of your core group of followers.
A successful social media campaign promotes customer action through ever-growing engagement. This takes time and effort, but in the end, the relationships you create with your customers are far more valuable than any static ad in a newspaper.