We live in a world of mosts. We want to have the most original ideas, creativity, and money, among many other things. Unfortunately, we also live in a world that’s kind of lazy. We want the most amount of benefits with the least amount of work. Granted, that’s a pretty large generalization, and there are plenty of people who are willing and excited to do work, but I digress. In this world of mosts we also want the most Facebook fans and the most retweets. It’s easy to get caught up in numbers in social media platforms because that data is so readily available, but is that really the best way to pull in fans?
Why simply looking at numbers can be ineffective.
People use social media to interact. They post things because they want responses. They add friends because they want to keep in touch with people, or because they want to meet new people. It’s all about making connections. That’s why sometimes it’s hard for businesses to really create a following. People want to connect on a personal level with the people they friend. They want their news feed to be full of entertaining stories and pictures, or tidbits about their friends’ lives. They don’t want to see shameless self-promotion.
If your main goal is to get the most followers, it’s going to be obvious. You may post multiple times a day, sharing pictures or links to articles saying “Like this if you liked the article” or “If you liked this, share it.” Asking people to share your content can be a turn off, because it becomes painfully obvious that all you want is a number and that you’re not really interested in the individual. Some people may share your content, but begging for promotion can be (and often times is) poorly done. Just remember, as frustrating as it can be, if the content is good your followers will share it.
How to do it right.
It’s a tricky balance. You want to post entertaining content to reel people in, but you also want to post content relevant to your brand. If you only post entertaining content, your followers may be unsure as to what your company does. If you only post relevant content, people will quickly get bored with you, and will either block all of your posts from their news feed, or “unlike” your page.
I’ve seen Domino’s Facebook page ask for likes and shares tastefully, using great content. They’ll show a picture and ask a question with two answers saying, “Like for Option 1 and Share for Option 2.” This is effective because they’re trying to interact with their followers. By asking a question it pulls the viewer in, rather than asking the viewer to like their post just because.
Honestly though, if you really want likes and shares, just post great content. When you have a good idea, share it. When you find a funny picture, share it. Be sure to find things relevant to your brand, or relevant to what’s happening in the world. You always want to tie everything back to your brand. People will talk about what’s happening in the world, whether they knew it before you posted it, or whether they’re reacting to it for the first time. You just need to start the conversation!
If you focus on your followers and interact with them as often as you can, they will most likely become loyal to you. That will lead them to share your content and spread your brand by word of mouth. Content marketing is still marketing. If you focus on your audience you can’t go wrong.