I read a post from Brian Solis (author of Engage and principal at Altimeter Group) over the weekend in which he accurately described the typical tactics used by social media marketers to grow an audience on Facebook. From the post:
“So, to keep the [Facebook] numbers up, our team posts more often, asks questions, runs polls, curates content, introduces more and more contests, and asks for your help to submit your pics and videos as part of our ‘user-generated’ content campaigns. We measure success by the Likes, comments, shares, the number of conversations, and reach.”
I was nodding my head in agreement as I read through this. Yes, most organizations that have focused some of their social media marketing effort on Facebook have tried some or all of these tactics. They make sense because they work. These are the types of tactics that drive Likes on the platform. But then…he threw this at me:
“While the Likes are rising, we’re starting to recognize the pattern…I guess we never really defined why you should ‘Like’ us beyond the initial click. We just took for granted that a Like equated to an opt-in.”
I don’t interpret this as a negative but it is certainly something that deserves more attention. Once a brand has acquired the Like should this be interpreted as equivalent to an opt-in for general information?
I don’t believe so.
I arrived at this conclusion by thinking about my personal habits on Facebook. Here is a quick sampling of some of the brands I Like and why:
- We Are Social: They provide useful, relevant information about social media marketing. Yes, they are an agency but I do not have a business relationship with them.
- Kashi: Coupons.
- Facebook Marketing: This is the team at Facebook responsible for reaching out to the Marketing community. They provide useful, relevant information about social media marketing as it relates to the Facebook platform.
- ShortStack: I currently use this product and the team does a good job educating me about quick tips and other useful information regarding how to use ShortStack more efficiently.
- George Takei: He’s funny.
- Ignite Social Media: Much like We Are Social, Ignite provides useful, relevant information about social media marketing.
So, there is a mix of business and personal. That’s common. On the business side, I am looking to educate myself. In all instances (regardless of my relationship with the company) I am seeking information to help me either learn or be more efficient. This is why I do not believe the Like should be interpreted as an opt-in for general information. I’m seeking information, not vendor relationships. Those relationships will ultimately form. As long as the content is valuable I will continue to return to the source.
To bring this back around to Brian’s post, as social media marketers we should all ask the question: Are we posting information that is useful to the audience we have acquired on Facebook?