Engaging Fans on Facebook: Have The ‘Likes’ Got You Down?

by | Facebook, Marketing, Social Media

Are you disappointed that no one, or only a few people comment on your Wall posts on your Facebook Page?

As a business looking to grow brand awareness and it’s base of clients through social media, it can be disturbing to see that when we follow the advice of marketing professionals our efforts don’t always appear to pay off.

We’ve heard that social media provides us with an opportunity to ‘engage clients in a conversation’. That in today’s digital world, where (almost) everyone is connected, we need to remember that it ‘is all about the customer’. That content needs to add value and be interesting to our followers. That posting questions is a great way to encourage a conversation with our clients.

With all of this ‘knowledge’ firmly under our belt we work the strategy only to discover that we appear to be failing miserably at the job. After all, we only average one fan ‘like’ and comment for every two or three. And few Facebook fans seem to respond to the questions we labour over putting together.

We can find ourselves discouraged over the apparent lack of interest in our Facebook Page and it can feel like we’re investing time and energy (aka money) in a strategy that isn’t working.

For those of you who feel discouraged with fan activity on your Facebook Page, consider this: a brand with one million followers has an average of 826 likes and 309 comments for each Facebook post. This according to Simplify 360, a social media brand monitoring platform that looked at Facebook fan statistics for 50 different consumer brands (not all of them huge), including sports teams and celebrities.

Okay now, I’m no expert but 826 likes and 309 comments for one million followers seems pretty weak, when you break it down.

For instance, if you have 300 followers on Facebook that means that, on average, for every 1200 posts you make a fan is quite possibly going to click that they ‘like’ what you’ve shared (huh?) and after 3236 posts a fan is probably going to comment on a post. WOW, now that would be discouraging!

The truth is that while social media like Facebook and Twitter have an important role to play in pretty much any small business today they are not silver bullets. They require ongoing management, thought, monitoring, and hard work to be most effective.

While we can relax a bit on the numbers side we still need to pay attention to them and what they may be telling us. The goal for most businesses using social media is engagement, of clients and potential clients. The best way it seems to engage this group of people is by sharing information that is valuable, interesting and helpful to them. (We’re not likely to engage them if everything we post is about selling a product or service. They are likely to tune us out and in some cases may even ‘unlike’ or ‘unfollow’ us.)

Social media provides us with an opportunity to reach potential customers much earlier in the customer development process. And while they may not click the ‘like’ button or comment on what we post as often as we like, that doesn’t mean they are not seeing and reading what we are sharing. Of course, it may mean that but not necessarily.

Social media does not produce overnight clients. It does however produce, almost overnight, opportunities. How we choose to use those opportunities will, to a large degree, determine how successful we are in using social media to help build our brand and our business.

Sharing content on your website blog and social media that your audience will find helpful, valuable and interesting is an important part of building your online presence. Just as important is delivering on what you promise to existing customers and to new ones. Both play into your  brand reputation and together will positively impact on your business.

Growth almost always takes an investment of energy and time to produce results. Using social media to help grow your business is no different!