Today we have a guest post from Eric Taylor, who is a freelance writer from Qwaya. In this post, Eric analyzes the differences between managing your Facebook presence in pursuit of “Likes” (i.e. Facebook Likes) and generating quality content to engage the audience. As huge proponents of content marketing, we agree with his assessment. See what you think.
For savvy marketers out there using Facebook, there is really no debate when it comes to Likes. The jury has long been in: Facebook Likes aren’t nearly as important as a lot of newcomers to Facebook actually think they are.
But, of course, that’s a tough pill to get people to swallow. When passersby shoot you a thumbs-up and become a fan of what you’re doing, it’s fairly flattering – so much so that some may focus a lot more on getting more Likes than on publishing quality content.
Facebook Likes aren’t entirely meaningless; they do count for something. However, to see what they’re really worth in terms of pulling in quality fans, just browse around Facebook or a site like YouTube and see where Likes are really getting people. Some go through great trouble to get Likes, while others encourage it by saying things to the effect of “’Like’ if this happened to you.”
In almost every context, a Like seems to be more about winning a popularity contest than it is receiving a return on your business investment.
Is Earning “Facebook Likes” Really a Numbers Game?
Some may argue that receiving Facebook Likes becomes a different ballgame entirely once you reach up in the thousands or hundreds of thousands. There is some truth to this. Facebook Likes on this level most certainly beget likes; popularity breeds popularity. How else could acts like Vanilla Ice be explained? Things that are trending seem to continue to do so as long as they’re surrounded by buzz.
So in that sense, it can be construed as a bit of a numbers game. But once you break it down and realize the quality of the people you have as fans, you find that the numbers are actually misconstrued. It’s better to have 10 people willing to engage with you and actually take action than it is to have 10,000 people give you a thumbs-up but then not click-through to anything.
Why Quality Always Trumps Quantity
Focusing on high-quality content rather than populous content for the sake of gaining Facebook Likes is just better for your overall reputation. Social media marketing is hard enough without having to realize your efforts have been wasted for 1,200 Likes and 0 conversions.
Quality content that’s specifically tailored in order to address the needs of a particular niche is what makes businesses thrive. Sure, you need to play to the social context of a site like Facebook, but you can’t become just another Like-mongering user.
There’s value in quality content that greatly exceeds and outweighs any for-the-moment popular ad or post you’re going to put out there to garner a gang of raised thumbs. Offering value to those who appreciate it might not result in a quadruple-digit Like count on any one post. But you’re going to experience better results by way of people actually engaging and taking action with you when directed.
You want the people who want the value, not the people who are just looking to be entertained.
The Give and Take
Every successful Facebook brand can attest to the give-and-take that takes place in a social relationship. Engagement works both ways. Posts from brands address specific needs, desires and interests of an audience.
Loyal followers of brands know that more is expected of them than clicking an upward facing thumb, and brands know that true fans demand quality. It’s often unspoken, but the give-and-take is realized, and offering up quality is how you initiate the process and actually find people willing to engage.
The Road Ahead
Even the most popular material you could ever conceive of creating is going to fizzle out eventually. For example, Gangnam Style, as extremely popular as it was, is losing more steam every day.
Eventually your most popular posts are going to be forgotten. But if you’re placing your focus on quality, you’re building up a long-term structure that doesn’t rely on a popular vote. You’re laying strong foundations on which to build a successful brand rather than setting up some flash-in-the-pan page to gain approval.
Businesses need to take social media marketing seriously. Getting Likes can be a good thing, but focusing on quality will achieve much more. You will still receive plenty of Likes, and you’ll be rewarded with a successful brand.
About the Author
Eric Taylor is a social media enthusiast and a freelance writer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool that focuses on building tools for social media marketing. Qwaya provides information, tools and up-to-date news about social media marketing strategies, most specifically on Facebook. The company aims to build a sophisticated tool with powerful features that are user-friendly and affordable for online advertisers and marketers world wide.