To succeed in business today (and in politics as well) it’s good to have a lot
of Facebook likes and Twitters followers, right? After all, a large and active social media base leads
to greater awareness and consideration, and maybe more. But, perhaps we should consider the practical consequences of
attempts to aggressively build likes and followers.
The 'Business' of Exploiting
the Social Media
Tell a dedicated employee that it’s his/her job to
generate likes and followers, and it’s likely she will go out and find a way to get them. Pressure him to produce
even more and he will get you there as well. Unfortunately, unless you have made it very clear why you want them, and
what you expect those followers to do for your brand, the results may be deceiving and disappointing.
an investigation reported recently by Darren Samuelsohn of Politico.com that casts doubt (or at
the very least some skepticism) about the large numbers of followers reported by brands and personalities. In particular,
Samuelsohn found evidence that the number of followers presented by some of the biggest names in American politics are, shall
we say, slightly exaggerated. According to analysis from Politico, eager staffers
have likely been using bots and click farms to find ‘followers’. The result is astounding:
- 46.8% fake followers for @BarackObama
fake followers for @SenJohnMcCain
- 21.9% fake followers for @HillaryClinton
- 18.9 % fake followers for @Chris Christie
Bringing It Back to Products, Brands and Services...
But you aren’t
aiming to be the leader of a country or even a member of Congress, so how does this relate to your business practice?
- You need to think quality, not quantity in your social media strategy.
Whether you have millions or hundreds of likes or followers, what you really should be looking for are more opportunities
to cost effectively communicate with your customers and prospects.
- Fake followers and users don’t actually interact with your Twitter or Facebook accounts so they
aren’t sharing your comments or content. In fact, they are actually making your ratio of followers to
shares look worse!
- While you can buy fake followers fairly cheaply, they
have absolutely no value, and actually impose a cost. If your social media followers were ever subjected to careful
investigation, the revelation of your fake followers could actually do more damage to your credibility than your
accomplishments through your legitimate followers.
Authentic Ways to Build
Your Social Media Following
There are any number of legitimate ways to build likes and followers. The common
elements among the approaches is that they involve some hard work and require that you provide some form of value. That
value can be: a chance to win a contest, a special deal or discount, having access to information about your brand not available
to the general public, getting cool content to share, and receiving entertaining content that emotionalizes your brand or
Like so many other opportunities in life, the best social media followers aren't easily obtained....
the knack is in disciplining one's self to aim for quality over quantity.