Logan’s Plumbing Company has clearly invested in an effective content marketing campaign; the company’s Facebook page proudly boasts 2,342 followers, with at least a dozen more being added each day. Its competitor company, AAAA Plumbers, provides regular content updates to its Facebook page, but, after plugging away at it for several months, only has about 400 fans to show for it. Obviously, Logan’s Plumbing Company is winning, as far as content marketing goes—right?
Well, not necessarily. Content marketing is not a race to see who can get the most Facebook fans, but rather, it is a campaign designed to attract real customers and clients, transforming them into ambassadors for your brand. Having a thousand Facebook fans who click the “like” button, immediately remove your company page from their newsfeed, and never share or interact with your content in any way hardly does anything to help your brand; even ten devoted followers and quality customers, invested in your brand and eager to help promote your business, are ultimately of much greater value.
Some Fans are Better Than Others
None of this to say that any Facebook follower or fan is bad for your business; it’s just that not all of them necessarily help your business. This may sound a bit harsh, but it’s an important point for companies to understand: Some social media followers and fans really are more important and more useful than others.
Believe it or not, there are companies out there that will sell you Facebook fans. Write them a check and, within a few hours, they’ll get an army of people (or, in some cases, fake/artificial accounts) to “like” your page. Your number of likes may skyrocket, but none of these people will interact with your shared content, none of them will refer your business to their friends, and none of them are even likely to buy your products and services; for all you know, these artificial fans live half a world away. All you get is a number—hardly an effective use of your online marketing dollars.
Even many “real” Facebook fans are unlikely to boost your business in any meaningful way. You may get folks to click the “like” button simply because you run contests or promotions—“Like our page to be entered in a free drawing,” or something to that effect. You may end up converting these folks into true ambassadors for your brand, but it is likely that you will need to continue running contests or promotions to keep them interested, which may be a tall order.
Quality Facebook Fans
Quality Facebook fans are a different matter. These are the folks who have done business with you before, and enjoyed their experience—or, in some cases, folks who you’ve brought into the fold through your content marketing endeavors.
Quality Facebook fans are invested in your company’s social media presence. They enjoy the articles you share, the humorous videos and stories, the tips and the free advice. They read what you post, and they click the “like” button—which means that their friends, who might not like your company’s Facebook page, still see your content updates in their newsfeeds. Quality Facebook fans will share your content, from time to time. And, because they are actually taking the time to read and interact with it, they’re also much more likely to do business with your company—sooner or later.
The choice businesses have is to simply try to hit a certain number, or else to engage in the slow, steady work of organically recruiting brand ambassadors and actual customers. The latter option is less flashy, and it’s certainly slower-going—but in the end, it’s what makes a real, bottom-line difference for your business.
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