I recently overheard a business owner say they’d like to increase their company’s Facebook page likes by “buying” likes from an online service that guarantees thousands of Facebook likes or Twitter followers in a matter of days. The thinking was this: If 200 page likes were good, 2,000 – or more – must be better.
Not so fast. Sure, there are services that, for a fee, will grow your social media following into the thousands, even tens of thousands. But is what you pay them to do worth it? Let’s take a look at how those services work.
There are a couple of different methods, typically using churn methods or zombie accounts. In churning, the person you hire follows thousands of people in hopes of getting a number of people to follow back. Zombie accounts, or fake accounts, are accounts that don’t belong to a real person. Aside from wasting your money, these practices can lead to a suspended social media account and a tarnished reputation.
Is getting 10,000 likes on your Facebook page really your goal? If your aim is to build your business and increase sales, particularly if your market is mostly local, thousands of page likes from accounts that are at best, not engaged, and at worst, fake, won’t get you there. It’s certainly no way to build a relationship with customers and prospects who truly care about what you’re selling.
In his 2008 article “1,000 True Fans,” author and Wired magazine founder Kevin Kelly asserts that having a following of tens of thousands isn’t necessary to make a good living. His message is largely geared toward creative-types such as artists and musicians, but many thought leaders believe this principal still applies, not only for independent professionals but for small businesses. It’s not the quantity of followers your business has that’s important, it’s the quality. Think about your current client mix. What percentage of your customers give you regular, repeat business? How many customers keep coming back, even when you raise prices, even when there’s new competition, because they love your business and trust what you do?
Now, imagine what it would be like to have 1,000 of those customers, people who were loyal followers of your brand, who trusted your business so much that they would buy any product or service you offered? What about just 500 truly loyal customers? Even 250? What kind of impact would that have on your bottom line?
You don’t get true fans buy hiring a service to add artificial Twitter followers or Facebook page likes to your accounts. Building an authentic tribe takes time and patience, but there are ways to boost your visibility so your community will build at a steady clip.
Word of mouth referrals still account for a huge amount of business, despite the prevalence of technology today. In fact, technology can cause a negative review to spread like wildfire. That’s why maintaining a direct rapport with your customers via social media is so important.
Also, there are legitimate ways to spend a modest amount of money on social media to gain new page likes and followers. The numbers may not be as big as the churned ones, but they’ll be real customers who are interested in your business, with real dollars to spend on your products and services.
Developing a marketing strategy for the long-term growth of your business takes time, patience and expertise. Don’t know where to start? SweetWater Marketing can help. Contact us today at (256) 617-2092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.