Are Your Fans Talking About This?

by Eric Brown |

Is bigger really better? Social media marketing is a low barrier-to-entry business and every small to medium business that hires that 20-something for social media, “because they must understand this stuff,” suffers. They rarely know how to generate scalable numbers. Said different, they typically do not know how to generate more leads for your business that wind up positively effecting the bottom line.

Yes, business is and has always been about the numbers, and bigger is always better. Many of my retail friends are running their businesses by the numbers and are all focused on turning more inventory faster. Are they also good at relationships? Of course. You don’t stay in business long if you aren’t. The social media pundits did not invent customer relations. Even though some businesses have forgotten the importance, profitable ones certainly have not. But the most successful businesses — not just social media businesses — relentlessly focus on growing the numbers.

Listening First is a Flawed Approach

Social media consultants have somewhat tripped business owners up by getting them tangled in the “listen first” saga. And while we aren’t suggesting that businesses ignore this process, it shouldn’t always be a top priority. Unless you are a big brand, there really aren’t all that many people talking about you. In fact, for the majority of small businesses, no one is.

Jay Ehret penned a post this week titled Why Listening is Too Little

There is nothing wrong with listening to your customers and understanding what they want. It’s just that there’s very little of this conversation going on. Take a look at your personal Facebook news feed right now. What are people talking about? You? Other businesses? Rarely. Except for your marketing geek and business owner friends, you will find very little brand related conversation. There will be a lot of  “LOL” pictures, famous quotes, and harmless status updates like “Coffee in hand, ready to fight the day!” The point is that most people don’t join social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to talk about your business.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

A lot has been written surrounding the plethora of Facebook changes. But few are talking about the impact that brands and businesses will experience from the new metric around the “Talking About This” feature. Facebook administrators are now more naked than ever as to the effectiveness of their Facebook marketing … or lack thereof. Just posting “interesting links” will no longer cut the mustard. Brands and businesses must start to show up in ways we haven’t seen.

At my company, we have said for some time now that the numbers always matter. By numbers, we are referring to Fans, Followers and Likes. Folks like to push the whole “Engagement” argument, touting that it isn’t about the size of the Fan Base, it is about the conversations created. But your Facebook page is similar to your bank account. A larger one is typically better than a smaller one, and one with pennies as opposed to dollars may not be worth keeping.

Our submission to you is that if your Facebook Fan Page isn’t generating a lot of “Talking About This” you may want to evaluate your direction because if it isn’t, not one there is listening.

Your thoughts? The comments are yours.

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About the Author

Eric Brown

Eric Brown's background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established The Urbane Way, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested.