I’m not going to lie, I like to be liked. I actually absolutely love it when people like who I am and what I do and say. But isn’t this the case for everyone? After all, even psychologists agree that all men and women need to go through the three stages of social acknowledgement, social acceptance and social recognition to be happy.
Let me quote none other than the infamous Michael Scott from “The Office”
The same applies to everything we share on social media of course. Having people liking our status updates is not something we need, it is something we like having. It brings us personal satisfaction and, somehow, boosts our self confidence.
On top of this, people like to like things that are appreciated by others. In other words, the more likes your social media post gets, the more it will be liked by others. That’s the true mechanism on which social media platforms and their feed algorithm are built.
Guess what. The same applies to brands on social media: the more likes you get on a post, the more others are likely to like it and engage with it as well.
Forget Vanity Metrics? Of Course, Not!
The number of followers you have, the number of people who like your Page, the number of pageviews you get on your website… these are known among marketers as ‘vanity metrics’. They have been called this because marketers like to think they don’t really matter. That engagement is what counts, not the size of your ‘community’.
In a way, this is true. Digital marketing gurus like Gary Vaynerchuck or Ted Rubin agree that vanity metrics do not matter, that only the bottom line counts, that engagement is the real metric. Well, allow me to disagree. Not fully disagree, of course, but disagree nonetheless.
Engagement is truly important. Sure. But nothing proves that engagement has a greater effect on your bottom line than ‘vanity metrics’. In fact, engagement on social media is directly linked to your ‘vanity metrics’. 100%!
Why? Because, as I explained before, people like to be liked, and people like to like things that have been liked by others. And the best way to get your first likes is to have a large community of people who follow your brand and like your Facebook page. It’s mathematical. Organic reach decreases on larger Facebook Pages. But would you rather have 6% of your one million Facebook fans see your post, or 12% of your 50,000 fans?
And even if you’re not a big fan of mathematics, let’s look into the psychological side of things: are you more likely to like a Facebook Page that already has one million followers, or one that has 500? People simply like to like the things other people have liked before them.
That doesn’t mean that all of your efforts should focus on just growing your community. You still need to invest on creating great content that will generate engagement.
Engagement is still the most important metric on social media. I hope I will have convinced you to look at engagement as an absolute number rather than a percentage.
Finally, if any of this actually made sense to you, or even if it didn’t at all (and you want to convince me I’m wrong), then you should follow me on Twitter @Geoffdx and we can chat further. Plus, I like to be liked, so I’ll really enjoy having you as a new follower.