MYTH: The more the number of fan likes, the better is your business.
Most social media marketers will tell you that the more the number of your Facebook page likes, the better your business would be. Therefore, you need to get as many ‘likes’ as possible.
Some of the ways they would advise you is to pay HUGE heavy advertising dollars and massively expose your marketing messages all over Facebook, shouting out your promotions and giving out expensive prizes and lucky draw contests to Facebook users in exchange for a ‘like’ on your page.
Sad to say, this is only half the truth. Can your business really grow if you have 10,000 likes? The answer is both a yes and a no. Let me explain it a bit further.
Understanding Talk Density
Other than looking at the number of likes on your page, do also take extra focus on the number of people talking about your brand.
Say if Brand A has 10,000 likes and only less than 200 people talking about Brand A. While Brand B’s page has 2000 likes but 1000 people are talking about it. Which brand do you think is more popular?
Obviously, Brand B is more popular, right? Although it has less ‘likes’ than Brand A, Brand B still gets more people talking about it.
I have coined a new term called, “Talk Density”. Basically it means the number people talking about your brand divided by the total number of Facebook likes you have times a hundred percent.
Using the above example, Brand A has a talk density of 2% while Brand B has 50%. In other words, it also means that there are 25 times more word of mouth marketing activities for Brand B than Brand A even though Brand B has 5 times less facebook ‘likes’ than Brand A.
See the picture?
Rule of the thumb, any Facebook page that has more than 10% talk density is considered pretty good because the loyalty and commitment level of the fans are high. On the opposite, if a Facebook page has only less than 10% of talk density, then the marketer really, really need to do something about it.
So far so good however, we are just scratching the surface of the iceberg. Talk Density is not yet the whole full picture. Let’s look at another very important factor.
Quality of Your Fans
Let’s use only the example of Brand B. Let’s say you own Brand B. Your page has a talk density of 50%. This is very outstanding because many people are talking about you, sharing your posts and your links with their friends and family on Facebook. However, you need to ask yourself this, “are the fans spreading the RIGHT word about my brand?”
Here are 2 important checklist factors.
1) Interest in Your Business
Are these fans talking about all the “woo-has” about your lucky draw contests and nothing about your brand at all? Are they only interested in winning your daily prizes rather than in your main business?
Or are they laughing and sharing a cute and silly post in your page which is totally irrelevant to your business? If your answers to these question are ‘yes’, then I really wish you “good luck”.
2) Demographic & Location
Study the demographic data of your Facebook page insights. Is at least 60% of your fans the right audience that your company is targeting? Do the bulk of your facebook fans have the potential to be converted into your buying clients?
At the end of the day, your company’s goal is to convert a Facebook fan into a buying customer one day. If your potential customers are locals and the bulk of your facebook fans are not locals, then your page will be of no use and no logic at all.
If you are targeting family men and women, you should have at least 60% of your fans in that targeted group. Hence, you should single out the unmarried singles as well as young teenagers.
So that, in this way, you can actually measure the viral marketing effect from your social media efforts and also knowing very sure that the money you spent on social media is well spent.
Capture vs. Attraction
The marketer needs to think out of the box to make his or her facebook page a good one in terms of getting many loyal, quality and genuine fans. There are many ways to do that but before we go on further, let’s understand the difference between capturing and attracting.
‘Attracting’ here probably is something that is fast, short lived and is not likely to leave a deep impression on the consumer’s mind. While ‘capturing’ is something that is long term, able to get one into action and of course, able to leave a deep impression in the consumer’s mind.
Some tips for capturing your audience:
i)“Start a Theme and Do Within it”
What is your brand related to? What industry is your brand dealing with? If you are dealing with healthcare then make sure everything in your page is only related to healthcare. Whether it is a post, a link, a picture, a video or even a joke, do within your theme.
Don’t talk about things that are completely alienated from your theme, if not, people will find it hard to remember your brand.
The need for a theme on your facebook page is to make people relate your brands in their minds wherever possible. What it means is that whenever your prospects think of an industry you are in, your brand will always be the first to appear in their minds.
ii) Interactive Posts
Post interactive and interesting pictures and articles that can encourage your fans to share, to like and to comment on. Be creative inside out. One thing to avoid is to post shout messages asking your fans literally to LIKE and SHARE your post.
Marketers have to respect the fans by giving them the freedom to express their likes willingly. Just remember that fans who likes and share your posts voluntarily and selflessly, are your most loyal fans. Let them take charge of your brand.
iii) No Ranting Please
At all time, remember to protect your brand image. Avoid making stereotypes comments, racist political remarks or anything unrelated to your brand. Complaining about the things around you in your Facebook page, make your brand look ugly, unprofessional and childish. Hence avoid ranting at all times.
iv) Talk to One Another
Facebook is never a “I Talk, You Listen” platform; it is a two way dialogue. Hence the marketers need to constantly be engaged in dialogue with your fans. This is what facebook is all about; it gives a ‘face’ for your brand.
Hope for new and small businesses
Some marketers today still treat Facebook and other social media sites the way they treat traditional mass mediums. Many still have the mindset that the man with the most advertising dollars always wins.
However, now, we can confidently say that this is not always the case anymore. With social media, and if you do it right with a right strategy in place, even if you are a small business or a start-up with a teeny weenie marketing budget, you can still win big time against those big boys in your market who are unsure and yet still treat Facebook marketing with their old traditional ways.
Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg for giving more business entrepreneurs a fairer playground.
(This article made its first appearance on Singapore Business Review)