I hope you’re not all about LIKES. Ok, what am I thinking, of course, you’re about the LIKES. You’re human and like all other folks inhabiting the planet you’ve been programmed from day one to desire approval. First, from your parents and then from your extended family, friends, and peers.
But LIKES on social media are a different kind of craving and if you’re like me, focused on growing your business online then it’s easy to believe that getting more LIKES on your posts means you’ve CRACKED A SECRET CODE and finally, you can monetize your content.
But hold up! LIKES is only one of data points to measure social media success and a surface level one at that. In many ways, they aren’t always indicative that you’re meeting your real goals like driving more engagement or having more subscribers head to your blog, or even generating sales.
Likes Don’t Equal Sales
Remember Arianna Renee? The influencer with over 2 million followers whose initial T-shirt line flopped when she failed to sell 36 of them.
In fact, she pleaded with her followers to help her get the sale going. The plea was never answered and none of her followers bought from her line.
An 18-year-old influencer didn’t crack the code.
I suspect that Arianna paid for a lot of her followers, which means most of them were not her ideal people anyway.
REAL TALK: It’s better to have a small following, be 100% yourself and nail your key objectives than go after LIKES and pretend to be someone you’re not. Worse yet, it’s counterintuitive as a small biz owner to miss the mark on the very thing you want to achieve, just because you’re chasing LIKES.
The world of LIKES on social media may seem as attractive as New York City (pre-Coronavirus days) with its bright lights, busy paths, and the promise of making it big. But nothing happens with fake followers and scrollers who like but never convert to a customer. When you think about it for a second vanity metrics will never take you to the bank.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other ways to assess how your social media efforts are moving the needle.
Here are some of the more substantive ways.
1. Saves and Shares
These are two key drivers of engagement. When someone shares your post you get exposed to their audience which increases the eyeballs landing on your platform. The algorithm loves this. Because you’ve published a photo, written a caption, showed something that the audience personally relates to an emotional connection is made and that’s powerful stuff on social media. People save and share things they find inspirational, funny, interesting, outlandish even controversial. Some of the most popular posts that are shared and saved are those where followers *learn* something. So to increase your social capital keep creating helpful content. Content that adds value. This one way to build trust with your followers. It also increases those shares and saves
2. Click Or Swipe Up
Driving traffic off social media isn’t simple. No Sireee. So consider someone clicking the link on your bio or heading to your blog a big win! Of course, be prepared to make your call to action strong so your followers can sign up for a newsletter, read a blog post, view a product or services page, make a purchase, etc. These actions happen after the click or swipe but your calls to action must be clear. The idea here is to drive your profitability, not your popularity.
If you have both, then wooo hoo you have landed a golden egg. But if you had to choose one, just one, I would want to go the heck after profitability, not LIKES
Click or swipes take you closer to that goal once you are strategic about your calls to action. They allow you to say: “I want my perfect people to see my brand, I want them to take the action I have asked them to so I can serve them in a highly profitable way.
I don’t know about you, but for me, its profitability over popularity ANY DAY OF THE WEEK
Why are you on social media? That’s the question. At the end of the day, it is about money, the ability to build a self-sustaining business that brings you profit and allows you to continue adding value to people’s lives. Am I right? So if your social media efforts directly correlate to increased sales, we can agree that LIKES has little to do with success. I have one fashionista friend who shows off her outfits on her IG Stories and immediately after gets a ton of enquires and sales. Not LIKES mind you, but her DMs and cell phone go mad with pings and calls and sales which brings me to the next success metric
4. DIRECT ONE-ON-ONE ENGAGEMENT
Do you get requests for appointments, do you get a bunch of emails and phone calls, or even direct What’s App messages? Then relish the fact that your platform is successfully attracting & engaging followers to take action and get in touch. Once you track this, consider it social proof that your platform is a hit.
5. GET BEYOND LIKES
You can worry about the numbers until you’re blue in your face but as I said in this article about growing your follower count, you have to run your own race. Don’t obsess about why you don’t have as many followers as someone else in your industry or if your work will be dismissed because your LIKE count is low. I’m here to tell you: Numbers don’t matter. LIKES matter even less. Sure, make sure your photos and captions are on point ( you can check out Simplify for readymade social media content) But here’s the deal, engagement is what you should be going after above all else and it should be linked to your goals. So find new ways of measuring your content beyond LIKES. It matters.
Photo via @No Ordinary Style