Likes Don’t Matter, Engagement Does When You’re Growing A Business Online

 Two weekends ago, I had a fascinating conversation with a blogger from Tobago who stayed at my home after Le Diner En Blanc. Over a tall glass of coconut water, we shared how we were remaining relevant and if truth be told, a little bit sane, in an age of vanity metrics and the constant search most of us seem to have for “Likes”.
Today on the beach, a young woman approached me and wanted to know about the Forward Forty platform on Facebook. While the last thing I wanted to do was talk about work, the fact is these kinds of conversations excite me especially when I tell people I am the least concerned about likes and the number of followers we have.
Ok, it didn’t always use to be that way. I used to be obsessed with the vanity numbers but I have long since figured out that likes (for instance) on your Instagram or Facebook accounts are meaningless, especially if you are trying to connect to your audience in a meaningful way with the hope that they will support the products and services you’ve created in your business. Let’s be clear.  Likes seldom translate into sales. They don’t cause people to buy and they are the least indicative of who will convert into your customers.
Here are the things that matter on social. Your stories matter. Your captions matter. Your engagement matters. Your photos matter.  Your persistence matters. These are the things that matter, first. If I was in a church I’d probably get you to raise your hands and say amen to this!
Repeat this! Engagement Matters.
Here’s what I know for sure. If you have an account with a thousand active and super engaged followers, then you are just as powerful or maybe even more so, than someone who has ten thousand followers who passively scroll by their images without engaging.
Numbers don't matter. Engagement does. (I know, I'm all about the repetition because I want it to sink in.)
Firstly, let’s talk about the algorithm for a second, the thing that all of us depend on to get seen. We like to blame it when things don’t seem to be going our way but the algorithm is simply math. And it’s hyper democratic. The algorithm looks at your stuff and says: Are people engaging? Are they commenting? Are they sharing? Are they reposting because if they are, the algorithm gets hot and sweaty and says: “We’re gonna show it to more people!” The better and more authentic your stories are to your tribe, the more they will be seen by them and others and the more engagement you’ll get.
Let me give you a personal example.
Our principal social media platforms are Facebook and Instagram and on each of them, we’ve built a following through storytelling, unique captioning and images. Our followers respond to what is posted and they share our content. We are always hyper-focused on being consistent with our storytelling. In fact, there is seldom a day that goes by that we don’t post something on the top 2 platforms.
On Facebook we connect with close to 40,000, on Instagram, it’s close to 6,000 and on our subscribers’ list we have about 4, 000 followers. These are solid numbers, I am proud of what we have accomplished in three years but they are not by any means massive numbers and we’re fine with that.
"...my number one concern is loyalty, not popularity."
Here’s the thing you should know about the Forward Forty brand. From the outset when the first  FF community was started on Facebook, (Instagram came two years later) our number one concern was building loyalty, not growing popularity. We wanted through the stories and posts we shared to build a cadre of awesome loyalists who would stick with the brand, who would be inspired by our posts, who would tell their friends about the stories we shared.
Three years later, as we get ready to launch Forward Forty Digital in two phases, the goal is still not popularity,  its profitability. The intention is to serve our followers and loyalists in a highly profitable way that is meaningful to them and the things they care about. In turn, they will amp up our business, hopefully; support our products and in the long-term drive our profitability ratio numbers up year after year. Why are we betting on this? It’s simple. We’ve been able to discern through authentic storytelling, the things that matter to our tribe and what will add value to their lives.
So If you had to choose popularity over profitability (yes you can have both, of course, that’s the ultimate goal), choose profitability and serving your niche in a targeted way, in a way that matters to them.
"Listen up please! Likes won't pay your bills. Neither will other people's opinions of you, for that matters."
If you’re growing an online presence with the purpose of selling your gifts and talents with the world then focus on growing your brand through authentic storytelling. The right content, the right stories will get you traction. Oh, and the right mindset too. Every single morning, you have to tell yourself with a deep and utter belief that you belong; you belong on Instagram and on Facebook as the leading voice of your brand. Know that your voice matters that you’re on these platforms not just to occupy a seat at the social media table and to make a real difference to the people you inspire.  No matter what your numbers and no matter what your growth, you’re as powerful as the rest of them.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Judette Coward

A fierce entrepreneur always in high heels, I’m a producer, writer, entrepreneur, educator, digital strategist, and all-around #bossbabe. I dream, do, think and create and joyfully share my offerings with the world
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4 Comments. Leave new

thanks judette and team!
I needed that shot in the social media arm

Forward Forty
June 2, 2019 3:24 pm

Those shots are necessary and we’re happy the insights are getting you to see or think about things differently

EXCELLENT Article judette. Am so glad that you laId it on the table. Likes do not matter. Relational content leads to Engagement abd that’s what matters

Forward Forty
June 2, 2019 3:23 pm

Yes I agree, we get caught up in the likes but my belief is that engagement is the most important thing and if you’re measuring between 1.6 -3.8 per cent conversion /engagement then you’re doing fine, regardless of the likes.

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Judette Coward

A fierce entrepreneur always in high heels, I’m a producer, writer, entrepreneur, educator, digital strategist, and all-around #bossbabe. I dream, do, think and create and joyfully share my offerings with the world

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