Social media and building likes

I like, you like. I share, you share. I follow, you follow. I pin, you pin. It is a funny online conversation we have going on. But when is a like, or a fan, a good one? And (a marketing question rarely addressed) how many is too many?

From working with clients and being actively part of the social media world, there is this underlying feeling that the more fans you have on social media, the better. However, we need to remember this is only the case if this is your business’s purpose for using social media. For example, if you are an international celebrity, then your purpose for using social media is very likely going to be personal brand awareness. To fulfil this purpose, a large number of fans from all over the world would be desirable.

But what about if you are a small to medium size business? What is your purpose for using social media? It is very likely to increase one or a combination of the following things: website click-through rate, brand understanding and/or brand recognition.

Taking your business’s purpose for using social media and combining it with your realistic target market gives a good indication of how many fans you should have on social media. For example, if you are a small to medium size business that predominantly focuses on a localised target market, aiming to have from 250–1000 fans is likely to be a good measure. Or if you’re a larger business that has a stronger statewide or national strategy, aiming for 1000–10,000 fans may be more plausible.

Keep in mind, a large number of fans for a small to medium size business not only is unrealistic, it actually looks silly too! People will question your fan numbers, which is tantamount to questioning your business.

It is also good to keep in mind that building your fan base organically (unpaid) takes time, but done correctly, it is worth it. If you’re completely new to social media, start yourself off with a 12-month goal; if you’re a social media wiz, maybe make this time frame a little shorter.

In addition, having lots of fans doesn’t always correlate with having a lot of interaction. Interaction, rather than an unrealistically large fan base, is actually the key to having a strong social media presence and achieving your business’s social media goals. Examples of interaction include liking, sharing, commenting and clicking through to your website… all the gems of social media.

So, you’ve decided to take your business into the world of social media (nice!). Before you start posting, tweeting and pinning galore… ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. What is your business’s purpose for using social media?
  2. Who are your target market?
  3. What is your realistic goal for number of fans in X amount of time?

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