“Like my page!” It’s one of the most common posts on writing groups on Facebook. It seems like every day there are millions upon millions of requests for someone to like a business or Author Page. Here’s the thing though, that doesn’t do anyone any good. Having 1,000 likes is great, but what if none of those people actually like you? Let’s explore what will really help your business grow.
What do I know about this? First, I’m an indie author who has to know about social media. 90% of my marketing is posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There’s not a million dollars in my bank account, but I get a steady stream of royalties. Next, my big freelance gig is as a social media manager. The first and second points are interchangeable, I lead with indie author because well that’s my career and not my job. Lastly, because of my experience with the first two, I was able to literally write the book (Hashtag Your Way to Success) on social media marketing for your business. That’s being shopped to smaller publishers because it needs some love and marketing muscle. Now let’s talk about why like for like and the sick doesn’t actually work.
Since relaunching my Cocoa Exchange business, I have joined many direct sales groups. There was a world of nonsense that I did not expect. Indie authors ask for like for like, but this is 4 times the amount of indie authors on crack. Some of these pages are pretty big. One lady sells Mary Kay and had almost 25k likes. But she’s struggling to make her sales goal for the month. Why?
The people which like her page only did it so that she would like their page. There was no genuine interest from either party. It seems counterintuitive to say that sheer numbers won’t drive up sales, after all, isn’t that what people are taught in school? With social media, you want people that are engaged on your page. The more they like or comment, the likelier you are to get sales.
There’s psychology behind that. Not only does the customer feel like you are their friend (and maybe they are) but they don’t feel like they’re being sold to. Think about when you walk into a store; a salesperson always asks you right away if you need help. You probably shrug them off with an “I’m just looking” and continue on your way. Deeper into the store though, someone else starts talking to you. They ask how your day is going, about something personal. Before you know it, you’re walking out of the store with $100 worth of merchandise. The salesperson didn’t trick you; they engaged with you. That’s what needs to be done on social media.
“But everyone says that numbers will impress companies.” No, they won’t. The amount of engagement will impress companies. You can buy followers to seem like a big shot to these companies, but that won’t mean squat if one release day, your book sells 0 copies or at the end of the month, you haven’t met your sales goal. Even the movie industry has moved away from how many people like a star or a franchise and now focus on how many like each post gets or how many times a video is shared. Because that’s more indicative of how the film will do on opening weekend.
If you genuinely like a product or a page, show your support. But don’t ask the person to also like your page because you liked theirs. All that will do is cause great stress and make you question why a sales goal wasn’t met when you have a lot of likes.