Recently I had lunch with a friend, let’s call him Jim, who is also a business owner. We were discussing digital marketing and how Jim can leverage his website to generate more leads for his sales team. This is really too large a topic to hold just over lunch, but I suggested social media as a viable marketing channel.
I explained to Jim that he can leverage existing customer lists, current website traffic, lookalike model audiences and finally page fans. This brought up a topic that consumed the rest of our lunch and something I’ve been trying to define for some time now:
What is the real value of a Facebook follower?
When social media was in its infancy, a “like” seemed to be associated with credibility. If your brand had 100K followers, you seemed pretty legit… I mean, if 100K people knew you well enough and liked you enough to “like” your page, then you probably offer value and can be trusted. That’s really where a “like” began to gain value and a wave of marketers began to sell a services along the lines of “we can get you thousands of followers overnight!”
GREAT, sign me up.
Then people began to ask, who are these people following me anyways? Much to their demise, they realized a majority of these people aren’t even real. Fake followers = wasted marketing dollars. You cannot simply buy a following. That’s not how long term businesses are built. It’s counter intuitive to the meaning of a “following”. A following should be people who know you. Valuable customers visit your website and like what they see, hear you talk, buy your product and recommend it to their friends. Slowly your following grows and as you continue to deliver value this following gains strength.
This is where the value of a “like” lives. A “like” is a consumer touch point.
Similar to an email address, once you have a “like” you can talk directly to your followers. You have an opportunity to put news and information about your business and the value you offer in front of your followers directly. You are able to ask for feedback and engagement. You are able to let them know your holiday hours. You are able to give your best customers a special offer. You can pre-lease a new product and generate pre-orders. Your customers gave you permission by following your page. They want to hear from you. This is the value of a “like”.
Gaining a following is a valuable strategy to growing your online presence and growing not only your repeat customer base but also prospecting new customers through creative Facebook audience leveraging. For example, if you have a customer email list and a Facebook page, you should drive your existing customers to follow your page and continue to interact with your brand. At my company, Go Direct Lead Generation, our team is working with numerous businesses to drive follower growth, leads, email sign-ups and sales through existing followings and proving value to “likes”.
I’d love to hear your experiences with page followers and how you talk to your community. Leave a comment below with you’re experience and questions!
If you’re interested in talking more about social followings or how to gain and leverage a following with content and paid advertising, reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.godirectleadgen.com.