The Numbers Game: Social Media Marketing Playbook

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Don't get caught up playing the numbers game. Quality of followers trump quantity of followers any day of the week. Time to re-strategize!

If you are only concerned with the number of followers your business has on social media, then you’re playing the wrong game. It’s time to toss out that social media marketing playbook and re-strategize.

The Rules of the Game

The online world is consistently redesigning itself to serve up its users with the best content. The games businesses and crooked agencies play in order to create a false hoard-like appearance of followers won’t play out how they expected it to, in the long run. Google, Facebook and others want you to care about what you’re saying, not how many people you’re saying it to.

We already know that Facebook doesn’t show most of your content to the followers you have. According to Facebook in 2012, about 16% of your page’s posts were seen organically by followers. That number has been on the decline in the last year as Facebook looks to increase advertising revenue.

In fact, the only followers that see your business’ posts on a regular basis are the users that actively engage with your content by liking, sharing and commenting. What use is it to have 1,000 followers when only two of them care about what you’re saying?

Related Article: It's Not All About The Likes: Why More Facebook Likes Can Actually Hurt You

What is a Maven?

Have you read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point yet? If not, it’s an absolute must-read for entrepreneurs and marketers. His collection of business tales of how trends progress and fan bases grow is great basis of understanding how good marketing strategies stand the test of time.

In The Tipping Point, Gladwell coins the term “maven.” Someone who is a maven is in-the-know. Everyone has a maven of some sort in your circle of friends and family. That person is usually the person you go to when you need a recommendation. They tend to read a lot and, nowadays, be engrossed in social media.

Why Should You Care?

Gladwell has a funny example in his book about mavens. He asks if you’ve ever noticed that there is a 1-800 number on the back of the soapbox? Who calls a toll-free number to discuss soap? He’ll tell you who... soap mavens; people who really care about soap. The soap company will treat anyone who calls that number like V.I.P. because they know they’ve just come in contact with someone who probably influences other people’s soap-buying decisions.  A soap maven.

This is what your social media program should be doing: Attracting and rewarding mavens

Not all of your customers are going to be fanatical about your business. Even satisfied customers won’t take the two extra seconds it takes to follow you online. And of those who do choose to follow your business on social media, you’ll only engage with them less than 1% of the time according to data collected by SocialBakers.com.

Related Article: Tweeting About Adult Diapers? Nothing's Off Limits in Social Media Marketing

But imagine how exciting your social media presence is to the handful of mavens you attract to your business. If you take your time, create content your mavens like, and reward your followers with humor, contests and special deals; your online maven trap will be set.

Over time, it won’t matter how online platforms rearrange their algorithms, you’ll have a group (large or small) of people who truly care about what you’re doing and they won’t go away. Your online mavens will be your referral source for new business, the people giving you great online reviews and the ones driving new traffic to your website.

Your New Playbook:

  • Study what you’ve posted in the past and report on what kind of content has had the most engagement with your users.
  • Find some of your most engaged users and survey them for content and promotional ideas they’d like to see from your business.
  • Create a new content plan for your business using this new information.
  • Don’t worry about numbers. Care about your mavens.

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