Almost everyone who is trying to grow a business by using social networks asks the question:
How do I get more followers? Why do other posts always seem to get more likes than mine?
This is one of the biggest misunderstandings by those who do business on the net. Everyone seems is thinking that success depends on a growing number of followers and likes.
Unfortunately is not so easy.
Becoming a follower and clicking on a like button are actions that just take a little time and with the amount of material that appears every minute on social network streams people may like something that will, in all likelihood, be quickly forgotten. For this reason social networks like Facebook are creating complicated rules of reach for posts. No-one will want to see hundreds of posts from hundreds of contacts that never stop and are updated every minute. An Algorithm is needed to introduce order in chaos.
Knowing this, social media marketing should be targeting engagement and awareness rather than being concerned about likes and followers. It is no good saying that My competitor’s business page has less likes and followers than mine. I won. If he sells more than you, you are the one that’s losing. You are competing in the wrong way, wasting energy on something that will never give you results. Numbers alone mean nothing. You need to understand the reasons for following and the likes. You don‘t need 1’000’000 followers that like you one time and forget you. if you can engage and keep 1% interested then you are doing well, but it is very important that you keep them engaged.
Let me tell you a story
Two years ago I saw a brand of electronic cigarettes posting tons of daily jokes (about everything, not just smoke) on their Facebook official page to increase their followers and likes. This approach worked in increasing the likes and followers, but the traffic from social media to their site was very low. People just enjoyed reading the jokes. Every time they posted something pertinent to their business the response was very much lower.
A like and/or a follow can mean nothing or everything. Any posts must have a connection to the business, jokey or not. You can introduce humor into your posts, make them interesting and a good read but always remember you are trying to market a product and also trying to encourage the followers and those who like to return for your product/service not only for your jokes.
Introducing Sentiment Analysis
Many social media marketing specialists understand this problem and use another way to track results on social media. Sentiment Analysis Is not about how many likes you get but what people think and feel about you, your stuff and the topics you post. There are tools that can analyze social networks and try to understand what communities feel about a specific topic. For example, I can search what people think about a famous brand and a tool will find many posts with terms like cool, amazing, good, satisfied, etc. So, in this case, the sentiment is positive.
This kind of analysis makes market research much easier and cheaper than phone polls and focus groups. This is still limited by language and how people actually write. So many people use slang and others make errors and mistakes that can make the tool virtually “blind”.
Sentiment Analysis can also be done with other easier tools such as quick actions buttons. These buttons, like, favorite and share, are specific but can’t explain the reason that makes someone like something. Some social networks and websites allow you to express wider and more varied emotions in a more complete way using not only like or dislike but others such as enjoyed, detested, loved and hated, similar in many ways to those used by some forums and communities for many years.
It is likely that a way to express more valid emotions than just a like will become a trend in the future. Mark Zuckerberg said that in the future Facebook will probably include other ways for users to express emotions. These features will make users more satisfied (people on Facebook have been asking for a “dislike” button from the very first day that the “like” one was introduced). This should make Sentiment Analysis easier and not limited to language, slang or grammatical errors.