Give me quality over quantity

Companies are increasingly using social media as a measurement of their success, determined by their number of ‘fans’. But should businesses succumb to peer pressure by purchasing followers and fans? Rhiannon Downie offers her thoughts… 

When you see your competition sailing ahead of you with ‘likes’ in the hundreds of thousands, it’s easy to panic and take up these shifty offers

On a weekly basis, my email inbox is subjected to desperate pleas from so called ‘social media’ experts claiming they can help me gain 10,000+ new Facebook ‘likes’ (fans) on my business fan page. As someone who is pretty online savvy myself, and often consults for and advises my advertisers on how to utilise social media in the most effective way, I am not duped by this, but many SME’s and larger corporations are.

When you see your competition sailing ahead of you with likes in the hundreds of thousands, and there you are, plodding along with a few hundred, it’s easy to panic and take up these shifty offers. I’ll admit, even I was tempted at the start; however, I believe doing this would be detrimental to your business.

What is important is that your fans, likers, followers – whatever terminology one wishes to use – are genuine. Genuine fans will interact with your brand and/or service directly on your social media pages and will become your company’s natural brand ambassadors. What does matter is interaction. There is absolutely no use in having 20,000 Facebook fans, if 19,000 of those fans are fake and not interacting with your updates; for many, it’s blindingly obvious that the ‘likes’ on your page have been purchased.

According to Cyber PR, the ratio of engaged followers to overall followers really does matter: “If you have a Facebook page with 100,000 ‘likes’ but 2 people talking about the page, Facebook will still look at this page as small in terms of influence and will likely weigh it very poorly in their EdgeRank algorithm, making it far less likely that your page will ever be seen by fans in their News Feed”.

In the space of one year, I have gained over 11,000 genuine likes on my business Facebook page, and my business is extremely niche. How? By simply uploading interesting and informative content, by marketing my Facebook page on my own website, signature, business card, creating exciting competitions, posting informative content, spending a little of my marketing budget on Facebook advertising and so on.

I do believe however, that the key to gaining more genuine likes on your business Facebook page is to put energy into posting something interesting, instead of relying on some dodgy company claiming that the 10,000 fans they are about to sell you are ‘real’. You may need to pay Facebook now and again to boost your postings, as these days less and less people are likely to see them, but it’s better than having lots of fans and zero interaction.

In short, fake Facebook likes will deliver no real value to your business and serve only as vanity figures. It’s quality over quantity for me, always.


Rhiannon Downie is the Founding Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Follow her on Twitter @brideclubme

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