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Monday 15th April 2024

You Don’t Need to Go Viral (and You Don’t Really Need Many Comments or Likes, Either!)

Mon 26th Feb 2024
By Todd
Content Marketing, Social Media

Struggling for reach? Annoyed at the lack of likes on that piece of content you spent ages thinking about and writing? I’ve got some good news for you. It doesn’t matter. The people who buy from your business aren’t always the ones lighting up the comments.  

Let me explain… 

You Don’t Need to Go Viral (and You Don’t Really Need Many Comments or Likes, Either!) 

The Silent Majority 

We promoted an event recently. We used social media heavily for this promotion. We took our own advice and shared it until we were bored of sharing, then shared a bit more.  

To get even a smidge of interest in the timelines we didn’t really post the link but instead opted to get people who wanted it to ask for it.  

There were two very good (and proven) reasons to do this, but it might well have cost us sales (more on that in a bit!).   

The reason for doing this type of promotion – which meant talking about the event and all the benefits, and who it was for, and then asking interested people to “comment below” – was based on this understanding: 

  1. Posting links on social media posts diminishes the reach of that post as social media platforms don’t give you much love for pushing people away from their space, for free, with a link. 
  2. By asking people to comment we increased the engagement and thus the reach of the post and got the posts about our events out to a wider audience. More comments = more reach.  

But here’s why we might have left money on the table 

Many of the people who booked a ticket did so without “outing” themselves on social media. Admitting that you need help with content creation (our last workshop) might not seem like a tough thing to do, but for many, they simply won’t publicly admit a failing. (Would publicly announcing that I’m buying from you be the same? If so, think about the best ways to overcome that shyness.) 

No, many of the people who booked did so in silence. Most of the bookings came via 121s in conversations at networking, on calls, or chatting about other stuff. A lot of the bookings came from emails, too. People open emails, on their own, and book it. No drama.  

They all knew about the event as the social media ‘noise’ was fairly loud for our followers. So, I don’t regret the way we marketed it. We had to hide the link to avoid being hidden by the platforms and we created engagement which created more awareness. Overall, the marketing worked.  

But had we chosen to share the link on social media (maybe in paid ads) then we might have seen more of the silent folk book on. They simply know the event is for them, and they book it. No ceremony, no comments, no “Can you send me some more info”. No, those who want it, buy it.  

Do you comment on ads or just buy the damn thing? 

Think about it, you do this too, right? You see a post, an ad, a promotion, and you think “this is for me!”.  

Do you: 

  1. Comment on the post and announce you’re in love with the idea and are literally adding it to your basket right now 
  1. Or do you simply add to cart, check out, and look forward to your purchase?  

I highly suspect that you, like most people, just buy the damn thing. When you want it and you can buy it, why wouldn’t you? 

A lack of likes doesn’t equal a lack of interest 

Judging a post or campaign on the data alone is a terrible strategy and will always convince you to stop social media, blogs, videos, emails, and podcasts. Those who like are often just those who are scrolling and want to engage in content; not always the ones who buy.  

Don’t just focus on the engagement on a post, if we did that, we’d have missed landing one of our favourite and largest clients!  

A few months ago we landed a new client (yay) and they were perfectly on profile and interesting (double yay!).   

Why did they buy from us? Something I posted on my personal Facebook (months before), that wasn’t even a sales post, caught their attention and made them think.  

Did they comment? No.  

Did they reach out there and then? No.  

Did I have any idea they existed? No.   

Did that post look like an embarrassing piece of content with likes from people who didn’t have a business let alone a need for a content agency? Yes!  

Judging that post on data would mean we called it a dud and never repeated it. Knowing it converted a client months later keeps me sharing that type of content. Content like this, actually.  

Measure your pipeline, not your ‘insights’ 

We love a good report. We create them for clients. We actually like data. Sometimes it’s all you have to go on.  

But we also like the ‘real world’.  

When we meet with clients who we run PPC for, we’re more keen to hear from their sales people and the business owners about the success of the campaign than sharing the results dashboard we have on our side. We want to hear what actually happened, and what impact it had, and that’s what you should care about, too.   

With all the metrics in front of us it can be easy to forget to track the leads, the sales, and the new clients or customers. Ask them why they bought or what they saw that intrigued them. And yes, they may give you an answer, but you also need to bear in mind that a) they may not remember b) they may lie and/or c) it’s probably going to involve a combination of lots of marketing activity rather than one touchpoint. 

Let’s think about recruitment… 

We run a recruitment ad with the usual Spaghetti style; aimed at repelling the majority and attracting the only the right people to apply. When someone does get through our process and we meet them on Zoom, we ask them what led them to apply.  

We hear so often it’s the way the ad for the job was written 

But I have ZERO data from Indeed to support this. If I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t know that the quirky intro to our ad and the way we present ourselves is what’s bringing in our ideal candidates.  

The actions you really should care about are the end results, not the likes, shares or comments 

I bet you use social media like me and everyone else: 

  • You laugh at videos but don’t add a laughing emoji or like. 
  • You nod and agree with a post but don’t agree in the comments. 
  • You see an ad, love the product, and leap right into the cart, quietly, away from the comment and like buttons. 

Most of the good stuff from social media is silent. The people who buy watch and act, the ones who comment all day long sometimes do buy, but in comparison they may not be the area to look at. It’s the DMs and the confirmations of a booking that you need to focus on.

I just posted in our Facebook group and proved my point 

Before I opened this Word doc to create this blog, I shared the news that the early bird offer for our next workshop had 28 minutes left (adding specifics into marketing works, by the way!).   

I shared a screenshot from the ticket site. Dropped a few words on the post and posted it.  

  • 2 sales.

The two people who booked did so right away (from the link in the comments as I had no time to play the “comment below for the link and I’ll DM you” game!) and they NEVER commented.  

Stop tracking the success of your social media from just the metrics. I know that post worked but at the time of writing this it currently has 1 like.  

1 FRICKIN LIKE – in a group owned by a marketing agency?! It looks shit!  

Savage but successful.  

Be consistent. Be patient. And be great at what you do, let them know the benefits you offer, and they will take action. 

Need help creating consistent content that gets attention, sales, and the odd comment or like?  

Contact us (silently without anyone knowing) and we’ll arrange a relaxed chat about the options. 

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