Look through your Facebook News Feed, and you’ll most likely see brand after brand saying the same things.
“Like this if …”
“Share this …”
“What are you doing this weekend?”
Then repeat again.
It’s as though a robot writes every brand’s status updates, but it’s only been programmed with a handful of phrases.
Why is this happening?
There are a couple of reasons. First, social media best practices have shown that you’ll get more Likes and Shares by asking people to like and share your content. And you’ll get more comments by asking questions. So it’s partly evidence based.
Also, following these guidelines to a T allows marketers to defend themselves to the higher-ups.
“Hey, look. We’re doing things the right way. If it’s not working, don’t blame me.”
But here’s the problem. In addition to blindly following these best practices, most marketers are ignoring a much more important aspect of engaging with people online: the quality of the content itself.
Fact: People like awesome stuff. And they like to share it because they get personal satisfaction from spreading cool/informative/helpful/entertaining things to their friends. It makes them feel special.
Think about your own behavior online. I’d be willing to bet that when you see a hilarious video, or an especially interesting article, or a genuinely helpful how-to piece, you automatically get the urge to share it.
It’s like magic.
But when a brand posts so-so content—the kind that isn’t truly informative, cool, funny or helpful, or is simply a blatant piece of advertising—asking for a Like or Share becomes a sad cry for attention.
“Like me, PLEASE!”
Deep down, the brand knows it’s desperation. The audience knows it’s desperation. And ultimately, it doesn’t provide much satisfaction for either of them.
Yes, your crappy piece of content might get a few more Likes this way. But just imagine how many more people would automatically want to Like and share an awesome piece of content you’ve given them.
So now’s the time. Take a step back and rethink your content strategy. Find out what kinds of things your audience is truly interested in, then give it to them. Help them out. Make ‘em laugh. Give them some awesome information they never knew before. And take a little extra time to execute it well.
Your new best practice: Spend less time asking people to like and share your content, and more time creating awesome content people will naturally want to share—without you having to beg for it.