Likes and Viral Visibility

Let me bring you in on something I’m thinking about, that I haven’t really formulated an opinion about.

When you post something on a brand page on Facebook, you get to see (if you’re an admin) the number of people who have been exposed to your post, and the percentage of your fan base that saw it.

If one of your followers clicks “Like” on that post, your stats will go up.  That’s because it will show up on some of that person’s friends’ news feeds that they “liked” your post.

That increases your visibility.  It also exposes your post to people who are not your followers.

Because “birds of a feather flock together,” this might be a good thing for you.  You might run into people who are fans of your brand, but haven’t decided to follow you on Facebook … yet.

Here’s one thing I’ve noticed from this data.  Our fans are certainly not all created equal.  When some people with only a few friends … or who are not very active on Facebook … “like” one of our posts, it goes a little bit viral and adds only a little extra visibility.  However, if someone who has a lot of friends and is active on Facebook “likes” one of your posts, it can add an extra few dozen viewings.  This seems to work especially with people who have a good social media personality … those folks who tend to post fun, interesting things and aren’t overly controversial or polarizing.  That’s my first impression, anyway.

So, ideally, the people we want “liking” our posts are those people who are potentially the most powerful social ambassadors.

Unfortunately, I don’t really know if it’s a good idea to create Facebook content just to get your fans to “like” your posts.  My guess is that if you just went in search of “likes,” you might end up getting off-track from your strategic goals (you know, the specific reasons you’re doing social media).

I also don’t know if you can target your most socially active, fun fans without leaving out the rest of your followers.  Your social media is already attracting your biggest brand users; if you do a good job communicating with all those folks, whether they “like” your posts or not, you’ve gotten something important done!  You don’t want your social media getting so inbred that you unconsciously do something to tell some of your heavy listeners, “Ehhh, you’re not active enough.”

Ultimately, the goal is to get ratings, revenue, web hits, and other things we’re measured on.  No one’s about to write a bonus check for Facebook engagement.  Yet.

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear what you think.  Feel free to comment below, or on the Chris Miller Digital Facebook page.

Got a question for me?  Let’s talk.


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