I really like this piece discussing our obsession with likes. Not just because these guys know what they’re talking about but because it highlights the biggest problem of all in social media:
Brands are having to engage in meaningful dialogue with hundreds of thousands of unique individuals who they’ve spent years trying to box, a process which make sense only to the business, not the consumer they are boxing.
I frequently discussed this problem with clients using the analogy of trying to make friends in a room full of strangers. The smart networker uses questions and listens to others, to understand what common ground may form the basis for a common connection or shared opinion, point of view ir even interest, however small it may be. This “spark” immediately closens the relationship and means, quite simply that two strangers have something in common or understand each other better.
Were so way off I suspect, being able to have this conversation on a one-to-thousands basis regularly, but there is no excuse for begging for engagement because you’re trying to game Edgerank.
Edgerank is its own worst enemy
The problem with metrics is that as marketers scramble to justify why they should engage in social channels, they hang on to whatever metrics they can get hold of to show an impact – edgerank being one of them. Picking the wrong metrics-aside from the hundreds available, the focus on improving your Edgerank score causes brand to act even further out of “normal” conversational context than they perhaps were doing already. “Like this if you agree…leave a comment if you don’t…clicking like prevents global warming…etc.” are now the scourge of our timelines, and it’s little surprise that Facebook sees, as consumers do, that this is nothing short of spam for social networks.
The Facebook for Business report, in March 2012, estimated that even back then (pre-timeline), only 16% of posts were seen by audiences and that’s before most brands had even heard of, let alone began using and measuring edgerank “optimisation” techniques. It’s no surprise therefore, that since March, this figure has dropped to 10%.
Content really is King
It’s a terrible cliché, but your objective must be to find that common ground upon which you can converse with consumers. Only then can you begin to deliver a social content and experience that matches both consumer lifestyles and expectations (or perhaps even a real-world, immersive retail experience).