The professional mourner is a historical occupation practiced in near Eastern cultures which started more than 2,000 years ago and is still practiced in some countries. It consists on families paying women to mourn at funerals. Prices vary if you want to include or not tears. Why pay them? These women provide social proof that the deceased was loved.
In Japan, you can hire spouses, best men, relatives, friends, colleagues, boyfriends and girlfriends for parties and public appearances…
How many brands and companies are taking tempting shortcuts to stuff their email database with thousands of irrelevant people, get more Twitter followers and/or increase by thousands their Facebook fans?
What all the examples above have in common is the key phrase “optical illusion” and that they only have impact on once-off events.
Let’s say you are working on developing a sustainable social media strategy to present to your CEO and one of the goals reads: Acquiring 10,000 Facebook fans…
What’s the purpose?
Every time I ask that question, very few professionals are able to answer it specifically. The majority would provide a general answer that consists on “increasing sales and revenue”.
If we go back to the specific “goal” of 10K fans mentioned above, it would look like the idea is to increase reach (In your head: reach = traffic, visits, unique visits, impressions, clicks through, revenue). Yet, when I ask what the purpose in this case, the answer I’m given is about sales and not reach. Stay with me.
Does your company want 10,000 new Facebook fans or 10,000 net new customers acquired through Facebook and/or other platforms? Maybe, you’re simply looking at a target of just 200 more transactions for Q4.
The idea is to use social media as a platform to support your existing business objectives. Coming up with all these amount of followers and fans as main goal will:
- Deviate you from your core company goals
- Tempt you to go for shortcuts to inflate those fans/followers to justify your social media programme
- Frustrate you: Building a community with people that don’t care about your brand and will never buy your products and services, will simply not improve anything at all.
The point is not to avoid fan targets. The point is to first respond to the main objectives and then work out secondary targets (like fan acquisition) from there.
Have you gone through any similar experience when working out your strategy? Please share your thoughts and experiences below