Why You Should Forget About Chasing Likes

May 15
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Having a friend is great. Having lots of friends is better, right? I beg to differ.

Roghan McKerlie

The social media obsession around growing your community of so-called friends and fans has led to the creation and delivery of myriad unsuccessful content campaigns. These social-fails are everywhere.  

Sure, content marketing and social media is not a one-size-fits all approach. If you’re an e-commerce based business you may well believe, and action in your social channels, the traditional principle of the more people I speak to, the better my chances are of making a sale.

But if the genesis of social media is to create an experience that builds trust and engagement with the end goal of a meaningful relationship that converts into a desired action… then surely there’s an equally-powerful reason to be picky about who you connect with.

What Does True Engagement Look Like?

 Think about your own social media experience: is your Twitter timeline or Facebook news-stream increasingly clogged with disinteresting content? How much do you actually engage with?

How many of you have experienced (or run) campaigns with the “Like us on Facebook and win” approach? If we translate that into a social environment, if someone at the bar said to you, “hey, mate, I’ll buy ya a beer if you’ll be me friend!” how would you respond?

Does that mean tertiary education organisations should not aim to grow their networks into the tens of thousands? Absolutely not!

But I pose the question: Is it really helpful to your university’s, say, recruitment goal to have 40,000 fans if 39,000 of them have zero interest in enrolling in your university?

Social Objects

I would caution tertiary organisations against the endless desire for likes. Forget, or at the least, deprioritize likes. A lot of innovative design thinkers have scribed blogs on the concept of ‘social objects’.

The best, and simplest description of social objects I’ve come across is, “for people to SHARE MEANINGFULLY with other people. You’re either creating them or you’re not. And if you’re not, you will fail, end of story,” wrote Gaping Void. 

‘Mass Marketing Content Blanks’

So why do marketing departments, agencies, and social media experts continue to push mass-marketing strategies into a social environment? Moreover, is it the best use of budget to fire-off mass-marketing content blanks without knowing your target audience’s social-object?

So how do you define your audience? How do we give our content the best possible chance of succeeding in its goal? What metrics really count if staff engagement is a key parameter in measuring the pulse of your organisation?

Don’t chase likes… chase leads (and meaningful engagement) is the core concept I’ll be tackling in my upcoming Masterclass on Social Media Engagement in Tertiary Education. I’ll provide you a framework to help define a successful content marketing strategy for your tertiary education organisation.

The next conference in the Social Media in Tertiary Education series will take place in February 2016 – book soon to secure your place!

Social Media in Tertiary Education 2016


Submitted by Roghan McKerlie

Roghan McKerlie

With more than 15 years experience in the fields of content creation and strategy (including print, TV and digital), Roghan is a certified Digital Content Jedi who loves designing relevant narratives to engage your target audience (wherever, whenever and however they want to ingest content).

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