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Social Media Management vs. Social Media Advertising

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I see a lot of misinformation about these topics so I wanted to shed some light on the differences and you can decide what is best for your business. The above picture should give you a preview of where I’m headed with this post.

Do you want more likes or more sales?

Focusing on more sales first can actually get your business more likes (social media growth) over time and they will be of much more value because they are prospective buyers or actual buyers, not just fans. Focusing on social media growth and engagement first doesn’t always lead to more sales.

It just depends on what your priority is.

Social Media Management can be an effective way to leverage your channels of existing followers to take action. 

The action might be to like, heart, share, click on offer, etc. 

To get the most followers to take action on an offer they need to be engaged.  

For them to be engaged, you need to regularly post good content or at least post great content occasionally. 

Being consistent with as much of that as you can does help.

I could go into a much more detailed listing of social media tools and tips, but that is not what this post is about. 

Sometimes the social media account a business has is already so bad with engagement, even the best expert would go another route or start over. 

To keep it simple when I say “Engagement”, I mean likes or hearts on a Facebook / Instagram post.  I am not counting shares or comments, because it’s not going to make this any easier to explain.

Here is an example of a recent audit I did for a business regarding their Facebook page. It had over 83,000 followers / fans. It was a corporate page with hundreds of locations across the US with their own Facebook pages. 

The corporate page of 83,000 got (on average) 15 likes per posting. 

15 out of 83,000!

I saw an article that said in 2019, Facebook reach is probably less than 8% for most pages. That is going to vary depending on the page age, post frequency and quality of the post.

By reach I mean how many of the 83,000 people that like the above page actually see a post and have a chance to like it. 

At a 5% Reach Of 83,000 we get 4,150 people that might see the post. Of those 4,150 only 15 people liked the average post. 

15/4,150 = .003 or approximately 1/3 of a percent. I’ve typically been seeing about 1.5% for most pages, but because this was a large / neglected corporate page 1/3% seems about right. 

If we compare that to one of their local branches Facebook page of 650 followers, they received about 20 likes per posting.

That’s 650 followers at 5% reach = 32 people might see the post and 20 liked. 

That’s a crazy 62.5%!!! 

As mentioned above, the average I have been seeing is about 1.5% so 62.5% is nuts (in a good way). 

They obviously are doing multiple things right, but my main point is that a page with 83,000 followers is getting fewer average likes per post than a page of 650.

Being able to leverage your followers for more likes, shares and comments is something most businesses don’t do. 

The things they are doing will fall under: 

Social Media Management

Although impressive from a stats perspective, I bet you would agree that most businesses need to reach more than 15-20 people to be successful. If only 15-20 people are taking 1-3 seconds to see your post and like it, how many of them will take action and buy from you? 

These fans might be warm, but how can you find hot fans that are ready to take action?

With 15-20 people that just isn’t enough at the front end to convert into sales for more businesses types.  

The growth small businesses have on the traditional social media channels can be a slow one and right about the time you have enough people to actually move the needle (like the corporate page of 83k), the page is neglected and gets less action than one 127th the size. 

What other options do you have? 

That takes us into Social Media Advertising, but before I explain how this can be leveraged, let me tell you why your organic reach on social media might be so low these days (what I mentioned above).

I will leave the long answer for another post, but the short answer revolves around 4 main reasons. 

  1. Businesses have a lot of followers from 3,5,10+ years ago that aren’t interested anymore and didn’t take the time to unlike / unfollow the page
  2. The likes / follows on a page are from abandoned social media accounts 
  3. Facebook has evolved more into a business and encourage basic boosted posts + any number of other ad options they have. 
  4. Not all your followers are online in the timeframe the algorithm allows for a post to show up in their newsfeed 

What does # 3 mean? 

I’m saying that Facebook doesn’t show your posts to all your fans. I’m not saying it’s because they are evil and greedy. 

I love Facebook and what they’ve allowed me to do for my businesses. 

I’m saying that there are lot of factors at play here and it’s easy to see how adding paid reach efforts to your organic ones can multiply growth.

So, when I see a job posting, contract posting, or talk to a business owner that says they need social media management I always wonder if they realize that if people don’t see the posts with the offers, cool content, etc. it doesn’t matter. 

Social Media Management can include paid efforts, but most of the time that’s not how it’s classified. 

It’s classified for someone to post on their accounts of probably thousands of followers to get more likes. 

Better content can be created and posted more frequently, but if people aren’t going to see it because of the 4 points above, then it’s probably not worth the effort unless it’s paired with paid efforts. 

Here’s a best case scenario

I have worked with a business that opened less than 6 months ago so the page is fresh. The followers are fresh and so is the content. 

It’s regular, relevant, cute, fun, entertaining, informative, and high quality.

Even so, the post likes / hearts range from 20-50 per post.  Let’s say an average is 35 likes per post on a page size of 1150 fans, that’s a 3% Engagement.

Seems super low, but it is what it is. 

When I said above that Facebook doesn’t show your posts to all your fans, I was serious. 

This example above is from a crazy fresh page with good content and many other things and they range from 3-6%.

There is no way based on the niche and the businesses following that only 3-6% of them would like a post. 

It’s because not all of them see the posts. 

How many people actually see the posts? 

I’ve taken 5 samples from recent posts to give you an idea. 

Facebook actually tells you the “Reach” and lets you see how many actions you had from that reach.

Post 1

Reach: 603/1150

Likes: 51

51 Likes / 603 People reached 

Engagement of reached followers = 8.4%

Engagement of total followers = 4.4%

Post 2

Reach: 717/1150

Likes: 40

40 Likes / 717 People reached 

Engagement of reached followers = 5.5%

Engagement of total followers = 3.4%

Post 3

Reach: 904/1150

Likes: 64

64 Likes / 603 People reached 

Engagement of reached followers = 7%

Engagement of total followers = 5.5%

Post 4

Reach: 653/1150

Likes: 43

43 Likes / 603 People reached 

Engagement of reached followers = 13.6%

Engagement of total followers = 3.7%

Post 5

Reach: 516/1150

Likes: 68

68 Likes / 603 People reached 

Engagement of reached followers = 13.2%

Engagement of total followers = 5.9%

So now you understand:

How only some of your fans see your posts

Why you aren’t getting many likes on these posts

How even the newest and best managed pages can still struggle for reach and engagement 

You probably guessed what the solution is…..

Social Media Advertising 

Instead of getting hung up on the above explanation of decreasing reach and engagement, let me tell you how that actually helps with our social media advertising efforts. 

That page you have that isn’t moving the needle, but has a lot of posts, fans, reviews…etc., now serves as our social proof. It’s a home base that lets prospective fans and customers know you are a legit company. 

When we run ads to prospective customers, they might click on the name and see you have a large following and it may tell them any friends that also like or recommend the page. 

Now that we have a strong foundation, we can leverage that with paid ads to drive action. 

Social Media advertising is the effort to find more prospective customers through the use of paid reach. Most of the time it’s to reach those that haven’t heard of you, but if the page following is large enough, we can specifically target people that used to be interested in what you have but don’t see posts anymore. 

To see what a social media campaign can do for your business, get in touch.

There are plenty of options to contact me at the top of this page. Book a call or email me. We will do a free Analysis for you.

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