Have you ever played that game, “Would You Rather?” Two choices are presented to you, usually of a similarly difficult nature, and you are supposed to decide which you would prefer. For example, “Would you rather die in a tornado or a hurricane?” Social media presents this challenge to the business owner every day – two difficult choices. How you respond to them in action, not just in your published motto, can make or break your social media marketing.
“Would you rather build a business on authenticity or gimmicks?” Through social media, the business leader has the opportunity to build a solid foundation of leadership, accountability, value-driven products, and interactive behavior. However, this can cost time, money, or both. Gimmicks are a bit cheaper and get results faster, but they are far more volatile. They may or may not work in the long run, and they may or may not draw the audience the business leader plans for them to draw.
What does this look like? Did you know that you can buy Fans on Facebook or Followers on Twitter? There are service providers that let you pay them to build your following overnight, literally. As an experiment, we did this on one occasion for a “test account” to see what the results would be. On Facebook, the brand page increased its Fans by more than 500 in a 24-hour period. On Twitter, it took 48 hours, but the Follower count rose by 200. However, this gimmick produced no Retweets, no Mentions, no Shares, no Likes, no Comments, etc. over the following three weeks. In other words, these mysterious brand new Fans/Followers were completely disengaged and had nothing to say.
There are other examples – running a contest for a trendy gadget that draws Fans/Followers who only want the prize, and don’t want to know anything about your business, taking an article that you’ve written and running it through content “spinners” to generate multiple versions of the same material so that it looks like you’ve written 20 articles instead of one, and the list goes on. Business owners and marketers need to play the “would you rather” game on a daily basis. With every marketing campaign or social media posting strategy, they must consider the long-term gains before they begin. Are all Fans/Followers equal? Probably not!
Consider your goals carefully before determining what approach you would rather take with your social media!