Mythbusters, social media edition: Myth #3 – The customers who like you are your friends

Thanks again for your feedback to the first two myths – that you HAVE to post in the space every single day and The more Likes (or Shares) you get, the better.  Obviously there are more myths out there that need to be busted … which leads me to myth #3.

Myth #3: The customers who like you are your friends.

Perhaps it was just the word chosen by Facebook.  Perhaps it was the fact that Facebook started as a true social network between people and now has been hijacked and used by businesses to speak to those same people.

Regardless of how we ended up here, the reality is that people who connect with your business through social media are often viewed as your ‘friends’.  And why not?  They actually ‘Liked’ you in order to start a connection with you.

But they’re not your friends – and there are three reasons why they aren’t.

Three reasons they’re not your friends

1. They probably didn’t Like you because you were you.

The prime reasons why people Like you in business are simple … discounts.  They want access to exclusive things, prices, products or services.  There was something in if for them, pure and simple.

Add to that the fact that 10% of people seem to Like Liking. They instinctively connect not because you’re you… they instinctively connect because they’re them. They’re Like Collectors.

2. Because they’re not interested in hearing your story, they just want to know what you can do for them.

When you view online communication through the eyes of a customer, it’s not a surprise to learn that the least visited pages on a corporate web site are About Us and Our History.  I hate to break it to you, but they’re not interested in you.  They don’t really care that you first started business in 1750, they just want to know that your product or service works for them at the right price.

3. Because when they head to Facebook to see what their ‘friends’ are up to, they skim over your posts

Think of your own social media usage.  When you head to Facebook, do you go there to find out what your local businesses are up to … or to see whether Karen has had the baby?  Do you go there to read an inspirational quote from your accountant … or to see whether Gary got the job?

As a business, we are interrupting our customers while they are doing something else.  So the question to ask is … what are we saying that’s worth the interruption?

How this impacts on your communication

Once you realise that your customers aren’t your friends, it actually helps you produce better content in the social media space.  You don’t post as if you are their best mate – or post things that they genuinely aren’t interested in.  You will focus on the reasons they joined you as a ‘friend’ – the fact that they get discounts, extra benefits beyond the usual customer, advice or connections with other services.

Focussing on this will automatically have you producing better content.  In fact, when we’ve worked wtih clients, focussing on this one thing increases engagement almost by default.  If you’d like some help rethinking your contnet through the lens of why people connect with you, let us know.  We’ll be pleased to speak to you.

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