A successful social media strategy shouldn’t just be focused on numbers as results

It’s easy for a small business to rely only on the amount of likes or followers their social media properties have as an indicator of how effective their social media strategy is. But as anyone who has dabbled in increasing their numbers through quick and easy methods will know, the numbers don’t always translate to sales.

There are many ways to increase your follower and like numbers, whether through like-gates on your website, or by purchasing advertising on Facebook or Twitter to get your posts and pages more exposure. Although these methods will work in increasing your apparent user base, you might find yourself not seeing the numbers translate into interaction and traffic.

Why is that?

Using like-gates, as an example, a user on a landing page is forced to like a Facebook page in order to qualify for a contest or sweepstakes. It may seem like you’re hitting two birds with one stone: they are entering your contest, and also following your page on Facebook. Easy win-win situation, right? Well not entirely.

A user whose main purpose for liking your page is for a chance to win a prize is not thinking of your Facebook page as a place where they can learn about and engage with your business. They are only liking your page because they have to. And based on their number of friends on the platform, your posts will most likely get buried within days of them liking your page.

Where organic growth comes in

Having a focused social media strategy means knowing what, how, and why you are using your platforms. For most businesses, social media profiles act as both direct channels to their customers, and also as an outreach tool on their promotional, sales and product announcements. You can gather important data on how users respond to your services or products, announcements and promotions. And in turn, you can adjust your strategy to match their needs.

In order to really use social media platforms to their full extent, your focus should be on growing your user base organically. Don’t just focus on the amount of likes and followers you can gather through paid advertising or giveaways. What’s more important is the amount of post likes and shares, comments and reviews you receive. Your focus should be on providing a platform that is rich and active, where users can feel they can interact with your brand or business. This means rethinking how you capture your users, how you engage them, and how you want them to interact with you – all key components of a solid social media strategy.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Jason Howie – social media apps CC BY 2.0