Let Them Go

by Vered DeLeeuw

If you’ve ever ran a wildly successful promotion on Facebook that brought you lots of new fans, especially a gated promotion where you asked that people like your page in order to participate, one of the inevitable results of such a promotion is that eventually, at least some of those new fans are going to depart.

My advice? Let them go. They’re unimportant. Social media is no different than anything else in life – quality is always better than quantity, and what you’re after are quality fans that actually care about your brand, want to become its ambassadors, and are interested in what you have to say.

The fans that came just for the prize and are now departing? That’s fine, and it’s not all bad, because with them, you probably also gained many quality fans. So let the uninterested fans go, and focus on acquiring new , quality fans.

How do you make sure your promotions get you quality fans? You can’t know for sure, but I would say that any promotion where the entry level is very low (just provide your name and email and you win) is pretty much guaranteed to bring you lots of low quality fans. The higher the barrier for entry, the fewer new fans you’ll acquire, but the ones you do acquire will be of higher quality.

The fact that it’s natural to lose Facebook fans does not mean, though, that you need to chase them away. Posting too much is a great way to lose fans, as is posting annoying, uninteresting posts. What is too much? Certainly more than once a day, but for many brands, I wonder if the widely accepted “daily Facebook post” is necessary. Do most fans really want to hear from their brand every single day? I doubt it. I actually think that once or twice a week is ideal, but since the widely accepted industry standard is a daily (at least on weekdays) post, I’m going along with it for most of my clients.

What is an annoying, uninteresting post? On facebook, it’s best to post something visual. A great photo almost always works. Something verbal, especially with lots of text, is usually annoying. Also annoying are brand-centered announcements that the fans really couldn’t care less about such as Facebook milestones (we got to 1000 fans! Yay! – unless of course you offer a promotion to celebrate that); a new website launch (very important to the brand, not that interesting to fans unless the new site has features they might truly benefit from).

When in doubt, remember that what applies to marketing in general, applies to social media marketing too – as marketers, we should always answer the audience’s question, “what’s in it for me?” – if we can’t answer it, we should probably not post it.

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