Let me tell you a fairy tale that is not based on statistics, spam, and schemes, but experience. Let us call it “Theory of the group’s success,” although it could easily be called “Theory of the crowd’s failure.”
If I have a company page on Facebook and I want my business to profit from it, then I only need four fans to make that happen:
The first is my loyal customer.
I feel close to them and their opinion of me and my business is important. They will gladly become a part of my Facebook presentation and support it. I thank them for their trust on my Facebook page. I hope that, through Facebook, I will find more loyal customers and friends, such as them. This is one of the goals that make my social media existence worthwile.
The second one is a stranger, unhappy with my brand.
An unhappy customer, whom I don’t know what kind of person they are – I must choose whether this embarrasses me, makes me angry, or motivates me. I decide to pay more attention to them, search for a solution to the problem together. We manage, shoulder by shoulder, to find it! It is great that social networks give me the opportunity to do this. If it wasn’t for Facebook, I would have probably never found out that this person is angry at me. I would have probably never known how many of their friends this person has shared their disappointment of me and my company with. They would have probably all turned against me and I would have felt the negative effect this would have had… but it would have been much later. It is good that I have thought to be on social networks, it is good that I have won one more loyal friend in my former unhappy customer!
The third one is my competitor.
They write under a false name and speak nonsense. They don’t do anything except get in the way and ruin the good atmosphere. My loyal customers and friends attack them – they expose them for who they are and tell them to go away. I did not ask them to do me this favor but they feel obliged to me. And I feel obliged to them. Social networks have brought us together, made us trust each other, overcome the client-seller limits and take a step further. My loyal clients have made my competitor leave my Facebook page. They have put shame on them, showing that their tricks won’t work here. I am glad I managed to win my clients’ trust. This helps me against the ridiculous strikes of the competition.
The fourth one is a complete stranger.
They have come across my company facebook page by pure human curiosity. They have no opinion of me or my firm. They are skeptical, which is understandable, their trust is difficult to win over. The first impression is the most important one, which is why I send them a sample, offering them to test it and share their conclusions on my facebook page. They are touched by this gesture and thank me wholeheartedly. No one else has done such a thing for them and it costs me nothing. Their comment is more important and valuable to me. This is why I am here, on the social network, to understand whether people like my product. I don’t care how many likes my fan page has! I don’t care how many people are there in it! I care about whether they like what I do for a living! This is why I am here!
When I am on social networks, I need to be the one who knows how to solve problems in my professional area. No more, no less. If people know that on the social network they use there is someone to solve their problem, they will turn to that person. And no game, giveaway, or spam campaign is going to change that.
My goal is to make people talk about me! My task is to listen to them!
It doesn’t need to be many of them – the crowd can hardly be listened to. There is no need to bribe them with prizes. I don’t care about their gender, age, family status, education, monthly income. I am interested in their interests. I am interested in their opinion. Everything else is just numbers.