Social Media Marketing Facebook likes

A few years ago I was invited by a friend of mine, who was a crop dusting pilot, to visit them on their farm.

Graham is a very experienced pilot and had flown missionaries, doctors and nurses around the jungles and mountains of Papua New Guinea.

He knew how to fly.

Small planes, big mountains and dangerous weather had honed his skills as an aviator. He had taken those skills into the world of commercial crop dusting.

Crop dusting is a dangerous occupation and requires flying only a few feet off the ground and avoiding power poles, silos and large blunt objects that can kill. Many crop dusting pilots have an exciting career but short lives. Listening to their stories of close encounters and near misses, is enough to make you want that boring desk job or become a chicken plucker.

Too much excitement can be fatal in a career.

The best height to spray chemicals is about 8-9 feet off the ground, but to keep the farmers happy, pilots often have to fly at a height of 5-6 feet (it looks much more impressive, but doesn’t distribute the pesticides properly due to turbulence).

Fly too high and it looks like you are not doing your job. As the farmer is the customer and paying the bills, most pilots fly lower than they should.

But they get paid.

Social media marketing is sometimes a bit like that.

Facebook “likes” is not social media marketing

For many customers and marketers, social media marketing is the sole pursuit of chasing Facebook “likes”. Facebook is the largest social network on the planet (it’s impressive in size and reach with over 1 billion users and counting) and the number of likes your brand page has is visible for all to see.

Bigger is better.

The paying customer is impressed. So no marketer gets sacked for increasing that headline number.

But as Facebook reduces the reach to your fans and pushes you to “pay to promote” your posts then it is becoming less effective. It is moving to, “pay to play“. The truth is that increasingly Facebook is now charging you to reach your fans. Nothing wrong with that… they have to keep the shareholders happy and someone has to pay the bills to keep the lights on.

The reality is that this is only a small part of social media marketing and its power is diminishing fast.

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