Focusing on the right likes led me to organically make seven figures
Please stop chasing likes! Today, too many people congratulate themselves for the number of likes a publication gets. They think the more likes, the better. But this isn't entirely true, and if you aren't careful, this way of thinking will lead to your failure and frustration with social media or even burnout. Success is not about getting a like for the sake of collecting likes. Your achievement lies in what each like leads to.
I appreciate likes. I sincerely do. But under no circumstance do I let myself get impressed nor dependent on preferences. Instead, I focus on the quality of the people who like my work. Quality always wins over quantity. I'd much rather have ten good likes than one hundred inferior ones.
Too many good people become derailed by their egos on social media. They boost about their views and likes while doing nothing afterward. Let them continue while I rake in all the clients!
My goal is to build relationships with people who genuinely care about my topics and value my content and quality connections I can collaborate and learn from.
It begins with seeing the true nuances between likes, so you can understand and measure your success, leading to better content instead of getting blind-sighted by popularity.
Likes are not created equally, as I’m about to show you.
I rate the quality of my content based on the quality of the likes I attract. Did I do a good job? I check who commented and then I decide.
1/ Define Your Social Media Goals
Why are you online? What are your social media goals? Most people fall into one of these three categories (and maybe all three):
- Grow an audience and build influence as a personal brand
- Attract clients or build relationships for personal or business reasons
- Consume content for personal and professional reasons
I like to ask people, “Why are you on Linkedin?” to get them thinking about actual social media goals. After all, if you don't have any plans, don't expect good outcomes.
2/ Set Up Your Social Analytics Tools
Next, pick your analytics tools to check your posts. You will usually have both paid and free options for each social platform. Research and choose the one that works best for you and learn how to use them. Analytics tools will verify if we meet the goals that we defined in step one.
My primary platform is Linkedin. I use an analytics tool called Shield app. I am not an affiliate, but I like their product since Linkedin does not provide any built-in tools for personal accounts.
You can define your timeframe and see which posts performed the best. Then you can drill down on any post to understand more detailed data like when people consumed it most, who consumed it, and your engagement rate.
Set up a time each month to review your numbers and benchmark your progress compared to previous months. Are you seeing an upward growth curve? Ask yourself why you see specific results. What have you done this month better or worse than in previous months? How can you make next month even better? Maybe you notice a certain type of post that gets the best results, or a time of the week or a topic. Whatever it is, you can try it again to see if you get a similar performance.
Learn how to use analytics to evaluate your socials. I teach this in my monthly community and my coaching for small business owners, but you can also get training from experts specializing in your chosen platforms or the tool providers themselves. Too often, people using social media regularly don't take the time to learn data science appropriately. That is a mistake. The numbers never lie!
3/ Become an Expert in the Algorithms on Your Favorite Platform
On each social platform, things may seem different, but there are also some global similarities. Almost all platforms measure social engagement with Views/Opens, Likes, and Comments. Take some time to familiarize yourself with your favorite platform's algorithms to better understand how they work.
It is important to learn best practices for higher engagement on each platform you use since a high engagement rate communicates to potential new followers that your profile is worth following. Don't hesitate to take a training course and become more knowledgeable about your main platforms since it will significantly increase your success rates. There is no greater frustration than to use a platform when we don’t know well how it works.
4/ Categorize Your Likes by Quality
Now for the fun part: Let's take a closer look at the five different types of likes, in the order from most to least desirable.
These people discover your content because they follow your expert category. There are many ways you can attract them, such as:
a) Write SEO-optimized copy with titles they will love. Note: I use Quora, Amazon, YouTube, Medium, Facebook Groups, and a few other sources to develop great topic ideas.
b) Use popular hashtags they may be searching for
c) Guest blog for popular publications they follow
d) Collaborate with popular content creators who they already follow
e) Start a media channel of your own around the popular topic so they can discover you. Examples: Your own blog, your own publication, your own podcast, a YouTube channel, set up your own community on platforms like Slack, Discord, Whatsapp, Twitch, Facebook or other places your audience may hang out
These are the highest quality leads because they love the topics you specialize in. Some will become loyal fans of your content and turn into leads, while others will turn out to be supporters. Your goal should be to attract a steady flow of new consumers to your content. You can influence this by all of my above tips as well as being focused and consistent in your content.
2/ Genuine Supporters
Genuine supporters are usually fellow content creators interested in similar topics and hustling online like you. They want to build a relationship with you for mutual benefit. They may be part of a community or association you belong to. Your personal and professional cheerleaders fall into this category too. I call the latter your success team.
3/ Random Likes
These are people who appear once and disappear. It is sad to say this is often not even their fault but the algorithm that decides for them on our compatibility. They determine we aren't in the same geography, age group, industry, or other and based on our usual content preferences and interests; we don't seem like a fit. If you notice someone new liking your post and they seem like a good fit for your target audience, show them some love by liking one of their posts or sending them a DM to thank them for their like on your post.
These are people who are targeting you. They want you to notice, connect with, and hire them. They may want to pitch you, but some of them will convert to supporters or even consumers of your content. They are a mixed bunch. Some may be cool, while others are simply transactional. Get to know them better and then filter out the ones who don’t add value.
5/ The Low-Quality Like
They want attention or to steal your audience or content. Some may be working for your competitors. I just ignore or remove if they start copying my content.
Trolls will give you a reaction, usually not a like, but still some engagement, to hate on your post.
Fake supporters are known as engagement pods. Some are free, while others run communities you have to pay to join.
There are some fake profiles on all social platforms. I have become quite good at spotting them and reporting them. They usually drop links in the comments. Keep an eye on your posts.
This one is mainly for the ladies, although some guys will experience it. They admire you and like to chat with you for personal reasons on any platform they can. They are usually harmless and can often be supporters. Just be wary of direct messages and requests to go to a private messaging app or meet with them.
I will block some of these people above depending on their behavior patterns. Otherwise, I don't pay too much attention to them since I need to focus on the consumers and supporters.
5/ Focus on The High-Quality Likes
For every piece of content you put online, you must plan to spend time engaging with the people who give it some love. Very few people can get away with not doing this. Engaging with likes and comments is essential and led me to make 7 figures on my favorite platform, Linkedin.
- Open your post, article, video, or content piece
2. Click on the Likes button to open the list of who liked it
Note: YouTube won't show you the names of who liked your video, so you'll have to apply my advice to comments instead.
3. Scan the list to classify likes by type
4. Ignore the 4 and 5 types
Exception: Report any comments that contain self-promotion, unnatural links, hate, or inappropriate language.
5. Interact with the first three types of likes
Click on their names to go to their profiles. Check out their bios and their recent posts.
a) If you aren't connected nor following them yet
If they seem like a good fit for your goals, you can send them a personalized connection request. If you decide to do this, make sure to tell them why you want to connect. Bonus points if you first engage with one of their posts beforehand. Such a message may look like this:
Susan, thanks for liking my post on Linkedin tips today. I checked out your profile, and it seems like we have a lot in common. I also work in Marketing, am from San Francisco, and love Linkedin. I love connecting with new, like-minded people. Would you like to join my network? See you soon, Krista.
Note: You don't have to connect with or follow everyone. You can also send non-connections a message to thank them for their engagement.
b) If you are already connected or following them
Leave a comment on one of their posts and send them a direct message to thank them for engaging in your post. Start a conversation. Such a message may look like this:
Susan, thanks for liking my post on Linkedin tips today. How have you been? Sorry for not doing a better job of staying in touch, but I'd like to change that now. What's new in your world? Any exciting work or personal projects on the horizon? Talk to you soon, Krista.
6. Build relationships with your high-quality leads over time by taking the communications off social media and moving the conversations towards your email list.
7. Regularly engage with your lead’s content, if applicable, so their audience sees you. Like-minded people tend to flock together, so their connections liking their posts may notice you and start engaging on your content as well. Use this same technique to see who else they engage with if you can. Not all social platforms show you all their activity but Linkedin does. If they engage on other content similar to yours, leave comments there to get that audience to notice you too.
How Long Does This Strategy Take?
I usually post on my main social platform once every day with Twitter being a couple of times per day. Since I batch-produce my content in advance, my posts are ready to go and don't take much time. My social media activities consist mainly of engaging in others' posts, responding to my posts' likes and comments, and direct messages with people. My time budget for social media is 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
If you struggle with distractions and time management, set a timer. The best timer, in my opinion, is the one of your phone.
Timing is essential since most algorithms look at the engagement rate in the first hour of a post, so if you reply to comments quickly, it will help your reach. This is why I never post and run. Instead, I organize my time to post first then while I’m engaging with others’ posts, I will check my own post to keep up with the comments. This strategy allows me to monitor activity and react to comments in real-time.
Reasons My Likes Strategy Works
- People notice and like attention. They will reciprocate by giving you even more love for your content in the future.
- You are building relationships. Ultimately, all goals lead back to relationships. Good things will come out of this!
- You pre-qualify the likes, so you are more likely to convert them into clients. I learned from spending years performing Business Development for my company that pre-vetting leads increased our sales success.
- You aren't making the mistake of focusing on the wrong people like you could be had you not used this strategy.
- It works since I was able to get hundreds of B2B clients on Linkedin. But I've seen success with my clients who tried it on other platforms too.
Next time you see someone bragging about the number of likes or follows on their content, tell them, “It's not how many likes you have that matters; it's how you use them that counts.” Social media is a fantastic place to grow a dedicated and loyal audience once you understand how.
If you want help with your social media or you are building a brand or business online, I have the perfect program for you. Find out more below.