It’s no secret I want to kill social media. I consider 72.3% of it a cocktail party with no end and even less point. Yet the remaining percentage has some viability for business. The more we experiment, the more we throw out the useless, the more I see a twinkle of marketing light at the end of the tunnel.

No need to send the “But you’re a caveman” argument my way; service businesses rank barely above funeral homes and municipal services in the number of Facebook Likes. True. So this ain’t about fixing me. It’s about finding a fix for the losers who are selling you this current crock that social media is the answer to your marketing ills. Hardly. It is the answer to their marketing ills.

A past coaching call with Sheila Lathan of Snappy Social Media showed a path that has worked for us and our clients. In another, we found intelligence and strategy in the approach from Brian Kraff of Market Hardware. Those traits are mystifyingly lacking in most other presentations.

Yet, as the formula continues to change and we continue to throw money and brain cells at the answer, I mentioned we were experimenting with:

  • Facebook ads. Yeah, I know social media is all about peace, love and understanding but somebody mentioned “ad revenue” in a meeting and Mark Zuckerberg clearly liked it. Though I would personally like to torture him for lowering the collective IQ of those addicted to Facebook, our ad experiment increased Likes from 104 to 822 in 21 days. A 790% increase.
  • Bribery. Oh, whatever. There are groups out there who you can pay to generate Likes. Sure, it sounds like digital prostitution to me, too, so I didn’t go that route. Then my son discovered a way (actually rediscovered an old principle forged anew) to earn Likes and Shares that is deceptively simple and astoundingly effective.

He was doing it the old way that everybody tells you to do. Very slow, gaining single-digit additions after each effort. He then made one change and fans went up 344%.

My son, Davis, is in a band. Before you get the idea he’s living in my basement drinking bong water and piercing himself for entertainment, he received a full scholarship to the University of Alabama and remembers to bathe almost daily. Yet he loves music and his band is actually pretty good.

A while back, they got pretty serious about making music and started writing songs. They pooled together some of their money and recorded four songs in a real studio. Not easy, not fast and not cheap, but a differentiator from 90% of the other attempts. Where’ve you heard that before?

He and his bandmates are tech savvy and naturally looked to Facebook to promote their music. So they created a page and told their close friends about the page. This amounted to 27 Likes in about four months; not very much. And it nearly stopped. Fast out of the gate, then nothing, like most every contractor out there.

They kept hearing about all these mega-successes but couldn’t break through. The power of social media hadn’t fully come into play.

Then a tip he came across mentioned that instead of giving away content to anybody who tripped over the page…


Like content to get content

Yes. Have users Like the content to get the content. Let that soak in for a second. Dwell on it.

A simple post on Davis’ personal profile that had a link to their music, but required a Like to hear it, led to 30 Likes in one night. The band had 154 unique visitors to its website. This generated 51 unique listeners to its songs. The snowball process has continued with periodic links to the Facebook page.

The band now has up to 120 Likes in less than one month, which is a 344% increase over the previous 27. Fans are spreading across the United States and in Great Britain. (How could this have happened pre-Internet? Answer: It couldn’t.)

What he did was parallel to:

  • Free energy survey; appointment (Like) before purchase.
  • Discount certificate/gift/bonus with purchase.
  • Free enewsletter for email address. (Squeeze page concept.)
  • Free contractor video offered on Facebook. (Requires email address.)

See? Same principle. Networking is a powerful tool. No two networks are the same. The more you share your links through social media, the more people will see them.

Just know that, according to Facebook analytics, Davis’ 120 fans had over 57,000 friends. That’s 57,000 people who are just waiting to be approached. Maybe they like music. So let’s consider a much larger audience …

Rumor has it that many people on Facebook enjoy clean water and have indoor plumbing. Maybe I can like social media after all.