Social Media for Business: Social proof or a feast for the ego?

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I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the continued role of social media in the evolution of my business and how, sadly enough, it’s truly become a major part of almost every day of my life.When you’re using social media as your business you still really enjoy receiving the likes, the shares and the comments –

When you’re using social media as your business you still really enjoy receiving the likes, the shares and the comments – because on a visceral level, it feels great. Just like when you post something from your personal account, it’s the same little spike of joy delivered from seeing those little red notifications. 

I know that Facebook marketing works and I know that having a presence across other platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat can only be beneficial for the business – for this thing I’ve been told is ‘social proof’.

I know that posting on these platforms is all about giving value, providing my audience with something they can use in their business that’s beneficial or something that is entertaining/engaging. 

I know that I should do all this with the regular monotony of Glen McGrath hammering an off stump line (you’re all fans of Test Cricket I assume).

I also know that every time I post something I believe everyone who see’s it should stop what they’re doing and believe all their Christmas’ have come at once. 

I know I shouldn’t invest emotionally in the number of likes a post gets or expect some kind of wonderful swell of appreciation to wrap me up in a big, warm digital hug.

I know this is a logical game, to be played with a surgical approach to the numbers.

I know the business man inside me is fighting the creative man inside me. This is a confusing and curious cocktail.

I know the emotions are fighting a winning battle against my more logical inclinations.

So what I’m trying to work out is how do we separate the ego (the glutton that feasts on notifications just like Ricky Ponting on anything short of a length) from the clinical precision of a logical business brain – when it comes to social media?

How many hashtags is enough to gain the correct amount of likes that’ll be beneficial for the business?

Perhaps a more pertinent question is this: do we chase likes and attention on our business posts for the logical reason of ‘social proof’ or do we do it because we’re satisfying the ego? 

For me it’s both of these things, those that deny that getting this kind of attention feels like slipping into a fresh pair of socks is either lying or they’ve never used social media in their lives.

When you’re seeing the posts of a business on social media, do you pay attention to how many likes they get? If you do, do you think this changes the way you perceive and/or interact with this business? Do you leap from Facebook to LinkedIn to Instagram checking if they’re getting enough likes before you decide to buy from them? Or is it a matter of perception? The more likes a business gets, the more trustworthy, the better the quality and the better chance of getting what you want?

I think it absolutely plays a role, however, ultimately if you offer a shitty service or you’re a pain the arse that nobody wants to work with – then these likes are completely redundant.

All the social proof in the world isn’t going to make you a better business person or a more consummate professional -especially in a world in which ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ can be purchased and harvested from online farms

At this point I should admit something, I use my various business pages to like the posts of my other business pages – the social media equivalent of laughing at your own jokes while everyone else shuffles their feet awkwardly searching for something else to talk about it.

Why do I do this?

Perhaps for social proof. Perhaps to feed the ego. Perhaps to have some kind of deranged level of control over perception. To avoid the perceived ignominy of putting a piece of content out there with zero likes and/or interaction from anyone or anything.

A post looks naked without the likes, comments and shares sprinkled below to adorn it.

Not a fit, taught and desirable form of naked either, this is the overweight middle-aged man, kind of naked…the kind that looks bad from every angle.

Perhaps the likes are there to cloak the shame?

This has gone down a weird path here, anyway, you understand the point I’m making.

I don’t have the answers and maybe I shouldn’t need any.

I’m looking to better understand how we use social media both as people and as businesses, so these things are insanely interesting to me – if you’re still reading – maybe you find them interesting as well.

I find the process of creating content completely thrilling and floating it out onto the uncertain waters of social media is just as fun. Perhaps receiving the validation of my peers is what keeps me wanting to get better and to keep producing more and more content?

Anyway, if you haven’t already I’m going to need you to like, comment and share this post so that I get my little fix of digitalised dopamine.

This business man and first-class narcissist is going to await the glory of this most profound of blogs to sink into the masses.

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