I was recently asked by a small business owner “Why should I bother posting updates to my Facebook account when I only have a few likes? Should I get more fans before I put all that effort into content?” It’s the proverbial chicken/egg debate, do fans drive content or does content drive fans? The answer to this question is a little easier than the philosophical debates I have had over the years regarding the chicken and egg. It’s an unwavering YES, you should be posting content regularly, regardless of how many fans or followers you have.

To understand why, we must learn about consumer buying cycle.zero-moment-of-truth

  • Stimulus: Interest – Partner advertising: SEM, Email/Text, Marketing, Display, Print Ads, Radio, TV, Loyalty Programs, Deals. 
  • Zero Moment of Truth: Research – Search engines, online reviews, ratings, relevant articles, word of mouth. The business’ reputation is what consumers say it is. 
  • First Moment of Truth: Purchase – In-store experience: talked with salesperson in-store, read product brochure, tried sample product. The decision to purchase is made.
  • Second Moment of Truth: Experience –  Post-purchase phase experience: Facebook post, tweet, write review, discuss with friends, blog. Consumer compares expectations and reality. Becomes next consumers ZMOT. 

Although important to every stage of the buying process, social media marketing plays a major role in the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). In this stage consumers are gathering information on you via search engines, websites, social media profiles reviews and word of mouth. 81% of consumers start their product and service research online before the businesses even know they are a prospect (http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/81-shoppers-conduct-online-research-making-purchase-infographic/208527) . Consumers use your social profiles as a source of information to learn not only about your products and services but about the culture of your company.  If a consumer finds your profile on social media and there is no content, they are less likely to pursue your product or service and highly unlikely to hit the like or follow button. A robust social media account gives the consumer a window into your brand, it lets them build a connection to the brand through stories, pictures, and videos. Posting content to your social media profiles is about engaging with your current audience as much as it is about presenting your brand story to the prospective audience.

5 Reasons people follow brands on social mediaPeople follow companies on social media for many different reasons. Promotions,  product information and customers service but, also for entertaining content. They identify with the culture of the company and want to see what the business has to say. By posting engaging and entertaining content onto your profiles, you encourage the fans you have to like and share, which exposes your content and your company to even more people. If those people like what they see they are more apt to follow your company.