Why View Counts Should Mean Nothing to Most Businesses on Social Media

Sharing a Video with Friends

We got word late last week that Twitter was mulling over the idea of publicly displaying the number of views each tweet on the site receives. There was a lot of skepticism surrounding this news, and there’s good reason for it.

Advertisers need that data to gauge the overall effectiveness of ad campaigns. If you’ve ever run an ad on Facebook for your business’s page, you know that the company displays the views–both organic and paid–for each and every post you make.

But once you switch back to your personal account to post a picture or craft a witty status update, you have no idea how many people actually see your posts. The only way to gauge the success of your wit or the cuteness of your cat is through Likes, comments, shares, and the number of click-throughs on trackable links.

Twitter works the same way. Users and non-advertising businesses are left in the dark as to how many people actually saw their tweet. It’s only when someone retweets, replies, favorites, or clicks through to a link that you can prove someone actually read your tweet.

And that’s how things should be.

Local Interaction is the Goal

When you run a small, local business, getting caught up in how many people are viewing your content is easy. After all, we equate big numbers with success by nature.

But when your customer base is limited to your surrounding area, why are you concerned with big numbers? Your main goal as a local business on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus should always be to get the people in your area talking on or about your page. This means throwing the idea of being a viral sensation out the window.

Granted, you want the idea to land at your doorstep once it’s out the window, but don’t spend all of your social media budget on creating an outrageous commercial in the hopes you’ll be on CBS This Morning in a week telling the country the story behind your new internet stardom.

Views Don’t Sell

If views were a currency, there’d be a lot of millionaires. Unfortunately, this is reality, and the only way your business is going to grow is by acquiring customers and making sales.

For instance, if I own a shop that sells dirt bikes and I’m convinced that YouTube views will increase my sales, I’m likely going to recruit someone to film footage at a local track in order to appeal to that audience. Not a terrible idea, but with a limited marketing budget, you’d be better off hiring a professional SEO company to help boost your search rankings. That’s an area of internet marketing that has almost-guaranteed results.

The Bottom Line: Have Priorities

If your business is just starting out, the last thing you need to worry about is views on your social media posts. The value of social media, and internet marketing in general, is in getting your business seen by people in need of your services or those who show interest in similar services.

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