StartUp Tip #16: Likes are not sales


Just because people liked or retweeted your event or business on social media doesn’t mean they will buy from you.

The internet has given us the ability to find and connect with people more easily. It has given people the power to scale or spread ideas to anyone, be it small business or a social movement.

Social media should not replace your face-to-face, deep relationships with your potential customers.

“Likes” don’t pay the bill, sales do.

Trust is not formed through a screen, it is formed across a table.

Just as money was developed to help expedite and simplify transactions by allowing payment to be rendered without barter, we often use the internet as a means to expedite and simplify communication and the relationships we build.

Just as money can’t buy love, the internet can’t buy deep, trusting relationships.

We can get bursts of good feeling when people “like” our pictures, pages or posts or when we watch ourselves go up in rankings [people love being ranked]

The feelings of admiration we get from virtual “likes” or the number of followers we have is not like the feelings of admiration we get from our children, or that a coach gets from their players. It is simply a public display of “like” with no sacrifice required, a new kind of status symbol, if you will.

Put simply, though the love may feel real, the relationship is still virtual. That good feeling ends when people log-off.

In order to get sales, the virtual relationships become real when we meet face-to-face.

No matter how great social media is, it is not as effective for building strong business bonds of trust as real human contact is.

Numbers of people are not people, they are numbers.

For social animals like us, nothing can replace face-to-face meetings.

A live concert is better than DVD and going to a soccer match between Chief and Pirates at Soccer City beats watching on TV, even though the view is better on television.

A business trip trumps a video conference.

It takes a handshake to bind humans, and no technology yet can replace that.

There is no such a thing as virtual trust.


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