Shitty Statistics

and why you shouldn’t “boost your post to reach more people!”

Maybe it’s just because Math and I are not friends, but I am increasingly skeptical about my social media stats. If working in a corporate space taught me nothing else, it taught me that data is infinitely massageable. Just get your lil asterisk caveat in there and you’re good to go. Like the ads where they claim “91% of women saw a difference in just 14 days”, but if you read the fine print they only asked 36 people. Yeah it’s technically true, but is it an accurate reflection of the product’s benefits? Probably not.

We already know that algorithms are dictating our engagement levels. They are the real influencers. They are why when I googled Garnier earlier to find an example of a shitty statistic, an ad for their BB cream instantly appeared in my fb feed.

Or a more concrete example: this morning I posted a photo of Briggle and Bindi to Instagram, and shared it through to facebook. Here’s the ‘insight’ that Facebook offered me in the first 15 minutes. Call me a cynic, but if nine people have reacted to my post, then surely I’ve reached at least nine people?

Never forget that Facebook wants your money. They use our cookies so advertisers will spend money to ‘reach’ us. They also intentionally limit our organic reach so that we will give them money to ‘boost’ our posts. Just over 2k people like and follow Tinkerbelle the Wobble Dog and a post with only 75 reactions is ‘performing better’ than 85% of my posts?

The truth is that on most cases, boosting your posts is a waste of time and money. I don’t trust their engagement ‘data’, and neither should you. And even if the data is somehow correct, there’s no surefire way to know that you’re reaching the right people.

There are plenty of these kinds of ‘how to’ guides floating around to try and help small businesses hack the algorithm that are kind of useful but ultimately miss the point.

Yes, more engagement is the key to reaching more people. But to reach the right people you need to be creating content that is relevant to them, that makes them feel something, which moves them to engage with you.

Keep your values at the center of what you do, be authentic and don’t be afraid to have fun with your content. Stop worrying about the numbers and start being real. Figure out what your story is and start telling it. And if you’d like a hand with that, you know where I am.

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