Every creator wants more people to consume their content, so you want as many views as possible on every post, right? Perhaps that is true, but not all views are created equal. Some viral posts have tens of thousand (or millions) of views without a significant spike in subscribers or customers.
That's because of an important (but often overlooked) factor known as "Consumer Intent".
What Is Consumer Intent?
“Consumer intent” is really just a fancy way to refer to what people are looking for in any given interaction. When a consumer is browsing amazon.com, for example, some marketers would describe that as "scrolling with your wallet out" because the intent is to make a purchase.
When a consumer is scrolling through their Facebook or Instagram feed, their intent is likely to feel connected to people or causes they care about. That consumer intent discrepancy is significant, and should inform how you approach each platform and what type of interaction you're working towards.
Missing The Mark on Consumer Intent
Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, realized he had missed Consumer Intent when he canceled multiple highly-produced, live-streaming shows on Facebook. After months of seemingly high engagement on the videos, he took a deep dive into the data and discovered that the average user was watching only a minute of each hour-long broadcast.
With a shock, he realized that he had been treating Facebook Live like a television screen when it's more like a billboard on a freeway, where you have a split second to grab someone's attention. Similarly, creators who use social media to grow their audience are often disappointed by how few direct sales they can trace back to social media posts.
The creators who see the most success on social media are those who focus on connection on the platform, and taking followers off social media onto an email list where they can drive direct sales. So, on each platform you're attempting to grow your reach, think hard about how people normally use that platform. What is their consumer intent?