I have a three-year-old Pug called Monty, and every day come rain or shine I take him out for a walk. He still looks like a puppy, from 100 yards away he can still draw people in and get them to crack a smile. It amazes me the attraction that a small Pug has on people both young and old.

Within a few minutes of our walk we get people saying hello and smiling at Monty, then further down the road we get stopped by someone who wants to be introduced to Monty, this is one of the nice things about having a dog. Normally these people have a dog of their own, or had a dog and want to share their stories with me. Some ask if we walk in the same park as they do, and how it would be nice for the dogs to meet each other. We say goodbye and that we will look out for each other on our next walk, only to be stopped again two minutes later by someone else (these walks can take a long time).

Don’t get hung up on likes

On an average daily walk we get stopped a few times for a chat and make some new friends, plus we get smiled at (along with a cheery hello) 10 times over. This got me thinking about how companies get hung up on their own social media results, and how walking Monty can make sense of it. We find a lot of companies get hung up on how many likes they can get on their content, but in fact, likes aren’t that important. Likes are the same as the smiles and hellos I get when walking Monty. I don’t know these people and they don’t know me, they just said hello and carried on walking. The same is true for those likes on a company post, those people don’t know the company or what their offer is, they just smiled and said hello.

What counts are the people that stopped me to connect and share their stories, they are the equivalent to followers on social media, people who are like-minded, are interested in Monty and what I have to say, and want to tell me their dog’s name and share their stories with me. These people will remember Monty’s name, they will look out for him on their next walk and will greet me, or anyone in my family who is out walking Monty, like a long-lost friend. That is the power of a follower, they have connected with your company and are interested in what you have to say, both now and in the future.

The other similarity between walking Monty and posting content, is you have to do it regularly, most dogs need to go out for a walk every day, in all types of weather. To find followers you need to post every day, and when you bump into your future followers you have to be prepared to engage with them