5,000 new followers.
No new sales.
Welcome to the greatest social media myth known to man.
Social Media Teaches Us the Value of Quantity…Right?
Not too long ago, I was talking to a friend who had over 2,500 “Friends” on her Facebook page. I was impressed with the amount of networking she’d managed to do in a relatively short time. Then she confessed that she didn’t actually know most of them, she never read more than 10% of the status updates on her timeline, and only a handful of her “Friends” commented on her status on a regular basis- mostly people she knew outside of the web.
In other words, she had over 2,000 “Friends” and still couldn’t get someone to drive the truck on moving day.
The idea that more is better when it comes to social media is a myth that’s been propagated since the very beginning. As more numbers and statistics come to light in the social media marketing arena, we’re learning something important. Something that could change the face of social marketing forever.
When You’re Talking About “Friends” and Followers It’s Quality, Not Quantity, That Makes the Difference
Would you spend millions of dollars of your company’s marketing budget to post a billboard advertising baby formula in a retirement community? Of course not. They’re not your key demographic. You might get a few random hits courtesy of visiting grandchildren, but for the most part you’ve just wasted money that would have been better spent putting that same sign up somewhere that draws in a large crowd of young families every day.
If you’re going to spend the time and effort to broadcast your message through social media channels, you want to make sure you’re reaching your target audience. That means that you’re looking for quality, not just quantity, when it comes to the ears that are following along.
Which brings us to what could quite literally be the million dollar question. Where do you find these so-called “quality” followers in a sea of social media?
1) Engage. I could sit here talking for the next hundred years or so and still not overemphasize the importance of reaching out and engaging with your target audience. This is particularly easy on Twitter and Google+, because these conversations are streaming live all day, every day. Take time out of your day to converse, listen, recommend and reach.
2) Respond. Don’t just broadcast. I know there are days you’re trying to cram 28 hours worth of “to do” into an 8-10 hour work day, but if someone takes the time to respond to your post, or to ask you a question, or to make a comment regarding your products, take the time to answer. Not only will they continue to follow, their glowing recommendations will help bring others onboard.
3) Commute. Why do you expect your target audience to come to you? A social media page isn’t a giant magnet, drawing in your target audience like a Halloween store on October 29th. Get out there and find where your quality followers gather on the web.
4) Get Off the Web!!! If you’ve got an office and provide goods and services off of the web, those off-the-web customers should be following you online. It’s a great way to keep them apprised of sales and upcoming events, and the power of “Share” and “Retweet” gives you a unique way to expand your quality listening audience by doing something you should be doing anyway.
Having millions of followers doesn’t mean much if you’re not talking to the right people. Reach out. Engage. Find your target audience where they live. Listen as well as talk. And don’t assume that the Internet is the only place to find quality social media friends.
If you can do that, you should