During 2009, Social Media has become popular and mainstream.
All the brands are starting to invest in Social Media, in some way, shape or form. Everyone’s starting to get involved in this ‘thing’ called Social Media, and as a consequence, people are desperately trying to look better than their competitors, and are busy comparing themselves to each other, looking at the number of fans or followers that their competitors have.
Unfortunately, that’s entirely the wrong approach to be taking. If you want more fans/followers, and you grow that audience just by looking for ways to increase your numbers, then ultimately, you’re no different than a swimmer doing the doggy paddle in the water, staying afloat, but never quite going anywhere. Another analogy, would be of a rowboat, using only one oar, travelling in a circle, but not getting anywhere.
The reason being, whilst the ‘audience’ – your numbers of fans and followers matters, as a KPI, or a measure of your journey, ultimately, the ‘number’ of them doesn’t really mean anything. If you have a 1,000,000 fans, and have 999,000 of which generally ignore you, it’s as good as having only 1,000 really really loyal, active, and engaged fans, who constantly get involved, and respond, or interact with you.
If you focus your attention on what type of person you want to draw the attention of, and then figure out a suitable long term content strategy, which will continuously produce value for an audience filled with those ideal people, then your job is to start producing that content, and getting it in front of those people. The more influential that individuals that join your community, and engage with your content, the more you’re likely to find they bring with them, more people like them.
Ultimately, you’ll end up with an entire community of people who respond to and interact with you, and your content in the way that you’d like them to. As you get that experience established, and developed, then you’ll be in a position to start layering up the interactions, and dialogues, to lead you to your social media end games – be it reducing customer service support calls, increased sales/revenue, driving brand awareness/retention, or any other business objective you may have behind using Social Media. Those are the real targets/objectives you should be focussing on, not ‘how many more people can we get to like this page, or follow us on Twitter?’