A friend recently shared a story about a client who gave him the sole directive of increasing fans/followers in social media, specifically the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. In fact, this client wanted to structure his consulting fee strictly around the quantity of fans/followers.
Fortunately for this business, my friend has ethics and attempted to illustrate the error with that kind of thinking. Here are 3 reasons why quality is more important than quantity when it comes to social media.
- Fans/Followers can be bought. Services exist that allow you to purchase fans/followers to make your social media presence seem important and popular. While that might fool some who give your site a cursory look, it doesn’t take much digging beneath the surface to uncover the house of cards your social media popularity is built on. If your following can be bought, how authentic is it? If your business is mostly local, odds are purchased fans will not be, so how will that be of any value?
- Real fans are more likely to interact. Engagement has been the buzz word in social media for some time, and rightly so. Which would you rather have? 50 fans who are truly fans and would not hesitate to recommend you to family and friends? Or, 100 fans who will never visit your site, never try your product/service, or never recommend you to family and friends? Real fans, engaged fans, are brand ambassadors.
- Social media is meant to have a conversational element. When you concentrate on quantity over quality, the conversational element will likely suffer. If the quality of the conversation is there from day one, your fan base will grow at a natural rate, and you’ll increase quantity without sacrificing quality. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to build relationships with followers who don’t care and are not engaged.
Think about your own involvement in social media. Think about the sites you’ve willingly followed. Has there been a site you’ve recommended to others? Why? It goes beyond brand loyalty, doesn’t it? Chances are, it’s a two-way street. You value the content on the site and the business values you as a fan/follower/customer.
When that two-way street becomes one-way, it’s the equivalent of a dead-end road. Consumers don’t want to waste their time on a dead-end, and neither do (most) businesses that know what they’re doing with social media.
What are some of your favorite sites to follow, and what makes them so special to you?