Social Media is About Quality, not Quantity

July 19, 2011

By Mike
We often run into clients who approach social media as simply a numbers game — how many followers do I have, and how many people like my brand on Facebook? But research suggests that fewer than 20 percent of visitors who like a business page on Facebook return after taking that action. To effectively market via social media, brands have to be just that: social. Social media marketing is about how active and engaged your fans and followers are, rather than how many you have.
Don't get me wrong; it is great to have high numbers in these metrics. But would you rather have 50 fans with whom you interact, who buy your products, re-tweet your tweets, and provide reviews of your products, or 500 inactive fans who provide no ROI? Fan and follower numbers have little financial impact if you are solely broadcasting promotions at them over social media. You must create a relationship with your fans; if you provide thought leadership and interact with them, ROI will follow.
A good way to measure engagement is through shares, inbound links, blog comments, and similar metrics. But just as relationships take effort to cultivate, so does social media engagement. Have patience; it takes time for people to become socially invested in your brand.
So next time a client tells you he wants more followers and fans, ask him why. Does the client know what impact (or lack thereof) these metrics have, or does he just want to top a competitor? Converting fans and followers into purchasers through true engagement yields far better results.
How do you approach authentic engagement on social media?

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