Social media is an amazing tool at expanding your marketing reach.
Sometimes we get hung up on the numbers and use them as a form of measuring success, like – "I have 500+ Facebook Fans" or "We have 9000+ Twitter Followers". To some degree you have been successful, but on the other hand collecting friends, followers and fans does not pay the bills.
I see many people that have huge followings, but have nothing to do with any of it.
I'm sure some people use software tools to entice many people to follow them, some even follow people in hopes they will get followed back.
The real problem with this is this turns into the same thing as a magazine ad or TV commercial. People start tunning out.
The goal of these social media tools like twitter and facebook are to build relationships. If you are not interacting with your friends, fans and followers, than you are not building a relationship, you are just spamming a lot of people with garbage they really have no interest in.
Sadly, I see this all the time. I think it is really important to have original unique content in order to form your personal voice or brand personality. This is what people connect to, not some purchased content that I writer is selling to multiple customers. I see this in email marketing companies and newsletter companies sometimes.
Instead of doing an original bit of content for each client, these companies write a handful of content and sell it to multiple companies, it is similar to the idea of "Stock Photography". Stock photography is ok if you know where to find images that are not going to be used by your local competitor. Nothing is worse than finding your image on someone else's marketing collateral.
Content is the same, if you are buying content that anyone in your industry can use, I'd recommend thinking twice. This is not the best way to build your brand! Not even for the cheep price you pay for this content!
So back to the main point of this article it does not matter how big your following is unless these people will also stand up and evangelize (spread the word) about how great your company is. I remember the early days (early 90's) of purchasing Apple Computers for me. I was a mac addict and still am a strong mac user and have never bought a pc computer product. I am more brand loyal today then ever before, but in the early days, I would fight to the death for keeping my mac on my desk even in an all pc corporation.
My point is this… are your followers willing to fight for your product or service? Will they stand on the mountaintop shouting your companies name and web address? Will they retweet your latest post? If not, 9000+ followers doesn't mean a thing.
5 followers that retweet your twitter posts is more valuable than 5000 that don't!
So get out there and start being social. Interact with your followers. Start building relationships and evangelists. Maybe you need to start retweeting your followers tweets. Whatever you do, just get out there and tap into this valuable resource!
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