Getting ahead in Social Media

11 Sep

This is an interesting article about the question “quality versus quantity” in social media. For example should one aim for thousands of facebook fans or twitter followers or be selective and look for quality.

The article suggests that marketers should implement metrics to measure engagement, interaction and ongoing communication with fans or followers. The number of followers or fans alone should not be regarded a measure of power or reach, a trap apparently many marketers fall into when using social media as a medium to engage with their customers.

The tweets and responses that were provided from subscribers to the ClickZ article were very  interesting,  in the sense that many felt that it was very important to put quantity before quality in terms of their audience. Fewer replies stated that both approaches had their merits. Hardly anyone agreed with the article’s focus on “less is more”!

The respondents seem to forget about two important elements in the development of an internet marketing strategy: profiling customers and evaluating e-marketing performance.

Often businesses set up social media sites because they want be seen in engaging their customers online and utilize different mediums to communicate. Far too few businesses however are really serious about developing an internet marketing strategy before they jump into the deep end.

This would explain the focus on just accumulating followers and fans without clearly understanding the requirement of having to set objectives, budgets and developing differentiated and improved online services. In fact many businesses regard internet marketing and social media just as another sales and marketing channel. Rather than applying a planned and measured approach social media is treated as an experiment.

Setting up a facebook or twitter account might be for free, but managing them properly and developing true online value propositions for customers and managing specific objectives is not. And let’s not forget that a badly managed online presence has the potential to be extremely damaging for any business.

So for any business that has plans to engage in e-marketing the message is: don’t just accumulate customers for that sake of it. There are customers who contribute the most profit to your organisation or are the biggest advocates of your brand and they are typically a small proportion of the total customer base. The strategic focus should be on retaining them. The other important segment are the most growable customers who have the potential to be advocates or high volume buyers but need to be encouraged to step up to the next level. The final segment are the below zero customers who are simply unprofitable. They are the facebook users who say they like your stuff but then forget about you. I suggest you do the same and forget about them.

…and while you are busy doing that put on some PJ Harvey

Source: ClickZ Article

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One Response to “Getting ahead in Social Media”

  1. iamsosmrt September 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Great article,
    A perfect example of the value or lack there-of in having massive growth in having a large number of followers is outlined on http://amnesiablog.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/the-mystery-of-kevin-rudds-new-twitter-followers-solved/

    This blog points out that former PM Kevin Rudd achieved massive growth in followers when his account was listed as ‘recommended’ by Twitter. Given that this recommendation was not segmented by Geography then a large number of his followers may not be Australian citizens and therefore ineligible to vote.

    Therefore, all that the ‘quantity’ approach achieves here is bragging rights. Which in the game of politics, may just be a successful and desirable outcome.

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