I recently had a discussion with some of my friends in Twitterville about different strategies for a brand who wants to utilize social media. Of course, it’s hard to get too deep into a conversation using 140 characters at a time. Woo Hoo!!! Great idea for a blog post!
The discussion began over a tweet that read something like this:
“Help me get to 200 followers! Please RT !!!”
Here’s where I see several problems:
- Why does anyone, except the person posting this, care how many followers this person has? Whether you have 50 or 200 makes no difference to me.
- This isn’t a popularity contest. Having more followers doesn’t make anyone more relevant in the world of social media.
- Give people a REASON to follow you!
Content is still king, just like in the brick and mortar world. I’m not suggesting that one sit by and wait for people to find your brand. On the contrary, I whole-heartedly agree that one should utilize various networks to drive traffic to a destination to better understand your brand’s message. That’s what marketing is all about!
It’s the “how” you do it that bugs me. One of the responses I saw in this debate suggested that Twitter was just like TV and every brand should want as many followers as possible. I couldn’t disagree more.
Twitter is the antithesis of broadcast television. It’s SOCIAL MEDIA. To me, social media is about engaging people.
Building relationships… With People.
Having conversations… With People.
To say this is anything like advertising on television is absurd. TV is a one-way channel (and, it’s days are numbered, I’m afraid). There is no engagement, which is part of the reason it is becoming irrelevant.
The beauty of social media is that it offers a brand the opportunity to make connections and EARN followers. And, the only real investment it takes is time (which, of course, is a precious commodity!). But it’s worth it. Oh, SO worth it! By creating these relationships with people, a brand can truly understand who its customers are. And, by addressing the wants and needs of these people directly, their network will grow organically and exponentially.
When someone I follow on Twitter gives me something of value, I am happy to share it (ReTweet it). This exposes the brand to a whole new set of eyes. And, the kind folks who follow me know that when I RT something, there’s a reason. I found value in it and thought they might, too. And, if they like what they see, they may become a fan/follower/whatever and pass it on to the people in their networks, too.
That’s how you develop a network in social media!
When I see posts like: “Help me get to 200 followers! Please RT !!!”, I see SPAM.