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Is ‘Bigger’ Really Better in the Social Media World?

 

 

We have debated the question of quality versus quantity longer than science and religion have fought over where we actually ‘came from.’ In fact, quality versus quantity is a debate that comes up in all different fields of business, and now it is the very essence of whether or not your company has secured the right Social Media Manager in order to increase your bottom line and build the type of ‘audience’ you sorely need for success.

 

We all know by now – especially the small businesses, corporations and nonprofits out there who are doing their absolute best to become a ‘household name’ by utilizing the extreme number of ‘tools’ that the World Wide Web has to offer – that the number of ‘hits’ to their websites are more than important. Owners want nothing more than to say 5,000 ‘hits’ came in that day, or there were 5,000 mentions regarding their product across the internet. However, the number of ‘hits’ versus the actual value of those ‘mentions’ has become a true bone of contention with businesses who are spending their hard-earned money on hiring the correct Social Media Manager or PR company to increase their ROI and create ‘buzz’ about their particular brand.

 

As a very simplistic example, say you are the PR company for a football team; I will select Dallas for this particular article. Information and data is put out into the web universe using keywords such as, ‘Cowboys.’ Now, break this down. The word ‘Cowboys’ will lead to many different sites; everything from companies that sell saddles and boots to the latest Hollywood movie or bestselling book that focuses on the Wild West. That one keyword can lead readers (AKA users) to a variety of sites that have absolutely nothing to do with the football team. Of course, when the reports are run at the end of the day – when the analytics are given to said client – the number of ‘mentions’ are extremely numerous, but upon further examination the quality of those ‘mentions’ are extremely poor.

 

There is a very well-defined bottom line when it comes to social media and building a company’s social media portfolio, and that bottom line comes from increasing the number of ‘mentions’ for YOUR particular business. It does not come from having ‘hits’ to a keyword that has ‘something’ to do with your product.

 

Let’s take another. Your company’s name is Thank Goodness. There are billions of sites, Facebook entries, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn pages, worldwide groups, and even a major restaurant chain with these words in its company brand. In addition, those particular words are used by billions of individuals on their websites, emails, Facebook entries, etc. Therefore, almost ‘everything’ can be connected with that company name. Because of this, the quality of the ‘hits’ that YOU have paid a PR company to put forth are not actually ‘real.’ In other words, your research report can state there were 5,000,000 mentions to a campaign but in essence 20% of those (or far more) had nothing to do with your particular company or marketing campaign. Bottom line? Much needed money was wasted on a ‘big’ report with very poor quality.

 

When it comes to sites such as Twitter, the amount ‘mentions’ for your business is a number that often is manipulated; therefore it has very little value when it comes to actually measure your company’s social media success on the Twitter site. The flip side to this coin is that ‘follower count’ is the main metric number used by journalists, clients, other industry members, etc. to measure the popularity of a company. So let’s be honest. If your ‘follower count’ and ‘mentions’ are the most important analytics to study and the value of this number is easily controlled, then your company is not getting what you’re paying for when reaching out to hire a Social Media Manager. You need clients – you need a customer base – but in order for that to be of any value to you or your company when it comes to your product, market, brand, etc., than the numbers must be verified. An audience that is YOUR audience will then spread your information and messages to the ‘right’ clients. This becomes a ‘targeted audience,’ and your ‘mentions’ and tweets and re-tweets then become the highest quality a company can attain.

 

One of the largest arguments that is made by marketing firms and social media ‘experts’ is that even if the followers are not valuable to your business, with complete saturation you will receive a way to speak to those followers, followers. Therefore, it means you have more of a ‘chance’ to increase our client list. In other words, if you have more fans you have a better shot.

But when it comes to establishing clients there is one very important rule that many ‘experts’ seem to push under the carpet. Building a customer base and creating ‘buzz’ comes from building a following that trusts you and your company. In fact, eighty percent of users on the World Wide Web are researching far more deeply nowadays considering the scams and ‘junk’ that saturates every corner of the internet. With this research, they are picking and choosing websites, Facebook pages, Twitter followers and friends, and more, very carefully. And if they’re not a valuable client to your business, not only do you waste money but these people receiving information they don’t want will actually spread negativity to their list of followers causing your company to lose far more ‘honesty’ points than any one company can handle.

 

What many company’s are still learning is the fact that social media is completely separate from all other forms of marketing and advertising because social media opens up an actual dialogue. Brand-to-consumer ‘speak’ is what Twitter, Facebook and various other entities offer a company, which means  conversation is necessary.

 

Building a valuable ‘community’ on Facebook should be seen by a business from only one point of view. They should not think about how many ‘Likes’ or ‘Friends’ their company can achieve. They must think about the fact that each and every person they do achieve as a ‘friend’ is going to want to receive product opportunities, valuable insight from the company, and brand data. In return, the company wants to receive valuable customer insight when it comes to understanding and increasing their brand. In other words the number of ‘friends’ is not the actual marketing need, it is hiring a company that will effectively manage the ‘community’ that is valuable to building your company’s ROI and escalating ‘buzz’ in the industry.

 

Marketing tools in the social media world are ONLY effective when a company understands that real-time conversation is what truly matters to the ‘community,’ and utilizing your marketing budget to make sure that the bottom line analytics are REAL is an absolute must!

To Gain the “Slight Edge to Get Noticed”  Be First Inc can take you there.

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