by Jeanine Vecchiarelli
In social media marketing today, I see so much emphasis on quantity. How many Twitter followers? Facebook fans? Social media profiles? And so on. And then I find myself returning to the very sage advice of some of the biggest social media gurus, who caution against spreading yourself too thinly, and expound on the pitfalls of amassing huge numbers of essentially empty followers/fans. I can’t help but see the sense in their very astute wisdom.
Just as a multitasking computer works a little less effectively overall with each new task that is introduced, so it goes with the human brain. Each profile a person has requires a considerable time commitment to keep it current and active, especially if it is being used as an outlet for social media marketing. As I’ve pointed out in previous posts, the WORST thing a prospective client can see when visiting a merchant’s social media profiles is a neglected post. While it makes sense to maintain a variety of said profiles, the operative word is MAINTAIN. Don’t go overboard, for yourself or with your clients if you are in the social media management business. The more you try to juggle, the less effective each profile will ultimately be, unless you have a large enough staff under you to diligently tend to all the tasks necessary for proper profile maintenance. Better to concentrate on a smaller number of profiles, specifically targeted to best suit your or your clients’ needs, and to maintain those profiles successfully.
The same holds true for followers and “likes.” Twitter is a great example. So many automated programs exist these days: programs to auto follow; auto followback; auto post; auto verify that you yourself are not a bot; etc. I’ve seen social media managers strive to follow the maximum number of profiles they can daily for their clients – a feat that can really only be accomplished using automated programs which can’t truly screen potential clients effectively regardless of the search parameters that are typed in. Not to mention the fact that messages they send must of necessity be generic in nature, so recipients can clearly see they are being funneled into a one-size-fits-all situation. So what good is following 500 people a day when that big number includes potentially many spam accounts, accounts of people who are poor fits as potential clients, accounts where there will never be the necessary interaction, and hence no relationship building, to convert a follower into a customer?
With the permeation of this “whatever it takes to build bigger, faster” attitude in social media marketing, I guess it’s no coincidence that I came upon this excellent blog from Robert M. Caruso, founder/CEO of Bundlepost, one of the most respected social media authorities in existence, as I was collecting my thoughts to create my own. Robert most eloquently defends his position against the use of the latest automatic tool to cause us all big headaches, True Twit, both from the make-sense side of understanding how a personal touch is necessary to build online relationships with potential clients, and from the perspective of someone who is continually losing time having to prove to this auto-program that he himself is not a bot: Bundlepost: Reasons Why I Am About Done With True Twit And yet, while Robert targets True Twit in his blog, much of his reasoning holds true in my opinion for most if not all of the rest of these automated programs.
Best bet? Take the time to screen profiles AND followers for the proper potential fit for your or your clients’ services. Better to build a following more slowly and increase chances of conversion than have to ultimately sift through hundreds of unproductive associations just to show a large number of followers. Not to mention potentially estranging them in a first impression by requiring them to jump through hoops to prove they really are people.
Well, that’s MY take, based on my own observations. I realize lots of you may well disagree with me. I welcome your comments, as well as explanations of your own viewpoints.