John Jantsch provides some worthy insights about social media in a recent blog posting. His point: Most businesses are getting it wrong. Social media isn’t a broadcast channel; the goal is to build closer and meaningful relationships with a smaller group of current and potential clients where can build on your relationships.
There was a time when one of the primary goals of social media participation seemed to be growing large followings. In fact, we bought likes (how did that turn out), we gamed Twitter, we competed to add people who had no interest in our products and services to fan, follow and circle us.
This seemed logical, I mean everyone knew you needed a big email list, why not a big Twitter following. In fact, services like Klout attempted to use follower metrics to measure influence and thereby create scorecards for people building and seeking influencer status.
Well, it appears that Kevin Kelly’s proclamation to artists trying to stand out in the long tail digital world was both true and prophetic – when it comes to social media use for most small businesses the goal is to embrace and nurture 1,000 true fans or 100 true fans and not the shifting universe of Twitter devotees.
Stop following and start listening, sorting, engaging and conversing. Focus on the social streams of your customers and hottest prospects. Eliminate the noise from social media and get your streams to a place where they can be useful.
Here’s a useful post on 20 tools to help eliminate social media noise.
Find your 1000 true fans and try to ignore the rest and you’ll time spent via social media will pay off.
Perhaps in a challenging exception, however, I’ve been going the other way with social media initiatives by setting up “autofeeds” for our various regional publication websites to allied social media links (such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
This is pure “broadcast” stuff — there is no additional new content, relationship development, anything “good” but . . .
The results so far are intriguing, and encouraging. We’re seeing plenty of retweets, readership “pickup” and site visits and signups — and page likes and the like. All of this for very little additional effort, because of course the autofeed process is, indeed, automatic.
I expect there may be reasons the social media autofeed process is working for us: Most of the content is genuine news (very little self-serving promotional content), so we are simply enhancing the service we provide as a core resource.
The message here might be simple: If you are generating genuine original and relevant content, then maybe you can autopost at your will. If you are seeking “free advertising” however, you will find very little value in social media; in fact in virtually any initiative. Be useful.