Are you shooting for fast numbers or meaningful numbers?
Sites like twitter are allowing us to share information faster than ever before. Yesterday, twitter users like @justinlevy and myself found out about Steve Jobs’ leave of absence an hour before any news station reported it on television. Many businesses have seen this fast flow of information and think that they can find fast success on these platforms. They’re wrong.
It’s not the goal that matters but how you get there. So much focus is put on the numbers whether it be number of followers on Twitter, number of readers on your blog, or any other stat on which companies base ROI. When asked, many “social media consultants” advise you to focus on relationships and condemn the notion of “numbers = success”. Others care more about reaching as many people as possible than who they’re reaching. Both are missing the point which is this…
Once you build strong relationships, the numbers will follow. If you build relationships with people in your community, they will be loyal to your company like they would a friend, trust your message, and be willing to share it with their connections. Show that you care about who you’re reaching out to, not just how many, and they’ll care back.
It’s not such a bad thing to shoot for high numbers, but how you go about it will determine your success. If you take the time to build meaningful relationships, you will enjoy the benefits of social media’s rapid viral opportunities in the longer run.
Would really like to hear what you think. Comments? Criticism?
On a completely unrelated note, I will be at the Mashable NYC event today, tweeting away… so if you see me or want to meet, feel free to say hello or slap me for quoting “Field of Dreams” in a post about social media. Either way I’d love to meet up!
Edit: Removed inapplicable “Field of Dreams” quote thanks to reader feedback (=