Things change fast these days, really fast. And the initial use and misuse of social media have rapidly undergone changes as well. The original purpose of social media was an online “place” to be social. It quickly evolved into a numbers game for many to build an audience that they could “sell” to, whether it was product, philosophy or just opinion. Methods of following included use of autofollow and autopublish programs, emassing tons of followers who may or may not have been interested in anything you had to say or sell.
Twitter has slowed practices like those considerably with overfollowing suspensions or cancellations of your account, though it still continues at a lesser rate. But the concept of the numbers game in social media is quickly turning into a dinosaur as social media evolves into what it was originally intended for – the virtual meeting place for social gatherings.
It all started in 2011, when Chris Brogan announced he was going to “unfollow” all of his followers. This was a radical announcement as he was a great “influencer” and at the top of this social media game at the time. He basically sited “too much information” as his reason behind the decision. He had become out of touch with people he truly admired and respected and was overwhelmed with too many people he didn’t know at all.
He was right. Numbers are not the answer now. We want qualified customers and real people engaging with us because they like what we say, sell or think and want to learn more about it. Just like the changes or reversions, we see in all marketing today – to honest, quality marketing and production – the same is true of social media interactions. Reaching a lot of people, whether it’s through advertising or social media, is completely ineffective unless they are hearing what you are saying. If you don’t say (and sell) something that is truly interesting and useful, it doesn’t matter how many people know about it. For this reason, small numbers of qualified, interested contacts should be our new goal in both social media and general sales and marketing from the website or storefront.
The best ways to do this through social media:
- Talk with people, don’t push content at them
- Listen and share
- Let people discover the content on their own and share it if they think it’s valuable
- Become a trusted resource because you personally stand behind everything you say
- Become an example to others on Social Media
How (and Why) I Changed My Social Media Habits by John McTigue via Brand Capture