When it comes to success, there are no right or wrong definitions. What matters most to the person next to you may not matter at all to you. When dealing with metrics for social media –and Twitter in particular- does quantity equal quality to you?
We talked a lot about this at Bloggy Boot Camp in Phoenix this weekend. One of the fascinating things about social media is also one of the most frustrating and most endearing: every person uses it differently. Some people care about numbers: they have goals for how many followers they want to gain each week. Some people are the opposite and actually work to keep their numbers lower. Both sets are correct: one seeks to gain more visibility through a larger audience reach, and one seeks to gain deeper connections through a more targeted audience reach.
To help determine what a quality presence means to you, you need to decide WHY you are on Twitter. What do you hope to gain from your presence? What are your business goals? Who is your main target audience and what do they expect/hope to gain from your social media presence?
Your answers to these questions will determine how you will use social media. My own professional opinion based on my experience working public relations for over a decade is that numbers never, ever tell the whole story. I believe in quality over quantity and in the old adage that in trying to reach everyone you end up actually speaking to no one.
Here are some tips for creating your strongest social media presence. I believe if you do things right by YOU, you will gain an audience organically – one that will be loyal and committed to your message, and therefore be more important to your purpose on Twitter.
- – Be authentic. You all know this, but it bears repeating. Own who you are/your brand voice and work it.
- – Develop a list of people that will truly engage in conversation with you – those that are aligned with your brand, your interests, your industry – and follow only those people. For instance, for my @designmama account, I follow back designers, moms, people & businesses in Portland, Oregon, media, PR, foodies, and women in business. I do not follow back: super cheesy used car salesman-like “marketing gurus” (they always have 50K+ followers but oddly enough I learn nothing from them), aggressive political action groups (they like to bait, I like to ignore), random young dudes that are not fellow designers (listen: don’t make me a Cougar yet, boys), and mean girls (because I don’t need negative downers in my life, thanks much).
- – Rather than placing so much emphasis on the number of followers you have, apply good ol’ fashioned marketing/pr measurement standards: focus on the conversion rates. It doesn’t matter to a business if you have 50,000 followers and only 20 of them become your actual customers. To me, that’s actually the sign of poor social media outreach; you’re wasting time spouting great information to a void of an uninterested, inappropriate audience.
Quality to you may mean having 50,000 followers. If it does, I’d love to know why. Perceived credibility? I’ve followed back people that I’d never heard of who had 24K followers out of curiosity before, and more times than not, I’m disappointed and end up unfollowing. If you are one of those who prefer to keep your followers low, I’d love to know why as well. Whatever you do, I hope you are having FUN with Twitter, and that it brings you and your business positive opportunities and experiences!