Recently I gave a presentation to a local association on social media. Many know they need to be on it, but really don’t know why so there are still many questions. Often times when talking to companies about their social media programs I get information like I am on Twitter or Facebook because of the amount of people on those platforms. I’ll receive statements like there are 300 million people on Twitter, or 1.3 billion people on Facebook so we should be very successful on those platforms. Many folks think being on the platform will give you the exposure to that audience, but it is unrealistic because you can’t connect with everyone and unless they are connected to you they don’t see you anyway. So I often try to steer people away from focusing on the big numbers because they really don’t mean anything anyway. What really matters is the small number and the people that you know.
With social media you have to think more like your doctor. Your doctor when he or she takes your blood pressure is more concerned with the lower number than the higher number. If your blood pressure is 135/90 the doctor is watching that number 90 more closely. If the 90 creeps up that is when the health problems really start. The same thing happens in social media, the large number of people on the platform means nothing. The smaller number which is the people connected to you is the number you should be concerned with. For instance on LinkedIn there are 300 million members. Many of us have less than 500 people connected with us. Those 500 people however, have the power to buy your product or services, recommend people to your business, or possibly hire you for a job. That being said you want to make sure those 500 people know who your are, what you do, and how to connect with you. That is why we only connect with people we know. In my case I only connect with people I know or people that’s in an industry I work in. The same thing goes for the other platforms, there may be 1.3 billion users on Facebook but your concern should be the 150 people that like your page or are connected as friends. Those are the people that want to know what you are doing or what you have to say.
If you want to create a strong network and get your name out there the best thing to do is put out information that people want to read or hear. Put out some good content and people will naturally gravitate to you and your network will grow. If you sign up on a platform and do nothing then you really aren’t helping your brand. If you are using social media as a marketing program make sure that your audience is on that platform. Social media is no different than any other marketing campaign, identify your target market, define what they want, and deliver it. Keep to that program and you will have sociable media success.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant and author of the books Driven to Drive, Running by the Mile, and How to Start an Artistic Business in 12 Easy Steps. To learn more about Bruce and his work please visit his website at www.outridgeenterprises.ca