Warning: This Is a Social Media Rant!
Yes, I do actually read the tweets of those that I follow on Twitter. Yes, I do actually care about the Fans on my Facebook page and whether or not my topics are interesting for them to engage with. Yes, I realize that this means I may or may not have huge numbers of Followers or Fans, but those with whom I engage have offered something of value to me, and I am trying to return the favor. That is in fact, one of the core values of Polka Dot Impressions.
Thus, when I saw the tweet below, I was shocked. I get it. Numbers sell. It’s like sex in movies and scandal in the music industry. Many who use social media marketing for their business measure the value in numbers – numbers of fans, numbers of followers, etc. There does have to be some measurement of effectiveness, I will agree, but are pure numbers the best way to go?
I’m also willing to admit that I have lost a client in the past because numbers were all that mattered and my philosophy of value and intentional relationship building wasn’t working for them. That has better helped to identify the types of clients I’m suitable for, and hopefully for that previous client, it has better helped them to find someone who is willing to do what they want.
I have visions however, of thousands of fans interacting on the above mentioned Company A Facebook page, all around the topic of oh, let’s say, widgets. Company B is going to “buy” the page and start talking about fish hooks. Really? What does Company B think those fans are going to do? If I’m interested in widgets, I may or may not also be interested in fish hooks. Even if the product is something more universal, more generic, isn’t this an abuse of the current fans who think they’ve joined a community of a different nature?
In both the Twitter and Facebook worlds, I see the fans and followers as a carefully crafted community. That community should be taken seriously and held in the same regard as a trusted group of friends. Maybe I misread the information in their tweet. Maybe this isn’t what they actually meant. Or to quote a movie line from That Thing You Do, maybe I’m “alone in my principles,” but I hope not.
I’m going to get off of my soapbox now, and get back to building good impressions for companies offering value and merit to their customers. When numbers grow because a company does that with their social media, then those numbers are real, not fantasies. Building relationships should be real, don’t you think?