So often we as PR professionals are asked by clients/potential clients if we can get them XX number of Twitter followers, or XX number of Facebook fan page members. It’s a legitimate question, especially with the tremendous amount of buzz around the two social networks. We’ve seen how one tweet from an “influencer” can crash an entire site, or how one YouTube video can ruin/tarnish a brand. The first reply back to them is always, and should always be, “what are you trying to accomplish?” That changes their original question to not “if” we can, but “how” we can amass them followers and fans.
Similarly to what we’ve written before regarding how targeting your media outreach to your target audience can be more/as beneficial as major national media hits for your company’s bottom line, the same can be said for social media. Just because everyone is writing and talking about Twitter and Facebook does not necessarily mean that you need to have a presence. Even more, if you are on either of these social networks, your ultimate goal might not be to get the most followers, friends, or fans as possible. Before doing anything, you must ask yourself, “what am I trying to accomplish?” After answering that question, then and only then, can we move forward with a social media plan.
Quantity vs. Quality
Much has been talked about regarding Twitter and whether having the biggest network of followers is better than having a small number of loyal followers or influencers. One example is Corvida from SheGeeks.net. Corvida wrote in a guest post on Chris Brogan’s blog about how, as the size of her social network expanded on Twitter, she felt the quality of the conversations she was having deteriorated. On the opposite side of the coin, you have famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Internet entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki and others who follow everyone that follows them, and believe in the “bigger is better” approach when it comes to Twitter. So which one is better?
Obviously, having a huge following on Twitter or a big fan group on Facebook has shown to have great results – IF you know how to utilize the masses and use them to your benefit. Still, companies should not pursue these at the expense of their loyal customers or fans. This balance must be maintained and great social media monitoring tools must be used to help pay attention to the conversation. Todd Defren, over at PR-Squared, gives a great breakdown of target audiences and how each group should be approached. At BLASTmedia, we work to educate our clients and how they can utilitize social media tools to their greatest benefit. However, it all starts with the question, “what are you trying to accomplish?” So, what’s your response?
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