A Simple Measure Of Followers Doesn't Capture Your Distribution
October 2, 2012
First, it was Mark Zuckerberg wondering what the heck was going on. The platform he created to "elevate our capacity to grow and maintain connections" was getting pimped out by brands racking up "likes" and trying to sell us stuff.
So – to Zuck, the only way to make sure his vision was being played out was to take the focus off the amount of "likes" a brand collects and create the "People Talking About You" stat.
The intention of this stat is to remind companies and organizations that it's about the interplay between brands and fans that matters – not corporate/promotional/superficial speak.
And just last week, the headlines read as if Twitter is also jumping off the "vanity" metric of "followers" in favor of the number that really matters – motivated relationships.
Cofounder Ev Willams spoke last week about how the amount of Twitter followers will soon be a secondary metric that gauges influence. (And I can't tell you how exciting this headline was to read.)
Williams said, "A simple measure of followers doesn't capture your distribution. The thing more interesting than followers is how many people saw your tweet and retweeted it."
As we've discussed numerous times here in "Merge," the amount of "likes" or "followers" does not equate brand impact nor does it measure the quality and depth of your fan relationships. These are vanity metrics – that's all they are.
In fact, even the number of subscribers in your email database is a flawed stat. Once again, it's not about the raw numbers who are in the email club – it's the amount of motivated relationships your station has nurtured.
But sadly, most brands don't think they need to work at earning these motivated relationships so they don't – they just push out stuff and wonder why so few respond.
It's understandable the struggles brands have with social media. Traditionally we've been taught that messaging is about casting a wide net and pushing out. But with social media platforms, that's just not the case. It's about indirect conversation around the brand that pulls fans in.
And it starts with your tweets, posts, emails, etc... emulating the appearance of the fans' dialogue. Your conversation pieces should look and feel like their conversations – not yours.
When you work at fitting into your fans' worlds, they will start feeling like you're one of them. And the hope is that they'll increase your social reach with more eyeballs to pinball back to the mothership – your station.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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