“May I take your order?”
“Yes, I’d like a small Twitter presence, with 200 followers. And a Facebook Fan Page, but could you upsize that to 5,000 fans? And I’d like to add a side of 3 updates a day to each, and a daily status report.”
Amazingly, I got an email earlier asking for exactly that. This person wasn’t interested in a social media strategy, they wanted to know what I would charge them to create a Twitter presence with X number of followers, and a Facebook Fan Page with X number of fans.
This request really scares me for two reasons:
1 – That many companies think that number of fans or followers alone is a metric that indicates a successful social media effort. And they do, the above request is far from the only one I’ve received.
2 – A shady agency or consultant looking to make a fast buck will be all over this request.
Folks this apparently need to be repeated: The number of fans/followers your social media presences has is meaningless. If you want to have 500 followers on Twitter, then just start an account and follow 2,000 people (the follower limit for new accounts). You should eventually get about 500 follow-backs.
But unless those 500 followers either do business with you, or have some level of influence over the people that WILL do business with you, then they are all but worthless to you.
In the opening exchange, what’s the magic word that’s never mentioned?
Getting 5,000 fans on a Facebook fan page is NOT a social media strategy. Getting 200 followers on Twitter is NOT a social media strategy. Facebook and Twitter are tactics used to execute a social media strategy, getting on Facebook and Twitter is not a social media strategy.
If you want to know more about creating a social media strategy, I wrote just the post for you, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Creating a Social Media Strategy (But were afraid to ask). But please, don’t put the cart (tactics) before the horse (strategy). And please don’t believe that more fans/followers = a more successful social media effort. 30 engaged and excited current/potential customers on your Facebook fan page will trump 300 disinterested followers ANY day of the week.