It’s been said by well-known users of social media that at the end of the day, those with the most friends and social media followers wins. Which goes along with the general rules of basketball: The more you shoot the more baskets you’ll make. The same with theatre – The more people in the audience, the louder the applause.
There is indeed something to those trains of thought. As numbers increase within an online community, comments are more frequent and conversations are more fruitful. Additionally, asocial media followers will not continue following unless they find value in the discussion.
I am active on Facebook and currently have over 1000 friends. I’m also a social media manager, and stay aware of Pages that are similar and in the same geographical area as those I facilitate. I watch friend and fan numbers like a hawk, and stay actively tuned to who is coming and going.
As I’ve been invited to Fan Pages, I check them out before I accept. I care how I am associated, and I am curious about what others are doing (never know when you can pick up a tip).
I heard nails on my inner chalk board the other day when I saw this on a Fan Page:
“Please suggest this page to others and let us know how many you give us.”
What!!!??? Give you how many what, cattle?
And, why would they want to know how many each person suggested – Were they offering cash incentives?? I also saw people piping in… “So-and-so, I just sent out 324 invitations for you.” Well, I suppose that’s nice. Hope the page owner wasn’t offering $1 per suggested fan – that would be expensive.
When I looked closer at the page, the discussion revolved mainly around pumping the fan numbers up. Further, I had to wonder what the community manager was going to do with the fans once they got them. There was not a lot going on regarding their business genre, and there was not a discount offered for becoming a fan. Fan-ship was nothing other than a number on their wall. Would you click “like?”
My fans are my little lambs, and I tend them carefully through the journey.
I value their presence, and I want them to be happy they are a part of what is going on. I consider the interaction a “courting” of sorts. As a community manager, it is my place to woo people to a topic or brand. This means offering them value in the conversation and to intrigue them to come back for more! If they are associated, they need to trust that as the page or community manager, I will weed out spam, protect them from hackers, and any suggestion I make for them will be something where they will also find value.
Recently, I collaborated with another Facebook Page owner to offer an opportunity for fans of both communities to win prizes for interacting. We did exchange some fans to build our communities. One reason I liked this project was that any new fan could automatically participate and potentially win something. In fact, out of 18 prizes, about half of the winners were newcomers to either of the page communities. In addition, we were able to add to our contact lists and formed closer friendships with many of our fans. The icing on the cake was the fun we had at a free fan party as a grand finale.
My approach may be unique. I’m a ‘quality over quantity’ type of girl. So I ask, is it better to have 1000 social media followers that have no clue what you are up to, or to have 500 fans that are actively engaged?
How do you attract new friends and fans? What sets off your inner chalk board?