August 10, 2012

Social Media Myth Confirmed #1 - Size Does Matter

*Pulled from an old, longwinded blog post I wrote in July of 2011 titled "Four Busted Myths About Social Media...That Aren't Actually Busted"

After seeing numerous marketing bloggers write about how size doesn't matter in social media, I thought I would finally speak up.

Confirmed: Audience Size Does Matter in Social Media

First came the myth that size mattered. Then came the myth that size doesn't matter. 

Truth time. Having a relatively large audience is important to brands on social media. But you cannot count anyone in the audience who is a spammer, bot, inactive profile, or is highly disinterested. In other words, if you have 10,000 followers who all fit into these categories - you actually have 0 followers. So yes, a large fan/follower count doesn't necessarily mean anything. But size does matter. 

Why? Lets say you have 200 dedicated and loyal fans to your Facebook page. After they "like" your page, maybe 2 of them will ever come back to it. But that's ok, because you can still post into their newsfeed. Oh, but they have to be online within the right timeframe in order to see your post. And if your post doesn't get enough interaction, Facebook's algorithm will hide it. Especially if they have a lot of friends. Oh, they might like a bunch of other pages, too. But that's ok because they are loyal to you, so surely they will wade through all the noise to find your posts in their newstream right? 

And on Twitter, the average lifespan of a tweet is what...5 seconds?

My point is - you're always playing against the percentages. What percent of your followers will see X? What percent will share it? What percent will be impacted or eventually act? You need some mass in order to be continually reaching and growing. If your numbers are small, I am not suggesting that you quit. Just recognize that you are going to spend a lot of time reaching a very small number, for now. You have to grow. Size does matter.

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