Within the social media world, size matters. It’s all about the number of followers, “Likes”, retweets, comments, Diggs, etc. But at the end of the day, size doesn’t matter.
What? How does that work?
Social media isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality. What really matters is creating a community that is engaged and involved even if it’s a modest-size community. With a strong core, brands have a better chance of sustaining their social media efforts because there is a group of enthusiastic supporters willing to share the load along the way.
This is a better situation than having a large number of “Likes” or followers who are rarely engaged, if they’re engaged at all. In the scheme of things, these kind of people are fluff that easily blows away when the first distraction comes along. There is little value in these people because they don’t make an investment in the brand or community.
It is important to recognize the quality vs. quantity reality because far too often brands are mesmerized by large numbers. As a result, the success of their social media efforts are judged by lots of “Likes”, which means little if many of these people have no real connection.
Of course, quantity can be a challenging argument because large numbers do talk loud when a company is trying to measure social media ROI. It explains why many companies are willing to dangle lots of “carrots” to attract “Likes” or followers. This way they can turn around and tell the V.P. marketing that their social media efforts are working.
For now, size plays a strong role because there is so much focus on ROI. In time, however, brands will hopefully start to drill deeper into the value of their communities, which could make them realize that quality can be as important, if not more important, than quantity.