Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Many Followers do You Have?

I took this photo in Alaska in front of the Indian House Restaurant. Yes, I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and I snapped the daisies smiling all sunny at me. Meg Ryan said it best in the old movie You've Got Mail when she stated, "Daisies are the happiest flowers." I agree. And so moving on ...

So here is another astute (and I use these terms loosely because I would wager some of you might not find my so-called wisdom "astute" anytime soon) observation about the social media world. Now I've been focused on social media a lot lately because I've put in more desk marketing time than usual this past month. So yesterday I said the new break-up methods involved new media. Today I want to point to the "new popularity contest." This so-called contests involves collecting. Collecting what? you ask. Followers! Now the business or person who collects the most followers wins! We have this whole new measurement of special. The more followers you have, the more people you reach -- if you're a business owner. Now individuals amassing a four-digit following are more likely celebrities or just "friend hungry" people who think a following comprised of a bunch of strangers makes them look important. I find this entertaining -- those people who measure their self esteem on a four- or five-digit following. Does it really mean anything about you as a person to have a huge following? Unless you do personally know all of your followers, I would suggest it only means you did your due diligence in "confirming" requests at a steady, but albeit impressive pace. If you're a business owner, what does a big following mean outside of a self-esteem boost? It means a greater reach. It means increased visibility for your business and brand. It also has some fascinating follow out. I have people who "friend" me and then lay in wait. They observe what I post and do. And then they approach me when they feel satisfied that 3L Publishing could help make their marketing, PR or book a reality. I've actually had people scoff about my "friends" number. They will blow this off and insist their personal page needs to only be people they know. All I'm going to say is: If you own a business and keep your social media connections strictly to your known network, you lose opportunities. You lose opportunities to these connection's connections. And like the famous Clairol commercial, there goes your told-two-friends chance.

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