I frequently harp about the great race to build numbers in various social media platforms rather than build relationships. The true benefit of building numbers is really to deepen the pool of searchable connections. These can serve as resources or prospects for the various projects and goals that are part of the overall strategy. After I have built up a firm enough base, I use my research background to mine down to find the handful who I see as mutually beneficial to begin a conversation. It is the conversation that starts the relationship.
Seth Godin, one of my favorite social networking gurus, recently commented on this in a panel discussion. In this discussion, he pointed out that, especially for business, we need to be building lasting relationships that will benefit our bottom line. I agree. Another guru, Gary Vee recently took advertisers and corporations, especially a popular snack chip, to task for missing the opportunity to Crush It! and cement the success of a pricy Super Bowl ad campaign. Millions spent on television ads and promotions without inviting the audience to hook into social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to extend the campaign. He pointed out that the relative inexpensive of placing a coupon on a Facebook page with the staff to monitor it would have extended the conversation and engaged the viewers.
How can social media give resuklts that we ca take to the bank? Do your due diligence and ensure that the events and campaigns that you rely on to promote your business and sell your products include a social strategy that engages your customers and clients. It is this long term conversation that will continue the relationship and increase your numbers.