When someone engages with your company or brand in a social media setting like MySpace, Twitter or YouTube, they often choose to become your “friend.” In social media terms, a “friend” is the same thing as a subscriber — it’s a person who’s interested enough in what you’re doing that they actually choose to receive future messages from you. They actively LIKE (or at least they don’t actively DISLIKE) your brand, and they want to know more about it.
Yet, unlike subscribers, friends are more valuable in quality, not in quantity.
Because the number of friends you have in the world of social media says a lot of about your ability to deliver valuable information to the people who actually want it. In layman’s terms, having too many “friends” can give discerning visitors the impression that you’re using a two-way medium as a one-way bullhorn — and they get that enough on TV, radio, billboards, magazines…
So, instead of seeking to befriend (or, in Twitter parlance, to be “followed by”) as many people as possible, you should be selective about whom you include in your social messaging. Take the extra effort to find people that are already talking about your company / products / services / industry. THOSE people are already interested in what you do, and they’re far more likely to listen to you, respond to your questions, offer you valuable feedback and take legitimate action.
And wouldn’t you rather have a dedicated, passionate following than just another bloated mailing list?
Photo by vividBreeze.