Ok, I know this will divide opinion and I know many marketers who rely and focus on metrics and numbers, will completely disagree with what I’m about to say, but please bear with me…..
I’ve never been a number chaser. The number of connections, the amount of Facebook Likes, the number of Twitter followers, how many hearts you get on Periscope? they all mean diddly squat without deeper meaning. I’m basing this on the shift I have watched, and what I have personally experienced, In particular, over the past eighteen months in the social media space. Social media is much more of a conversation channel than it has ever been before.
If I bring it back to basics. How I feel about a brand or a person weighs far higher than the number of followers that they have. What a person stands for, and how they reach and touch my heart has much higher bearing than any service or product that they have to offer me. How much I ‘LOVE’ what that person stands for will determine if I want to do business with them, or not.
What a difference 18 months makes ….
If I rewind back, perhaps 18 months, the people that influenced me then are certainly not the people that influence me now, with an exception of a couple of people who have adapted to change and shifted their mindset and the way they use social media. Your million followers don’t phase me …. although you may think they do, what actually appeals to me is what you stand for and how you treat me as a human being. With all the technology and social media measurement tools we have available to us, I believe that the greatest asset that we have available to us is actually, well, erm ….. us! Ourselves. Plain and simple.
Ok, so I am not saying that as marketers there aren’t tools that are incredibly useful to us. Tools that make our lives easier, where we are able to monitor conversations and so on and so forth. But, what I am saying is this, strip away your ‘numbers, followers, likes, hearts and everything else that goes into that list of boring vanity metrics’ they don’t equate to meaningful relationships. Sure, your 100 followers that you get into your sales funnel will buy something at a level and then they may go on to buy at another level and perhaps even another level. But once you’ve exhausted that process, whilst failing to strengthen the relationship any further, while not deepening conversations, while failing to engage in real, raw, authentic conversational environments … those clients of yours, I believe, will soon look to someone else, who offers what you offer, except, they can connect with them, they feel more valued by them and more importantly they like, perhaps even love, what that person is about.
Emotion evokes something far deeper than temporary success…
When a person ‘LIKES’ or ‘LOVES’ what you are about (rather than liking a page or a post) emotion exists and when emotion exists there is feeling. Feeling is compelling and the relationship between you and that person is far deeper and has much more of a foundation for business relationships with longevity and significance.
Snapchat fit’s the bill perfectly!
I have fallen in ‘LOVE’ with Snapchat, due to the fact that I can not see anyones number of followers and Snapchat’s scoring system is such a mystery, that makes no sense to me…. that everything is a blank canvas. It is the person that paints the picture for me, not how many ‘followers’ they have. Super clever on Snapchat’s part! I have no pre-concieved ideas about a persons popularity on Snapchat and I am ‘falling in love’ with so many content creators and what they stand for. It’s powerful stuff! I have been giving this much thought …. and in the short lenght of time I have been using Snapchat, the relationships I have formed and developed with the people are far stronger. I am able to see what a person stands for in all areas of their lives, not just when they are at work, but when they are at home with the kids, when they are celebrating life events, when they laugh, when they cry. I would much rather buy products and services from these people than anyone with a million followers who I have very little knowledge about!
Great news for business owners.
This is great, I mean really great news for business owners. In a social media world, where the ever increasing pay-to-play is becoming more and more prominent. Here, you have a platform, that is FREE. Free from Ad budgets, and free from vanity metrics. You have a platform that facilitates you, single handedly, no metrics and no millions of followers, to make a difference to the business relationships that you grow, deepen, strengthen and in my opinion potentially keep for much longer.
In Conclusion …
To conclude. I believe that YOU, what you stand for, your purpose, how you treat people, how you engage with people, how you take time to grow relationships (rather than followers) will be the success of longstanding and meaningful business relationships. And those that are busy gathering followers and numbers without really focusing what they stand for, that purpose, showing that purpose, deepening relationships, will have temporary success but eventually, they will fall by the wayside. It’s only a matter of time! Like I say, I’ve never really been a fan of metrics, they complicate things, make us focus on the things that don’t matter rather than the things that do. So if you are one that does focus on the numbers, the tools, the metrics …. perhaps it’s time to take a step back …. everything you need, I believe, is within you!