Your Facebook brand manager should be like a disc jockey spinning the company's greatest hits to an engaged audience. Not a high school kid desperate to be popular.
How many fans does your company Facebook page have? How many followers does your personal Twitter account have? Let me ask a similar question: How many kids signed your high school yearbook?
The popularity contest of social media is as inescapable, ego-based and shallow as high school social games. But I play it. I'm guessing some of you do, too.
A friend, who happens to have the most Twitter followers on any non-celebrity I know, deplores the numbers game. "Some of the most influential social/emerging media thought leaders I know have <300 followers," he tweeted recently, after we served on a social media panel together and discussed this topic. Quantity, we agreed, does not indicate quality. A big restaurant is no more likely to better than a small one. In fact, the opposite is often the case.
(It would be really nice if, someday, social media platforms gave us the option to hide our fans and followers numbers, rather than sticking them right under our pictures.)
A PR person recently reached out on LinkedIn to ask what was the minimum number of users a Facebook app would need to have in order for me to write about it. The answer is: zero. I'd love to be the first person to discover something great. Even Angry Birds had no users at one point. The key is the quality, and that's where some companies might need to do some soul searching before they pitch a story: Is it really great, or are they playing that popularity contest, and just looking for a reaction to something the company hasn't really invested in?
Quick: What's the most successful brand on Facebook? Texas Hold'em Poker with its terrifying 43 million fans? (Who, yes, get to gamble on Facebook.) Justin Bieber? Coke? Nope. They all have huge fan bases, but for real success, try a much smaller fan base. Try Audi. The carmaker's engagement is through the roof, and 10,000 likes on a post are not uncommon. (OK, so maybe that's a different numbers game. It does show engagement, however: quality rather than just quantity.) A recent study by the digital marketing analytics firm Visibli showed Audi is the most engaged big brand on Facebook. It's easy to see why: Its posts are gorgeous multi-media with rich, unique, original content. Adding that kind of content to the social media stream does wonders for representing your company.
And the Audi Facebook folks clearly know their community.
The person who runs your brand's Facebook page should be like a disc jockey spinning the company's greatest hits. That means knowing and loving the company -- and building a real bond with the fans. That means not forcing that disc jockey to play the same old song, but giving them good content. That means allowing that community to thrive in an organic way, rather than twisting or turning it to meet an artificial demand for ROI.
You know those rich, valuable conversations you have with your real friends? The talks that linger and add value to your life? Could you have that type of engagement with a huge group you don't really know, but whom you're connected with solely to pad the number of friends you have?
Build out that rich content. Add to the stream. Connect in meaningful ways.
Still need a number to work on? How's your cholesterol?