The discussion topic was “Post your Twitter ID here so everyone can follow you and you can follow them back”.
Now, it is a misconception that the success you can get from social media is about numbers rather than engagement, but it is a fact and one that many inexperienced social media users find it difficult to get their heads around. This is because they still see social media as ‘media’ and the goal with any media is to have the biggest audience and the biggest share of voice…right?
Wrong (well, for social media anyway).
Social media works something like this…
Imagine being at a garden party. You chat to people you know and get introduced to new people and of those people, some you like and some you don’t. The ones you like again you may see again, the ones you don’t…you don’t. The more you chat with them, the more you get to know them, and the more you like each other, the more you want to see them again and the more likely you are to become friends.
Well, that’s basically what happens in social media. It is like a global barbecue, everyone’s their eating, drinking and chatting. You won’t get to meet everyone. You won’t like everyone you meet. That’s just how it is, and it’s fine!
Sadly, there are no short cuts. This organic growth, this introducing, this slow (but meaningful) growth is what it’s all about.
Imagine you go to a football match and try to befriend everyone there. You won’t make any friends and you won’t get to know anyone either. You’ll end-up talking to lots of people without anyone actually listening.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the barbecue analogy actually is pretty close to what happens in social media.
If you chat for a long period of time to a few people you end up getting invitations to their parties too and they introduce you to their friends.
But if you just run from person to person at the barbecue telling them what you do everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, thinks you’re a prick…because you are!