The value for any business or brand of attracting only the most relevant followers and fans on social media – be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, or any other platform – is easy to understand.
Your efforts on social media will be more strongly focused on potential consumers.
You can expect higher conversion rates.
Engagement and interaction with your content will be more meaningful.
Conversations started on your social media properties are more likely to be amplified.
… and on.
I’m sure you get it, it’s pretty 101.
So, what’s this article all about then? Why would you ever want to attract irrelevant fans and followers on your social media properties?
There are a few reasons actually:
Attract relevant fans by providing social validation
It takes guts to be the first, or amongst the first, to do anything. You might be judged. You might be unsure of your decisions. For prospective fans and followers who are relevant to your business, a sizable social media community – relevant or not – can act as social validation to join your community. Ultimately, attaining irrelevant fans and followers can serve to attract a greater number of relevant fans and followers.
Build a sense of momentum and gain increased organizational support
I don’t need to tell you that there are more important metrics to gauge success on social media than fan or follower acquisition. This said, there are still a huge number of people that think of social media as an alternative broadcasting platform, and therefore view the number of fans and followers on social media properties as being equivalent to potential media impressions.
This is the wrong way to think about social media marketing, but if they’re not easily educated, let them think this way (for now anyway).
If you can build the number of fans and followers on your social media properties, you are going to be more likely to convince these kinds of people that you are gaining traction through your social activity, and will therefore be more likely to gain increased organizational support. This could be manifested through increased financial investment, additional resource allocation, or greater access to potential sources of content. All of these things could positively impact your social media marketing efforts.
I acknowledge the number of counter arguments to this, but in some cases, the path of least resistance can allow you to do things you wouldn’t be permitted or supported to do otherwise.
Encourage those working on your social media properties
This is particularly relevant for small social media communities in their early stages of growth. For anyone who has registered a Twitter account, started a Facebook Page, written for a blog that isn’t well established, or undertaken any similar activity, you know it can be discouraging to think that you’re expending incredible effort for virtually nobody to be seeing the fruit of your labour.
Picking up a few fans or followers can be incredibly rewarding, relevant or not. Even as your communities grow, acquiring new fans can be encouraging and psychologically rewarding, and can help sustain high levels of effort and enthusiasm to keep working toward more important objectives and KPIs.
Despite the positives I’ve listed in this post, I would never encourage you to go out of your way to acquire irrelevant fans or followers for your business’ social media communities. Also, I would never try to convince you that the value of an irrelevant fan or follower is anywhere close to a highly relevant, targeted fan or follower.
Under certain circumstances, however, there are actually benefits to having your communities grow in whatever way possible. You should embrace every new fan or follower, and recognize that even though they might be relatively inconsequential to directly helping you achieve your objectives, they might help to positively influence others who will make a greater impact. They can lead to the acquisition of more relevant fans, they can help to build internal support, and they can encourage sustained effort toward greater objectives.
If you have anything you’d like to share or add to this topic of conversation, it would be great to chat more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial