By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team
The old adage, “there are lies, damn lies and statistics” has never been more true when it comes to social media marketing. We are such a numbers driven culture that we place ultimate value on statistical results — we equate higher numbers with better results. This works in many areas of life, particularly sports. In baseball, for example, careers are made based on batting average, home runs, number of saves or simply won-lost records.
However, when it comes to marketing and measuring results, there are many grey areas that aren’t so quantifiable. Not all is black and white with winners and losers. Are Social media numbers a good example of what constitutes a successful page? Obviously followers or fans are an important determinant to extend ones reach or measure a successful marketing campaign. We marvel at people who have 25,000 plus Twitter followers or 5,000 plus Facebook fans.
Buying Fans vs. Earning Them
Some have earned them through diligence, hard work and time consuming efforts. Others seem to add them by the cartloads daily or weekly. There are people that will literally sell you followers or fans. One company promises 1,000 fans in a week for $100 or 5,000 fans for $399 — Guaranteed. Now these emarketing companies may actually achieve the numbers. But are these new found “friends” engaging you? Are they in fact your target market or demographic? And are they eager to take an interest in you? Putting it another way, would you rather have 1,000 “instant” fans or followers that do nothing but show up as a number on your social media page or 50 fans that could become evangelists for your brand and actually want to read your posts, contact you or buy?
Warren Whitlock, an industry recognized Twitter guru, who has written extensively about Twitter and is a best selling author about Twitter, told me that there is no magic bullet to gaining Twitter followers. You will be viewed as a spammer and Twitter will ultimately ban you. Mari Smith, a Facebook expert told us, “I have a preference to steer clear of any kind of app for any social site that does things in “bulk.” I’m a big fan of going the organic route; focus on …quality (people and content) and the quantity comes naturally. Facebook ads, if done right, can be a great way to boost fan counts.”
I could not agree more with Warren and Mari. As I stated, it is better to have a small interactive group than a large following that does not interact and is basically static.
Adding Twitter Followers — Automatically
If you want to add followers using “white hat” techniques, I can suggest the following automated tools that will help grow your targeted follower base and also be a valuable community of like minded friends:
1. Twollow.com: This tool will let you input up to 5 keywords specific to your
niche and let you automatically follow them. If you want to Twollow 15 new
people per day for 5 keywords, then you can add 75 new targeted users to your
profile per day.
2. SocialOomph.com: This automation tool provides Twitter users the ability to
set up tweets and submit them automatically to Twitter.
The Final Say
Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware! That’s the best advice I can give you to satisfy your instant social gratification cravings. Our recommendation is to value quality over quantity. It may not be sexy, but it will be more effective in the long term and add to the credibility of your brand. However, I would like your opinions on the quantity vs. quality controversy, so post them in the comments section. Please share with our readers your most effective techniques to grow your fans and followers, and how you measure the effectiveness of your newbies.
About the Author: Bob Speyer is an online marketer, social media strategist and co-founder of the Web Success Team. Bob develops effective marketing strategies to help companies increase brand awareness and target more customers for their products and services. His articles are intended to educate as well as inform readers of the latest tools and techniques of online marketing. You can follow Bob on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.