Evaluating Marketing Milestones: Do 1000 Twitter followers matter?

> Do any ‘numbers’ matter when it comes to ‘collecting’ contacts for your business purpose? Not really. Not by metrics alone. Whether you have 25,000 or 50 database leads, Facebook fans, surveys completed on a tradeshow booth, Twitter followers, LinkedIn contacts, or past customers… it is definitely not quantity that matters, it is of course… the quality that counts. But quality of what? Here’s a good list to get you thinking about what really matters for your business:

  • Quality of information you know about the people who have engaged with you

  • Quality of the connection made and if it is reciprocated (conversation, sales, business building)

  • Quality of the process you use to reconnect (regularity, frequency, personal versus automated)

  • Quality of the content of your message & if it’s meaningful to your ‘readers’ not just you

  • Quality of the ‘list’ for your needs – who is paying attention to you that will help grow your business; who is on the list that you want to know better?

  • Quality of the ‘list’ for your customers’ needs – do you have an emerging group of leading customers, business contacts, personal relationships that matter to you and possibly to each other?

When http://www.twitter.com/SwingCandy (@SwingCandy) followed me on Twitter this past Saturday evening, this vintage/swing dance clothing store owner & home organizer in Vancouver, became my 1000th follower since I actively started tweeting in August 2009. For some, 1000 in a 6-month period is not epic… it’s barely a scratch on the Twitter milestone chart… but for me it’s meaningful. This is because I have created my Twitter connections to be nearly exclusively an entrepreneurial or local market attraction.

 

I am on Twitter to connect for my business growth… mostly business to business learning and sharing with other business experts… but also to share marketing insights to solopreneurs. And yes, as my life evolves and shifts to more school-aged child years, to build my business monetarily through all streams of connecting. This long-term view means I do regularly cull my list of spammers and inappropriate followers. And I certainly do not follow everyone who follows me… my basic criteria is: if you don’t say what you do, where you live and have communicated something in the past 2 weeks, I likely won’t follow you back.

 

Whether in my contact list in my email database, on Facebook, or on Twitter (the three places I’m most likely to create a conversation with entrepreneurs or business colleagues), about one-third of my engagement turns to conversation. An adequate number of that turns to business. It is the way I want it to be right now… an exceptional amount of quality connecting from a quantity of contacts I can manage right now.

 

As a marketer, I strongly advocate for metrics, even though I’ve just claimed the numbers don’t matter. They do, as long as quality comes first. Just scratching the surface, these are the metrics you must remember when you start:

  • setting measurable goals and trying to reach them

  • managing 20% of existing contacts as if they are or could be your ‘best’ connections/customers

  • adding an appropriate number of new, qualified contacts to your fold on a regular basis

  • purging an appropriate number of inappropriate contacts in your fold on a regular basis

I highly recommend a pragmatic, strategic approach to connecting. Know who you want to know and why. Develop interesting & meaningful conversations, ideas, stories, promotions, and programs that appeal to their needs. This will attract those you want to know. Engage with them personally. Focus on quality first. Quantity will follow.

 

Beware of the numbers trap. Being on a mission to add as many followers as you possibly can, without rhyme or reason to who or why looks, at worst, suspicious and will backfire. At best, it makes you look like a novice who doesn’t know your own mind or business.

 

Do you know who you want to reach & why? Do you know what is meaningful and unique that you have to offer? Figure that out! Then, and only then, when you reach 1000 Twitter followers, or any milestone, you will know if it matters to you. 

 

Kim Page Gluckie is a marketing expert in traditional marketing who recently has been called a social media expert. She is, to the point that she is 95% ahead of most entrepreneurs in creating engaging, integrated social media programs for small businesses. She trains solopreneurs to make great marketing decisions that propel their businesses forward. You can find her at www.mpoweredmarketing.com or www.twitter.com/Power_of_M.

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