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02.24.11 -
Many social media managers, consultants, users, etc. are moving more and more toward a two-prong approach to social media: (1) get high numbers of "likes," "followers," and "fans" and (2) send all these people a steady one-way flow of information. But the problem with this two-prong approach is that it desperately fails to take advantage of the interactive nature of social media.

This isn't to say that high numbers of "likes" or "fans" on Facebook, "followers" on Twitter, and/or "subscribers" on YouTube are a bad thing. They're not. Big numbers in those places potentially can be meaningful, but if there's no real connection between your organization and those who have done you the favor of connecting with you, then those numbers are deceptive in what they truly represent.

A recent Razorfish study found that "feeling valued" was the most important element for consumers when they connected to a brand. But when the opportunity exists for interactive communication (as it does with social media platforms) and your firm doesn't do its part to interact, do you think you've shown your connections that you value them?

Social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Blogger, etc.) give marketers an opportunity to build a more "affective" (emotional) connection in a low-pressure environment that isn’t necessarily focused on the sale. Anyone who’s knowledgeable about building brand loyalty understands that building emotional connection is far more effective in building brand loyalty than merely low prices or high quality. (See what happens when the competition beats your price or quality when no emotional connection exists.

But the focus on building up numbers and then inundating followers with content is misguided. Marketers need to use social media to truly connect. And how does the marketer connect? It gets back to the basics of what online social media needs to be successful: Content and Community.
Content means that you need consistently new material that is relevant to your target audience(s). We hear about that all the time on social media forums.

Community means that you do more than a casual “connect.” It means using the interactive nature of online social media to facilitate communication in both directions: from the customer (or potential customer) to you and from you to the customer. This communication should be a true interactive exchange of thoughts, ideas, information, and yes, even feelings. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours chatting with one potential customer (in fact, you typically shouldn't), but if you aren’t spending time answering, commenting on, or at least acknowledging your followers, subscribers, and “fans,” then you're failing to use social networking media for its greatest benefit: to connect. A little one-on-one interaction can go a long way in building a true “relationship” between you (or your brand) and those in your network.

So get your 1,000 (or 100,000) friends, likes, and fans if you must. But if you don't really connect, don't be surprised that very little comes from your supposed popularity. Having a much smaller, but truly connected group of people is often more valuable than a larger, unconnected group.
Connecting is sensible.

Posted on Social Media Today February 23, 2011 by Anthony Miyazaki

WE will make sure that your company or non-profit connects! Contact us today at or 208-1064.

Tracy Diina Communications provides PR and fundraising support for non-profits and small businesses who need big time results. We provide personal, mission driven attention to your organization, using our experience in issues development, communications and non-profit management. And remember…at Tracy Diina Communications, all work is totally catered to the individual client so once an organization's needs are fully fleshed out, we will determine what package we can create that will be the best fit for you!

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