Happy 200 million

Posted: April 8, 2009 by Ben Smithee in AMA, Social Media
Tags: , , , ,

Today Facebook reaches 200 million members…impressive!

Think about the value of 200 million to your brand…even more impressive.  Though you may be initially enamored with the pure number, each of these members represents more than just a marketing target and a set of eyes.  As marketers, researchers, communicators it’s important we get past the sure ambiance of the social media craze.  When you start looking at social media and its massiveness in terms of quantitative analysis, you loose the very essence of what social media is all about and where the TRUE value comes from.

Many times as I am talking to companies and c-level execs about social media I am first tasked with changing a mindset.  A mindset that for years has been focused on the value of numbers and “exposure.”

Step 1 – Change the “exposure” thought process of sending 1,000 messages that are then noticed by 100 and cause action in 10.

Step 2 – Ingrain the “relationship” model of creating 10 strong relationships and connections which then translate into 100 and on to 1,000.

Step 3 – Get past “twitter is cool, and make a FB page” – companies want and deserve more than that and need to be taught application and utilization based tools

Step 4 – Overcome the shock factor and urge to control – many teams once started become overwhelmed with the mass of information available at their fingertips and have the urge to control any perceived “fallacies or falsehoods” – Are they accurate and true? If so, change your practices.

Step 5 – Incorporate all of your channels and messages into the culture of the company and “live” your words like Zappos and SWA. Enhance  your relationships as they are the TRUE value from the millions of potential.

Step 6 – Fight the “dead zone” – DO NOT stop!  Push forward and maintain your early momentum

Of course along the way are different subtle points of emphasis and different things each company needs to incorporate differently, but time after time I work on implementing the same beginning process for those just starting.  For those who I work with that understand the basics, it becomes a question of “how do we enhance your current relationships” and how can I continue to stand out, make a difference as well as monitor the effects of our actions.  It’s hard to explain APIs to those who are still learning to RT.  But, once past the adolescent stages – your own creativity is the only limit!  This is when it becomes really FUN!  Having the opportunity to help companies stand out from their competitors and really harness the power.

200 million is astonishing and even more so is the quickness of their most recent growth.  As I have been preparing my keynote for Beyond Borders, I had a stat touting its 180 million, which I have since been required to update in the matter of a couple weeks!  So, take a step back and admire the sure volume and numbers, but then think smaller, way smaller, and start building a strong platform of relationships and connections.

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