Social Media Turns Every Connection Into a ‘Warm Call’

Is social media working for you? Don’t be so quick to judge. How we measure success in social media is not about numbers, it’s about the quality of connections.

Again and again, I find examples that it’s not quantity that counts, but quality. Maybe you have been developing a Facebook Page, Tweeting several times a day, commenting in a forum, and trying to keep up with your blog. It’s hard work, no doubt, and sometimes a stagnant follower count can seem like you aren’t making any progress.

But who are your followers? They aren’t just a number – some of those people actually exist, and love hearing from you. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I see someone who has 40,000 follower and think “Wow – what did they do to attract such an audience?”

But that is balanced by the many experiences I have where I am amazed at who is finding me online, be it my blog, Twitter feed, or newsletter. There have been several times where I approached someone I really respected and wanted to meet, only to find out that they already knew who I was because of my presence in social media.

It goes beyond being a conversation starter… it’s a relationship starter. Why? Because it just takes one person to reshape your life. If you engage in social media for personal reasons, it takes just one person to become an inspiring friend. If you engage in social media for more professional reasons, it takes just one person to catapult your career.

You know how sales people have ‘cold calls’ and ‘warm calls?’ Well, social media increases the number of warm calls in your life. It means that people are already familiar with who you are, and have established a foundation of trust before you ever say a word to each other.

So the question shouldn’t be “how many followers do I have?” but, “who am I connected to?” And then of course, “How can I help them?”

This is especially true when you consider how well suited social media is for niche markets. Likely, your potential audience isn’t hundreds of thousands of people to begin with. Likely, you are focused on one segment of one market. And even within that total population, there are some individuals in particular that you especially hope to connect with. Are those people already following you on Twitter? Have they read a blog post you wrote online? That follower count and page view number doesn’t indicate the quality of your connections.

It reminds me of the legendary story of the first ever Sex Pistols show. About 40 people showed up, and they mostly sat and stared at the stage. But within that tiny crowd were people who went on to form some of the biggest British bands of the 1980’s: Joy Division, The Smiths, The Fall, and The Buzzcocks. It’s heralded as one of the most influential gigs ever.

Is that your Twitter feed? Your blog? Tiny, but influential?