* Image source: http://dejoi.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/number_game.jpg
Let’s be honest. Most of us still have that little kid inside us that really wants a good grade. I know I do. And I suspect some of our clients might as well. When determining the objectives of a new project, these tend to take the form of a certain quantitative measure as an indicator for success, such as the amount of press coverage, the number of consumer reviews or event attendance numbers.
However in our business, it’s not just about the numbers. What we strive for every day, is a fine balance between quality and quantity (and in an ideal world, achieve both). Getting your messages published in that specific trade publication or having those select few key influencers attend your event can have a significant impact. You’re not just reaching a broad anonymous public, but a targeted audience that’s in line with your strategic goals. And that is exactly what our job is about.
When a brand takes its first steps in the field of digital communications, it can easily fall into the quantity trap. Fans, friends, followers … they’re all such seducing KPIs. One gets greedy and keeps wanting more and more of them. But this greed for community members may in fact be a hindrance, blinding us to what really counts.
Granted, as a warm blooded community manager, my heart skips a tiny beat with every new fan, every new person to connect with. Nonetheless, we should always strive toward a qualitative, rather than a sizable fan/followers base. Sure, a Facebook page with thousands of fans looks nice, but it isn’t automatically proof of an effective digital program.
Through a relevant content strategy and balanced advertising plan we should aim to reach those people that matter most to our clients. You can imagine how much more valuable it is for a baby care brand to reach one young mom, compared to having three teenage boys as new Facebook fans. From the outset we need to focus on quality, and set out to touch those fans and followers that will connect with the brand in a significant way and form an engaged community – A community with a strong conversion rate, because that is where the return on your social media can be found. So in a way, it does all come back to numbers, now doesn’t it?