Who died and made Social Media boss?

Every since the marketing world was enamored by social media several questions have kept popping into my head. The questions below are for you to answer in the comments, and center around the social media rules we have heard for years. For some of them I am pretty sure of the answers. And some of the others just baffle me. (Note: I don’t advocate any particular method below. I just question everything I hear)

  • Why do people talk about engaging so much in social media, but they don’t in television or print ads? Who all of a sudden woke up one day and said engagement was the name of the game? ( I believe it is )
  • Why do they say numbers don’t matter when that is precisely what does matter? More numbers = more people getting your message = more people taking action = more people buying. It has always been this way in marketing. Television cares about numbers. Print ads care about numbers. But social media for business is not supposed to be about the numbers? Everybody selling something cares about numbers. If I am not mistaken what you want is a large number of action-takers correct ?
  • Hey Mr. Social Media expert: If numbers don’t matter then is it OK if we have Twitter take away your 550,000 followers and give you just 20? Because numbers don’t matter right? I bet you’d be a little unhappy.
  • Have you ever seen any business with 20 followers on any platform say “I am happy with my 20 followers. I don’t want any more” ?
  • Since when is voicemail OK, and email auto-responses acceptable, but Auto-DMing taboo ?

I’d like your thoughts below. Thanks.


  1. Jessica Northey 2011-06-29 at 17:56

    this reminds me of a post that I wrote about a post [email protected]:twitter  wrote called “Youre Doing It Wrong” http://fingercandymedia.com/3960-youre-doing-it-wrong 
    Patrick you are terrific! so glad to have connected with you via @Triberr 🙂

  2. Patrick Allmond 2011-06-29 at 18:15

    Sweet. Thanks Jessica. I’ll go read yours now. 

  3. Anonymous 2011-06-29 at 19:10

    Humor plays a part in keeping your moral up and your #follow rate high. All the best, Debby

  4. Patrick Allmond 2011-06-29 at 19:13

    Thanks for stopping by Debby. I look for the humor in everything. It never hurts to smile or laugh unless you’ve broken a rib. And even then its “Ha Ha pain Ha Ha pain”.

  5. PamMktgNut 2011-06-30 at 01:43

    You raise some good points Patrick.  My belief is that we need both quantity and quality.  Absolutely we need numbers as it’s all for nothing if there isn’t anyone on the other end.  

    However, given that I also believe in quality. The key is it can’t be just “anyone” on the other end. It needs to be people who have a genuine interest in what you have to say.  We also must have a genuine interest to listen and understand the needs of those who follow us. 

    I will take a following of 100 followers who are engaged, interested in what I have to say, services offered and could be a potential client for me versus 1000 that aren’t.

    It is a fact that if you provide value to the right audience you will organically attract the right people to your business and life. To me at the core is the need to inspire and connect with real people. That is where the quality comes in, the real human connection and the fact there is a heart and a set of ears on the other end engaged with you and your brand. 

    Having the quality and the quantity is the holy grail for social media and ROI. Numbers are numbers without understanding of audience, relevance in conversation and an ability to monetize via sales funnel. 

    My 2.3 cents 😉 

  6. Ronald Ladouceur 2011-06-30 at 18:34

    Patrick, your points are all valid. Numbers do matter. And for consumer brands, those numbers should be big. But what about brands that are not fan favorites – brands in financial services, health care, manufacturing and B2B in general? Brands that typically attract only a few hundred to a few thousand likers and followers and modest engagement?

    Is social a waste of time for those brands? Of course not! As we know, social – specifically, our new-found ability (and preference) to ignore ads and salespeople, and to search, qualify, scan for reviews and seek recommendations – is now how business is done. So it has to be how marketing is done.

    The reason some people (including me) sometimes say “numbers don’t matter” is that social initiatives measured only by FB likers, Twitter followers and respective engagement, can look frivolous to B2B and “serious” consumer brands. Of course numbers are important even in these instances. But to reflect the success (or not) of a B2B social marketing initiative, like an influencer strategy or managed community, the numbers must track and measure activity against a slightly more complex goal set.

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