On a business trip in Houston I saw a billboard for a local electric company, proudly proclaiming it was “The Most Friended Electric Company” in the city. As I’m fond of saying, that and $8 will get you a cup of coffee at your local chain coffeehouse. In short, hoarding friends, followers, likes, tweets, etc. does absolutely nothing for your business unless you can somehow translate that into sales.
I’m a big supporter of social media as one more tool in your marketing toolbox, but when it’s the cornerstone of your marketing strategy, and used to chase artificial metrics that don’t necessarily translate to sales it becomes a waste of time and effort. Obsessing about likes and friends breaks down to a “mine is bigger than yours” schoolyard argument.
Sales should be the ultimate metric for any marketing campaign, and every effort, whether its direct mail or twitter should have that end game in mind. At the end of the day I’d happily remain friendless on the social media platform du jour while cashing a giant check, than have millions of followers and nary a penny to my name.