Why “friend collecting” doesn’t work

We hear about it all the time these days – you have to have thousands of “friends” or “followers” to make social media work for you – BUNK.  Whoever came up with this notion doesn’t understand how business really gets done.

Think back to our grandparents era (and maybe before) and how business got done.  If you needed to buy a horse, or land, or any other product, you “asked your inner circle of friends and colleagues” who has the best product and will “give you a fair shake” in the deal.  They always knew someone and said “this is someone I have known for a while and you can trust to treat you fairly.”  That was all you needed to know and you went ahead and did business with them.

Fast forward to today – is it any different?  In fact, I believe we have had a resurgence of exactly this way of doing business – asking those we trust, respect, and believe will steer us in the right direction in our business dealings.  The only difference is that now, with the creation of social media, we can do it faster, more accurately, and within a broader circle of those that we trust or those that know someone we trust.  Now more than ever, we don’t believe the advertisements and propaganda from the company, we believe what people we trust have to say about something.

With this being the case, why does it matter how many “friends” you have in your network?  If it is to gather more news and information about what is going on in the world, then this could be a valid reason.  But if it is to create a more powerful “Advocate Network” then this will actually work against you.  The world is actually getting smaller, not larger.  Because of all the “noise” being published on the social media channels, more and more of us are turning to people (and their networks) we trust, respect, and have a relationship with.  This is is happening faster and more frequently than ever before – we are going “back in time” to what worked – only now faster…

So if you really want to leverage social media in a way that gives you the benefits it promises, think less, not more.  Fewer people but stronger advocates will get you closer to the benefits of social media than a huge list of 10,o00 “friends” that barely know you nor would they refer people to you.  The magic to social media isn’t in the “numbers” it is in building “stronger and deeper” relationships with people that really matter to you and your business.

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