There can be no doubt that social media and marketing strategy will be inexorably LinkedIn (pun intended) together for the foreseeable future.  Companies large and small scramble to capture followers, friends and likes.  Charts and graphs representing counts, tallies and trends are being presented in boardrooms around the globe.  So if you have been tapped with providing this data here is a sure-fire strategy to achieve those numbers that keep the graphs moving in the right direction.

Do something very likeable.  Yup, that’s it.

Or at the very least, do something different, unexpected or entertaining.  I know, at this point most of you will have one of the following reactions:

  1. Gee thanks Captain Obvious. I’m outta here.
  2. I was hoping for a shortcut to satisfy my bosses’ irrational desire to accumulate followers like The Grateful Dead!
  3. You said to yourself, “Self, that’s what I’ve been saying all along, this guy must know what he’s talking about.”

For all 3 of you who are still reading I will elaborate.

On the quest to accumulate numbers we often place importance on the numbers themselves rather than the value of the individual connection.  Your goal should be to cultivate (not accumulate) followers who are interested, engaged and otherwise invested in your brand.  Think of it in real world terms.

Would you go up to strangers or mild acquaintances and say, “Hey there, I’m really trying to improve my popularity and justify my existence by getting more people to “Follow” and “Friend” me.  Would you mind telling everyone you know how awesome I am?”  No, of course you wouldn’t, at least I hope not.

Again, as in real life (i.e., not virtual), friends and followers are only worthwhile if you’ve earned them.  It’s harder, takes more time and effort, but it is the right thing to do and you may reap unexpected dividends down the road.  It’s the cyber equivalent of paying it forward.  It’s also pertinent to keep in mind that in these days of instant feedback to the entire virtual universe, that doing something “unlikeable” can spread faster than juicy office gossip at the water cooler.

So when formulating your “Social Media Strategy”, ask yourself. What’s the true measure of your success?

10,000 people who clicked on your social media icon, (who by the way, probably clicked on 10,000 others as well) who really aren’t vested in your product or service, don’t know your value and in all likelihood won’t remember who you are or what you do if in fact they do have a need for your services.

Or 100 true friends that you have helped, satisfied or genuinely gotten out of a jam, who would enthusiastically recommend you to someone who could benefit from your product or solution?

Remember: Cultivate not Accumulate

If we at Village Print & Media have done something exceptional to earn your business or anything that may cause you to think, “Hey, these guys seem pretty cool, I wouldn’t mind being friends with them”, by all means please click on one (or several) of those similarly shaped yet highly desirable icons placed prominently throughout our materials.

After all, my boss wants a report on the numbers next week.