Quality, Quantity and Purpose: Growth of Your Social Media Presence


When you die, you can’t take things with you. I always have taken that to mean the volume of things in one’s life is less important than the quality of the experience one has.

In the world of social media there are many who would beg to differ with that, focusing heavily on sheer numbers – followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, or if you cotton to the idea that clicks represent influence and importance, there’s the “Influence” experiment by Fast Company Magazine. Truth be told, as with anything else, size is less the issue for most people on-line than it is about the quality and content of those numbers. So with my disclaimer that size doesn’t always matter, there are some things to think about if growing your presence is something about which you care.

First, and this relates to the cautionary note above, think long and hard about whether volume serves you. As noted quite well in this post by RadCampaign’s Allyson Kapin, depending on your business or objective, that volume could dilute your business objective and ultimately your brand. In the case Allyson notes, that of non-profits, does it really matter that they be among the top 100 Twitter users? If the non-profit’s purpose is, as would likely be the case, visibility for their cause and fundraising, millions of followers don’t matter if those people aren’t mobilized to write checks.

What’s that?

You’re still set on cranking up the volume of people following you on Twitter?

Okay, if you’re sure, here’s my take:

There are some folks who will propose you use automated systems. I’m not one of them. I’ve eschewed using such things and have grown my Twitter following the old fashioned way, in purely organic fashion. Without concerted effort or focused attemptI’ve engaged close to 6,000 people. A far sight from millions or even hundreds of thousands carried by some folks, but a decent showing nonetheless. The advantage to organic growth is you tend to avoid the precipitous drops that happen when folks who were sucked in by automated bots do a cleanse of their account. The down side is that if you are Tweeting for a business and want to proactively increase that visibility, you need to take action.

With that in mind, there are ways to address this and there are some folks who have great ideas on how to do it. One of the Twitter voices I respect on this front is a fellow named Darren Rowse, known to the Twitterati as problogger. In this thoughtful post, Darren offers a solid set of tips one can use to grow those numbers. His ideas must work, because the post, written in May 2008 cites his follower count at 5,500. Today that number sits at more than 100,000.

Maybe it’s time to break out of my old fashioned ways and try Darren’s tips on for myself. Who knows, they just might fit.

About The Author

What began for me as a career telling other people’s stories has evolved into a journey of helping others tell their stories for themselves. I'm a “classically trained” Journalist whose passion for communications began with my first job ripping wire copy in 1982 and has evolved to encompass nearly every platform and aspect of media – from reporting and editing to broadcast management, talent casting and guest booking. I've also curated content for several of the tech industry’s leading conferences. It was after finding myself engaged as an activist for LGBT equal rights that I began to explore the way in which personal stories inform and influence people’s everyday lives and I began using my tech background to teach people to make these connections of personal stories, using new technologies as the medium. Presently I run my own consulting firm in San Francisco, working with companies and individuals helping them navigate the crowded waterways of new technologies with the express purpose of leveraging these rapidly evolving platforms to tell their stories. Through workshops, seminars and strategic consulting services, I walk clients through the story-telling process and towards the kind of deep engagement that comes from truly authentic communication.

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