Stop counting social media and really know your friendsWritten by Kevin Cesarz | | firstname.lastname@example.org
You have 10,570 social media followers. Awesome, you win some kind of social media prize. But how many of those Twitter followers or Facebook friends can you describe in detail?
That’s the point of social media really. How many people can you maintain a stable social relationship with?
I often tell people to build a strong social media core by asking this question with every friend or follower request: Can we share enough valuable information to mutually benefit each other? If you can’t answer that question in the affirmative then resist the urge to win that aforementioned social media prize.
Social Media and broadcasting
Traditional media broadcasts to very large groups of people hoping that a small percentage of that group responds to an appeal.
Now consider social media’s reach. Begin with a theoretical limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships.
How many people can you share one additional piece of identifying info? “Oh, I know Janeile, she’s a member of Social Media Breakfast Toledo. Yes, I know Michael, his wife’s name is Amy and they own a small business. Lorrie’s son goes to Ohio University.”
Dunbar’s Number and your tribe
Dunbar’s Number identifies this core tribe. This theoretical number lies somewhere between 100-230. Let’s make it 150. That’s your core social group – 150 people – that you can offer one additional piece of identifying info.
When someone in your core social group comments on something that interests you, that affirmation comes with “social credibility.” Michael and I are former co-workers. We’ve spent time together, we’ve had lunch.” His comment, appraisal or review of something is elevated by our relationship.
Now Michael has 150 friends in his core. And Janeile is a friend of both Michael and I and she has 150 friends in her core. Now you can see how these social cores (and their conversations and ideas) can extend indefinitely out to the same range as the big media broadcasters. My friends and Janeile’s friends and Michael’s friends and all of our friends and their friends add up.
Now take a good solid social core and put it on steroids? Social Networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn develop and strengthen this core group. Every time you reveal good, usable information and insight your core rewards you. It’s always good to be affirmed by our social group. These are the people who make us feel at ease – the people we trust. We ask them questions first. We share photos and links and ideas.
That’s the power of social media – affirmation, credibility, knowledge. My group makes me smarter, faster, and stronger. My group has my back.
Can you or your business harness this type of power? Can you make me smarter, faster, and stronger? Will you watch my back? Can you build a stronger tribe?
Kevin Cesarz is the Director of Social Media and Web Project Manager at Thread Marketing Group in Maumee. He writes about social media and content strategy on his blog i scream social (klcesarz.wordpress.com).