Ranking social media spaces for helpfulness

27 Jan

As we are going through a stimulating week chasing down support for our blog in an online poll, we come to the following conclusions:

> Twitter numbers are relative.

Someone with 10,000 followers on Twitter is exponentially less likely to be retweeted than someone with 1,000, all other variables being equal. While it’s true that having more followers means more tweeters will try to get access to them, it’s also true that you simply can’t know 10,000 people personally, so the connections are less personal and helpful.

> LinkedIn contacts are not particularly LinkedIn.

You don’t owe your LinkedIn contacts regular touching and generosity before you ask for help – as with Twitter – because many of these relationships are not new. But don’t expect too much. LinkedIn is not particularly social. It’s remains a more self-interested place. Like a lot of businesses, come to think of it.

> Facebook friends are invested however…

Personal contacts are more loyal and helpful than purely business contacts. They are emotionally invested in your success, even if they don’t always understand what the hell you do. A request for support on Facebook gets reaction, but business is not really on the menu and thoughts quickly return to fart jokes and funny videos.

In summary, when it comes to business aid, friends are more loyal than contacts but followers are the best of both worlds. Twitter wins.

PS> Everything you’ve heard about Victoria is true. It really is an amazing social media town. We found unbelievable, regular and continuous support from our Twitter followers and social media kin. Facebook and LinkedIn were less relevant geographically to the equation. But Twitter was all about geography.


12 Responses to “Ranking social media spaces for helpfulness”

  1. Jody Beck January 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Great post. I forwarded it to a client who is just getting involved with social media.

  2. dougbrowncreative January 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Thanks Jody. Give us a shout if we can help.

  3. jodbeck January 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Will do.

  4. Reg January 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    I agree — good notes and thoughts, Doug — and clearly being #2 is not really ‘losing’ per se — you seem to be taking good lessons (AND sharing them) from the experience. And that makes you a winner — and us along with you.

    Thanks for the insights.

  5. dougbrowncreative January 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    It’s a good learning experience for us Reg. We were outgunned by a great agency and our hats off to The War Room from Dallas, Texas. Things are bigger down there….and better. For now.

  6. jodbeck January 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Remember Avis slogan? We’re number 2. We try harder.

  7. dougbrowncreative January 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    In which case we never want to be number 1!

  8. jodbeck January 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    They’re not doing so bad, are they?

  9. Lorne Daniel January 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Interesting perspective Doug. As with other media, social media is not meaningful when reduced to data only. As you say, Twitter numbers aren’t necessarily meaningful. I guess that’s what Klout is trying to do – to measure true influence, versus numbers of followers. It’s a real challenge. As ‘Dunbar’s Number’ suggests, groups function best with 100-150 members, so there’s a case to made that the person with 10k followers can only really pay attention to 100-150.

  10. dougbrowncreative January 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    No, the War Room is doing very well Jody. Fantastic blog. They deserve to be in the lead.

  11. dougbrowncreative January 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Lorne that’s great perspective. Data tells only a small part of the story. But sometimes the part it tells is very revealing. We can be sure that people with tens of thousands of followers pay attention to very little in their twitter stream unless that’s their full time job. Most use hootsuite or tweetdeck to follow their favourites. Numbers can signify popularity but not necessarily investment. Thanks for the comment.

  12. Dave Traynor January 29, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Thanks for the insights into how your campaign rolled out. It’s instructive for all of us to see just how important the relationships we’ve built become when we are looking for support. Our business has always been about building and maintaining relationships and I see social media as an evolution of what we do. Congratulations on the whole campaign. It was great fun to watch and participate in. And you’re right about the Victoria social media community – what a great place to be!

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