When it comes to social media, many people focus on the numbers and how to increase them: the number of followers, likes, friends, connections and more. The power of social media is not just about the numbers. Rather, the power of social media comes from the connections and relationships you build with your followers. This has really become evident over the past 10 days of voting in the 2012 Small Business Influencer Awards. I wanted to share my observations that illustrate the power of social media relationships.
The Small Business Influencer Awards recognize top influencers in the small business market and there are 984 nominees in six categories: journalists, news outlets, corporations, leaders, experts and apps. I’m a nominee in the Expert Category which includes about 320 nominees. I was curious about the other nominees and their reach (i.e. their number of followers). I discovered many of the nominees had a much greater reach (50 times) reach than myself. That means I’m the underdog right? Then, I better get to work!
As suggested, I asked people to vote for me via my social media outlets (my blog, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, AIPB group and the Intuit Community Allstar forum). I reminded them they could vote every 24 hours and it just takes a click to vote (no email required). But, people are really busy and I’m asking them to remember to do something every day. That’s asking a lot from my followers right?
I am amazed by the support and encouragement from my followers! I am really ‘feeling the love’ from their daily voting. Not only are they voting but they are posting reminders to keep voting with links to make it easier for people to vote. They are sharing it on Facebook and asking their friends to vote too. What a dedicated, awesome group of people. They are supporting me and want to help me win. How cool is that? (You really just win bragging rights and a badge for your website anyway).
The power of social media is not merely the number of followers. The power comes from relationships you build with your followers. Over the years, I have built online relationships with my followers. They are online friends, peers, cohorts and great people. We share information, offer encouragement or a joke when needed, exchange referrals and more.
Right now, I’m #2 in the Experts category (getting close to #1) and #4 overall. That’s amazing to me! I realize many of the other nominees may not be actively trying to get votes. At any moment (voting continues until August 5), other nominees could ask their followers to vote for them and probably knock me way down on the list. It doesn’t matter to me — I’m already a winner with followers like mine! 🙂
Thanks everyone for your help and support!
P.S. If you want to vote, click the pic in this post and thanks!