In the short term, QUANTITY BEATS QUALITY in social media
Yes, you read the title right. QUANTITY beats quality in social media hands down… at least for the short term.
Before you crack your knuckles and get ready to go onto a brawl with me, telling me how wrong I am. Read on.
We have all heard the phrase “Social Media is About Quality, Not Quantity.”
I know that it’s better to have 1000 crazy fans who adore YOU rather than 10,000 followers who don’t give a crap about YOU.
But let’s see, what do the two groups of people have in common with each other?
They both have YOU in it.
From OUR own perspective, quality beats quantity. We don’t even have to think twice about that. It’s TRUE.
It’s what we want. It’s what we work towards.
Social media managers often try to create quality content because they understand that quality content keeps your audience coming back for more.
Quality is also the preferred method of sending out campaigns and advertisements, instead of going all-out spamming your fans’ walls.
Once quality is established and controlled, you will find that your fans are now a community that strongly believes in what you or your brand does.
However coming from OTHER perspectives, quantity beats quality and the reasons are simple:
Generally, not many people will give a crap about the 1,000 fans who adore you. People don’t know about the crazy number of fans who loves you.
And people generally don’t care….
Especially if they are only glancing through your page and do not spend much time digesting your quality content.
They see the smaller picture, which in this case is the bigger number.
Have you heard people talking about quality of followers on TV? No, they talk about the Gabillion (Gazillion? Bajillion?) number of fans and likes. Not the number of quality engagement or the number of likes you get on a Facebook comment post.
In the first place, people in general define your social success based on the numbers of Twitter fans you have, the number of likes, RSS subscribers, and YES, they look at your Klout score as well.
Sadly, we’re in a society where people judge the bottom line. It’s how humans are.
It’s human nature.
People would rather eat in a partially full restaurant rather than eat in an empty restaurant. I know I do, so do my friends and family.
The same theory applies in social media as well. Whether you like it or not, the NUMBERS sell.
Here is a personal story, last year, I attended a couple of conferences and on one occasion, half way through the conversation, the topic about Klout came up and they were asking others about their klout scores.
As it turned out I have the highest score among them! One of them didn’t believe me and he even checked to verify it.
….Because of that they paid more attention to get to know me and what I had to say.
You may already be aware of this, but Reddit grew their site using FAKE users to populate the sites and make it seem as though it was popular.
Again, nobody wants to be in a site where they are the only one. So Reddit founders submitted their own stories, as they wanted to set the tone so that others would share interesting stories and contents too.
That made the site seemed more alive and not like a ghost town like Google+
Here is the video about it:
In the short term, social proof can get you to places and open many doors.
It can get people to pay attention to you; it can get people to be curious about your work and want to get to know you.
In the long run, quality still matters and you can’t keep those numbers for long if you can’t add substance in your work or if you don’t know what you’re doing.
At the end of the day, its best to have both worlds.
Photo credit: by Michael Cory