Who do you reach in social?

We measure someone’s worth by the size of their followers or fans. What is someone’s “social reach”? If they are not followed by a army of people have they got any real social status? But I think we should look at someone’s social influence rather than reach.

“Don’t count who you reach, but reach those who count”. I am sure you have read it all before. I know I have, and yet we have managed to turn the internet into a world full of useless connections simply because we feel better about ourselves if we have lots of fans or followers. Seth Godin has something interesting to say on this (watch this 2 min video, I can recommend it. Its 2 years old but nothing has changed)

I remembered this example from last year when Brian McFadden tweeted about having a bad experience of losing his luggage after a Delta Airlines flight. He managed to create a fair amount of buzz as he has 50,000 followers on Twitter (and is mates with a radio presenter). So you could argue his social reach was substantial. However, how many of those 50,000 actually count? In other words, how many people actually acted upon his rant and no longer choose to fly Delta Airlines? Did he create a movement? Did he use his followers to gather momentum? Probably not, as a follower is not the same as a loyal friend who listens to your lost luggage story and over several beers solemnly vows to never fly Delta again either. Solidarity is a powerful thing. (then on the next business trip to the States this loyal friend finds out they can save $2k on a flight and their solidarity goes out the window, but that’s another story :))

If you feel like having a #rant, rant. But if you wanted to create a movement, or gather momentum for your ideas or your brand, make sure you reach those who count and who are likely to offer their solidarity, or buy your product. Everyone else is just fluff.

Jen