Using Social Media for Business? Go Backwards.

Those of us who are marketers tend to be programmed to think about reach and numbers. It’s easy to import that thinking into our social networking approach.

Have you ever chased subscriber numbers or Twitter followers or RTs or some sort of virality? I have – I think we all have (except the most angelic and pure, that is…you know, like Ann Handley! 😉 )

Larger numbers aren’t always bad, of course, but….pursuing the mass reach approach may not actually be the most effective for YOUR business. How should we decide where to put our time, focus, and dollars?

Think about four potential audiences for your social media efforts:


  1. The Eyeballs – people who see something you produce.
  2. The Transactors – people who might make a one-time purchase of something you offer.
  3. The Subscribers –  people who have a longer-term interest in what you have to say/offer.
  4. The Customers – people who are going to be a regular source of revenue, because of an ongoing need for what you offer.

Now, just reverse the order above. There’s your focus. That’s your tribe.

For most of us, the steadiest revenue is usually going to come from a relatively small pool of people. It took me far too long to recognize this. A couple years back, one long and objective look at a spreadsheet of customers was quite a revelation.

The vast majority of my business came from a handful of people, not a truckload. I began to shift my attention.

As with all business and promotional efforts, focus your social media approach there – where you are needed – not “out there,” where you are just another voice in the wilderness.

It is always tempting to go for mass and reach, but is that numbers game really gaining you revenue? For a few it may be, but for you….?

Target your long-term tribe. The other numbers and transactions will take care of themselves.

(P.S. ha! – Mack Collier just wrote about it a whole lot better than I did!)

Recently on the blog: Two Reasons Why Getting Clarity Unlocks a World of Referrals



  1. Ha, I was nodding along as I read this, then saw the end of the post. Great minds 🙂

Speak Your Mind