Web Crossroads: Quantity vs Quality

Posted on August 31, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Communications, Human Business, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: , , , , |


Is Social Media at a Crossroad?

Is Social Media at a Quantity vs Quality Crossroad?

For the past couple of months you may have been noticing some posts here complaining about  social media etiquette – lack of it, actually – over-commercialization and inattention to community that was the original hallmark of social media.

These days, so much activity seems to be related to numbers over substance. Get as many followers as possible. Maybe they’ll help you monetize your blog. Maybe you can sell them something right away and get your revenues up. It’s all about me, not about you. Relationship building is going by the wayside.

The counter measure to this phenomenon seems to be happening on Google+. People – mostly online-early-adopter types – are building different kinds of connections. They’re savoring the non-reciprocal nature of the place and experimenting, including communicating interests and passions other than what they share on their existing business and social networks.

Why is this happening? I say that it’s out of a dissatisfaction – and perhaps a fast-cycling nostalgia — for the hopes they saw in social media. Instead of companies getting on board for the journey, their inevitable push for results and ROI is grating against the notion of building trusting relationships that will lead to longer term rewards.

Among other recent blogs I’ve read  expressing this thought, a couple of days ago social media consultant and author Jay Baer wrote a post on his well-regarded blog railing against the expectation that’s been developing that online marketing should be easy and yield instant results. I felt compelled to comment on his post having written with a similar sentiment recently.

Although it’s a young marketing approach, it seems to me that online marketing is at a Quantity vs Quality crossroads. Are you experiencing any evidence of this. This is an important conversation to have and hope you’ll join in.

The image is by Soundlessfall under Creative Commons license.

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7 Responses to “Web Crossroads: Quantity vs Quality”

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As a substainable networker who developed a networking philosophy pre-Web 2.0, I always believed that quality trumps quantity all the time. Remember the days people used to boast about their rolodex files?

Being anal here: Drop the b, typo and make it sustainable. Thank you.

I could not agree more – in the current recession, I have witnessed behaviour off and online that I never thought I’d experience. Perhaps I am just showing my age. I confess to getting caught in the headlights of ‘stats’ from time to time and then I wake up and think ‘this is supposed to be a relationship’.

Electronic comms has made it harder to discern the important from the ephemeral – i do not feel the answer is to apply filters as this effectively narrows our vision and the internet is overall a huge bonus. I am definitely experiencing the ‘symptoms’ you describe Dr Becker, but feel there is no ‘cure’.

Peter, thank you so much for another of your substantive comments. I believe that anyone who could follow our engagement online, from first encounter in a LinkedIn group, to follows on other social media, to innumerable comments, RT’s, introductions and other mutually supportive interactions would be able to take our online relationship as a role model in how to use this medium for personal and business growth. I am quite certain that our mutual interest and respect will lead to business over the long haul – regardless of the fact that we operate on opposite sides of the Atlantic. It’s already led me to new learning and additional relationships – as I know it has for you.

Ellie Becker E.R. Becker Company, Inc. 203-852-8077 – O 203-858-4147 – C Blog – http://www.newprwordsandmusic.com Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/elliebpr

I feel exactly the same way and yet, I have no evidence for this other than gut feeling and comparison with other social media conversations. Perhaps we need some of the quantity to find the quality – I wish there was a more efficient way to find decent people now that we are in a global village Ellie.

I feel like for awhile there, there were a few of us that had hopped on the bandwagon of opportunities social media was offering to us. We were ahead of the curve. But now, everyone is using these tools – though some not that well – and all of our efforts are being diluted in the process. The challenge with it all is how quickly things have evolved. A post about best practices yesterday is already irrelevant by next week. We all have so much demanding our attention, no wonder we skim, click where we feel REALLY compelled and otherwise just CONSUME without giving back.

Meghan, I’m glad you felt compelled to click here and give back by adding to the conversation. Thanks for your comment and please come back again soon!! I’ll do my best to make it worth your while.


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