Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Social networking and the never ending race

The race is on. However, this race has no finishing line, is impossible to win and can damage your business.


I’m referring to the race for social networking followers, fans or contacts. It’s endless.

The challenge

The more time we put in, the bigger those numbers get. The challenge, is that we don’t have unlimited time to chase those unlimited numbers. As business owners, I believe we need to be more selective how we invest our time. We need to look at the return we want to achieve from our social networking investment, then focus on that definable objective. This gives us the clarity to concentrate on quality over quantity.

The starting point comes when we determine what we regard as quality, based on what we want to achieve. We can then set time aside each day or week, to invest in reaching that goal.

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  1. Thank you, Jim for this. Anyone who thinks that the goal of Social Media is to accumulate followers, connections and likes is missing the point. It is like thinking that the purpose of going to a networking meeting is to collect as many business cards as possible and that somehow you are going to get a prize for getting the highest number. The point of doing Social Media as a small business owner is to use it as a tool to grow your business. This goes beyond collecting people, but involves building relationships.

    • Hi Nicky. You put it really well when you said: This goes beyond collecting people, but involves building relationships. That’s a message so many people either forget or never quite understood. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Yes – Prioritizing is what this is all about. Social is not a popularity contest but a business function.

    • Hi Ayo. That’s part of the distinction; understanding that for business owners, commercial use of social networks is a business function. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. So right, Jim! Quality–not quantity–is the goal in this endless social media marathon.

  4. Hey Jim,

    Great blog, while I agree that the end result is always a business relationship I am not sure that it is as straight forward as you make out.

    Perception rules… and unfortunately the majority of people I meet are impressed by a large number of followers or fans, AND in my experience this is a factor in their decision making process as they decide whether or not they will become a customer?

    Hence numbers provide perceived social proof and improve conversion?

    Love to hear ur thoughts


    • Hi Geoff. You’re correct about social proof – my point is about making the decision when you have enough followers or social proof – whatever.

      Otherwise, you’re chasing and endless, limitless number with no way of knowing when you’re ‘there.’

      Hope that makes sense and thanks for a great question.

      • Hi Jim,

        No that is a great answer and I agree with you. Your content on this site is amazing and I am enjoying reading your newsletter.


  5. It’s like those folks who play Farmville, a game you can never win and a game that there will always be people with better farms.

    As you say, you need a strategy. Otherwise it’s just gonna eat up your time and maybe send you nuts. :)

  6. Hello Jim, in my opinion more often people are blinded by Followers, likes, repins, shares etc etc etc. But they forget the basic thing that’s why you are there, Fans and followers are real people, they follow or like something only when they feel connected to it, but what many Social media managers do is treat fans-followers as numbers.

    we all know after all we are there for business but at least it should be Social not Robotic.

  7. I think too many people lose time and ground focusing on followers, likes and shares instead of focusing on building relationships. As Kevin Costner said in the movie “Field Of dreams” “build it and they will come” Build relationships and all the rest will fall into place.

  8. Totally agree with you Jim. So my question is, how do you build a relationship on social media?

    • Hi, Sue. I think you build good relationships from stripping the network away and connecting with the other person. People are people, regardless of whether they connect with you via a phone, in person, via email or in a tweet.

      Treat people with respect and be there to respond when they reach out (as I have done here).

      Other than that, just try to keep it human. You can’t automate your way to a valuable relationship.

      I hope that helped a little and thanks for the question.

  9. Ok Jim, that’s good, Im doing something right!! Thx :)

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