Is bigger always better?
Does a larger Social Media following or footprint automatically represent an easily persuaded audience? I would like to play with the assumption that those with a larger Social Media following are the most influential.
Are those with a large following the most influential? Alternatively, has the digital space created the opportunity for brands and messaging to dig deep and find the smaller, more niche markets who will and can move their products or message far more efficiently?
Underestimating niche, highly engaged influencers is, in my opinion, a mistake. Is it harder to find them – meaning the ones who are making smaller waves in a big ocean? Absolutely. Is it impossible to find them? Not at all but it takes time and the right people who know how to find them.
These smaller more highly influential individuals who do not have the largest following have a more saturated following, and by saturated I mean engaged. These relationships are deep and have transcended the simple post and hashtag; the relationship has sometimes matured over a very short period. Resulting in a higher conversion rate and a more long-term relationship with the customer.
Go Big or Go Home – Social Media
I think about the saying ‘Go Big or Go Home’. Big, as we know, isn’t always better. People are becoming increasingly less enamoured with ‘go big or go home’ whether it is house size, bank balance or Instagram following. We watch the Minimalists on Netflix, and we marvel at what they have created and dream that we can do the same and we spend weekends emptying ourselves and homes of precious belongings that are cluttering our space, our minds and our hearts. We are less interested in who has the highest bank balance or, on a lesser and more superficial and hollow level, who has the most Instagram followers or Facebook likes.
It is true, however, to say that with larger numbers a greater standard of awareness is accomplished and a wider spread of prospective clients/followers/customers. Within that awareness, we have to ask, what is the ‘stick-ability’ of the conversation or messaging? Is the loyalty there? Have the so-called ‘influencers’ with the larger audiences saturated themselves and sold out in such a way that we no longer pay attention to what they are telling us? Alternatively, could it be only feeding a space that is increasingly more and more narcissistic by the day?
With niche audiences and smaller consumer communities comes a deeper relationship that has a higher propensity to become a relationship that is transactional. Meaning that the trust is greater, it goes beyond an ‘influencer awareness’ campaign and directly into the hearts and minds of potential consumers.
The key to a great campaign is to let awareness be like the veil that covers a bride but as we look deeper, to the intricate details on her dress, the tapestry in the design, the interlace within her bouquet. That is where the depth is found. That is where the beauty is. Much like online relationships, it is the small detail that is buried between posts. It is the relationship that is built and allows for ‘reading between the lines’. Through this messages are received, and products are sold.
We must return to the old to understand the new. It is about daring to walk across the room and look another in the eye and connect in a real way. It is not found in the scattering of the multitudes.
It is vital for businesses and organisations to search for their unique internal heartbeat. The heartbeat that separates their products and messages from others in the competing marketplace. The language and message that allows them to rise above the white noise. It is from there; we find the influencers who make sense to the brand. The niche ones who are deeply connected with their pure motivation being to build lasting, meaningful relationships. Where time is spent adding value to the lives of those whom they are engaging with them. Not the narcissistic ‘look at me, look at me, I am so great’ answering questions no one is asking, but rather adding value to them because he or she have come to know them. It is through this level of engagement that the dial is moved simply because it is authentic and real.
Photo credit: Roman Logov