I must admit that it was my inner reality TV addict that tempted me to check out a tweet from this morning promoting a Kim Kardashian case study based off of her tweets and Twitter profile. But, after reading the article, I do think the author makes an interesting point about the quantity of Twitter followers compared to the quality of Twitter followers that an individual has. The article, which can be read at length here: http://mashable.com/2010/10/01/twitter-kim-kardashian/, examines the relationship between Kim Kardashian and her loyal tweeps by how many hits her official website receives via her Twitter account. According to Mashable.com, her site is ranked 54th out of all websites that are clicked from Twitter users, and that takes into account sites like TwitPic, Flickr, and dozens of sports and news sites. And, while Kardashian is a popular celeb on Twitter with just under 5 million followers, she’s still not as favored as Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, or even Justin Beiber. She just knows how to tweet a fine balance between her thoughts and comments and her business ventures to keep her followers interested.
The article provoked me to think about how truly loyal Twitter followers, Facebook fans, Flickr contacts, YouTube friends etc. can be. Leaders of online communities can become quite influential by paying attention to their sources and connections – whether they are customers of a local garden center or green industry professionals or adoring celebrity fans. Then, use that knowledge to supply followers with what they want and need and it seems (in Kardashian’s case) that that they will become even more loyal. A great small business example of this scenario that is more geared towards our work / industries is Sickles Market, an independent garden center retailer. I’ve never seen a Facebook page buzzing as much as theirs does- every post has multiple comments, every photo or video is liked and shared. It’s amazing the steady, cult-like mass of fans they have, which is more than 2,000 in the town of Little Silvers, NJ where there are only about 6,000 residents. Here’s their page: http://www.facebook.com/SicklesMarket for more inspiration on quality vs. quantity of social media followers.
In our realm of all things related to home, garden, and design products and people, social media is an important means for companies and brands to interact with customers, the media and other important groups. It provides an opportunity to participate in online communities and conversations in ways not otherwise possible. The lessons learned from celebs, such as Kim Kardashian, are certainly notable as they were the ones who fanned the social networking flame to make it what it has become today. And, leaders in our industry, like Sickles Market or even the bigger names of Kathy Ireland, Paula Deen, or Donald Trump, who know how to network themselves in ways to create devoted followers of their home furnishing lines or other design-based products for homeowners, are clearly setting examples for all of us who want to better our social sites.
Let us know what you think about this issue by leaving a comment below.
~ Sarah Kate