Thinking small about social media marketing is about dedicating yourself to affecting real business results in small increments, day after day, for great long-term impact.

Frequently, this means demoting more common social media ambitions such as having as large a social media following as possible, maximizing impressions on content, and achieving high engagement rates at any cost.

These may be worthy pursuits, but should not be followed without a strategy in place to answer why you want to achieve these things, and how achieving these things is going to be correlated to real business success.


Size isn’t everything. Not even close.

It doesn’t matter if you have tens of millions of subscribers to your various social media networks if they’ll never be inclined to purchase your product or service. And if you’re hell-bent on growing your community essentially for the ‘free media impressions’, let me break some news to you, they’re not free. You’re either paying for ads to grow your community, or your investing time and resources into creating amazing content. No matter how you look at it, it costs money to grow your community, and there are many traditional media channels that you can pay for that are more efficient than social media marketing.

THINK SMALL: Thinking small about community size is about focusing energy and attention on your core community, which might be a small group of people. These are your loyalists, your advocates and evangelists. Don’t worry about the number of people you have in your community, focus on having members that are of high-quality. If you attract these individuals, provide tremendous value and build strong relationships with them, the strength, passion and value that your small community provides your business will be exponentially greater than a community of millions that is comprised of irrelevant followers from fake accounts, bots, click farms and people that will never make or influence a purchase.


If you want to blast your message to the masses, invest in a megaphone and some climbing equipment (or traditional media).

For many of the same reasons that trying to grow a social media community the size of the Roman Empire isn’t necessarily a smart and strategic way of focusing your time and attention, neither is finding every tactic possible to jack-up impressions of your content.

THINK SMALL: Thinking small about impressions means that you should not worry about total impressions, but rather you should aim to focus on the relevance of your impressions. Even if it means you’re reaching a smaller number of people, you should be aiming to land your content in front of those that will take positive and constructive action – people that will buy your product, share their ideas with you, contribute to the community in meaningful ways, and provide feedback, to list a few such actions. In the end, this may mean far fewer impressions than if you pushed your content with a shotgun approach, but the impact and outcome of those impressions will be more meaningful.


If you want to boost engagement at any cost, publish a video of a crazy Italian man conducting a Coke, Nutella and Mentos experiment straight out of grade 6, the latest celebrity gossip, cute puppies, a hatred of Mondays, or any number of other completely inane topics.

But, chances are that these things have nothing to do with your business, brand, or any factors influencing purchase behaviour, so there really is no point.

THINK SMALL: Thinking small about engagement means layering in the context of who is engaging, what they are engaging about, how they engage, and if in fact they’re inclined to engage in the first place. Focusing on this context will very likely mean lower engagement rates than posting another TGIF tweet, but the goal here should be to have highly-interested community members participating in a dialogue with you, and with each other, about subject matter that will move the needle. And if choosing to do this means your engagement rate suffers, who really cares?


How do you avoid getting caught up in the ‘bigger is better’ approach to social media?

Do you have any examples of things you’ve been asked to do for the sake of ‘big’?

How do you convince stakeholders of the value in being focused and disciplined in your approach to social media marketing?

What value have you experienced from your small but strong social media community?

It would be awesome to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial

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Engagement, Interaction, ROI, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy


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