Social Media: Quality or Quantity?

Quality – of information, of leads, of interactions – helps us focus our efforts and energy in the right places. It makes relationship development a more scalable activity, because we can reach one-to-one or one-to-few more personally than we can one-to-many. It provides a richness and depth of experience, or the feeling of a worthwhile investment, and helps us conceivably derive a better value-to-effort ratio for the things in which we invest our money or brain power.

Quantity, on the other hand, provides us with the field of information, leads, or interactions to draw from. More isn’t always better; 10 outstanding blog posts is arguably better than 50 mediocre ones, and a representative sample is better than a whole pile of garbage data. But some is often better than none, and quantity (even a minimal one) gives us a starting ground for most things. That can be the potential reach of an audience, a field of data with which to at least begin some analysis, or simply a diversity of perspectives upon which to make an informed choice or decision.

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Social Media: Quality or Quantity? - Brass Tack Thinking

In social media, is it quality or quantity that matters?

Yes.

Here’s what I mean.

Quality and quantity, in the cases of many goals and objectives, are inextricably linked. They’re relative, and one can outweigh the other or the scale can be different. But it’s a rare case in business when it’s actually only one or the other.

Quality – of information, of leads, of interactions – helps us focus our efforts and energy in the right places. It makes relationship development a more scalable activity, because we can reach one-to-one or one-to-few more personally than we can one-to-many. It provides a richness and depth of experience, or the feeling of a worthwhile investment, and helps us conceivably derive a better value-to-effort ratio for the things in which we invest our money or brain power.

Quantity, on the other hand, provides us with the field of information, leads, or interactions to draw from. More isn’t always better; 10 outstanding blog posts is arguably better than 50 mediocre ones, and a representative sample is better than a whole pile of garbage data. But some is often better than none, and quantity (even a minimal one) gives us a starting ground for most things. That can be the potential reach of an audience, a field of data with which to at least begin some analysis, or simply a diversity of perspectives upon which to make an informed choice or decision.

The key is to find the point of diminishing returns: when the quality of outcomes is offset or even negatively impacted effort of collecting additional quantity .

That’s not going to be the same for my business as it is for yours. It’s not going to be the same in B2B as it is in B2C or for a nonprofit as it is a Fortune 100 consumer brand. Questions to ask yourself might include:

  • What constitutes a valuable use of one hour of my time consuming content? Is it one big idea that I can implement in the next year? Three small actions I can take next week? Entertaining myself or taking a break from work to rest my mind?
  • What’s the cost (time, technology, or a combination of the two) for me to collect 1,000 email addresses, or 100? How much money do I need to make back from those addresses to have made it worth my while, or is there another outcome or cost savings that I can count as a return?
  • Can I further worthwhile discussions of my cause or point of view if I don’t have a platform upon which to spread them? How big does it need to be to gain traction? How small does it need to remain to feel focused?
  • How much “engagement” can I generate via my social profiles before maintaining that level of interaction won’t scale and will frustrate my community? If they had to choose, would my community prioritize individual attention over speed of information?
  • How many months of data do I need to track to know if my campaign is having the desired results? Am I tracking the data points that tell me something useful, or just tracking lots of them? Leer más “Social Media: Quality or Quantity?”

The Simple Complexity of Outstanding Customer Service

But she could get by with the bare minimum. She could be pleasant but not super friendly. She could wait to be asked before providing a bunch of helpful information, or extras like looking at the availability of upgraded seats. She could seem like she’s doing her job competently, but she likely doesn’t get paid based on going above and beyond to be enthusiastic and proactively helpful.

Yet, she was. She clearly gets satisfaction out of being outstanding and helpful. And she absolutely MADE my morning of travel, putting me at ease and putting a smile on my face (which is a feat before I’ve had caffeine, as anyone who has encountered me in the morning can attest).

Outstanding customer service is not complicated. There was nothing particularly fancy here, no tricks or gimmicks or whizbang technology. But Fran was helpful, friendly, clearly enjoyed her job, and made me feel like she was glad I was there.

The problem is that these concepts are exceedingly simple, yet so few companies set the bar there. It’s not cheap nor easy to find the Frans of the world and keep them motivated, happy and continually rewarded for being exceptional, much less to have Fran at scale (it’s far easier in a concierge-like environment like this one). The basics aren’t necessarily sexy, or “viral”, or likely to make the media.

Moreover, when we find people like her, we promote them into management and remove them from the places where they can make an outstanding and direct difference, because our companies aren’t built to create authority, career development, and prestige in front-line roles.


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The Simple Complexity of Outstanding Customer Service - Brass Tack ThinkingSomeone at American Airlines, please give Fran a raise.

I travel a lot, so I fork over the cash each year – about $500 – to be a member of American’s Admiral’s Club. It’s a nice little airline lounge that they have in a lot of major airports, including my home base of O’Hare, and it makes waiting for a flight easier with some snacks and beverages, free wifi, comfortable seats and plentiful outlets. Way worth the money in itself.

I walked in yesterday before my flight to Austin, and was greeted by Fran at the desk. I handed over my card so she could check me in, and she asked my destination.

With a big smile, Fran went on to say:

“Well, welcome Ms. Naslund. Flight 3600 is departing out of gate G13 today, and I currently show an aircraft on the ground and a crew checked in, so you should be all set for an on time departure. We’ll be boarding at about 9:15 and we’ll announce the flight as it comes up, and if there are any delays, I’ll let you know.

Now let me see if there might be any upgrades available….ah, unfortunately not today, but I do have a bulkhead seat held if you’d like that instead of your current seat assignment.”

(I accepted with gratitude…) Leer más “The Simple Complexity of Outstanding Customer Service”