One of the main reasons why Twitter now has a new CEO starting this week is because it was realised that until now Twitter has really just been a numbers game, growing bigger and bigger every day, with more impressive numbers and statistics to publish every week, but actually with relatively little profit to show for it. Twitter hopes that with the introduction of a new CEO they’ll be able to start capitalising on those numbers, and turning them into profit.

If a company as huge as Twitter can make this error as far as social media and numbers is concerned then it is certainly unsurprising that a large number of businesses and organisations using social media as part of their online marketing are making the same mistake. Are you focusing too much on the numbers, without really turning those numbers into cold hard cash?

There is little point in boasting that you have 1,000, 5000 or 20,000 followers on Twitter, and hundreds or thousands of followers on Facebook, if you are unable to convert those big numbers into numbers which have a pound sign next to them.

Investing a great deal of time, effort and, in many cases, money, into boosting and promoting brand visibility through social media is an entirely pointless numbers game unless you have a definite plan which you can follow that converts those numbers into profit. But a remarkable number of businesses in the UK, and indeed around the world, are missing the point.

There is certainly no doubt at all that capitalising on the power of social media is an excellent way to significantly boost enquiries, sales and profit, but it isn’t going to happen without a good deal of hard work and solid preparation. It is actually fairly easy to get a few hundred or a few thousand followers on Twitter or Facebook, and plenty of people have demonstrated that with the right tactics and approaches it is possible to achieve that in a matter of days. But what’s the point?

So you have 10,000 people following you on Twitter – not one single one of those people has had to pay your money in order to follow your tweets, so what are you doing in order to extract cash from those followers?

There are two answers here, because on the one hand you may well be able to turn followers and Facebook fans into customers placing orders and boosting your profits, but there is also a secondary advantage, because with the right approach and well engineered tactics it is possible to turn those 10,000 people following you into 10,000 people helping to promote your business, which widens the field dramatically. Even if those 10,000 people following you on Facebook only have around 250 followers each themselves on average, you’re still talking about a potential audience of a quarter of a million people every time you publish an update.

But again, it’s not going to happen automatically or by magic – you have to make it happen, and to do that you have to correctly understand what social media is all about. To start with, it’s not a monologue, but a conversation. Monologues get ignored, rarely followed, and rarely convert into sales.

Updates and tweets which don’t include links are hardly going to achieve very much at all, but even including a link doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to click on it. You have to think about providing real motivation, encouraging people to find out more. You need to strike a balance between offering enough information to intrigue people, without including so much information there is no need to click on your link.

Make sure that you aren’t just focusing on social media numbers, and think about how you’re using those numbers in the right way. For suggestions and help with using social media for profit, make sure you subscribe to our blog and contact us about our Social Media Marketing Services.