A colleague forwarded me a link to the form that the Grand Rapids Business Journal is using to collect data to create its 2010 “Social Media” list for its venerable “Book of Lists” that rank the relative power/success/prestige of West Michigan companies/organizations based on features like their annual revenue.
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the GRBJ for going down the difficult road to quantifying the level of influence local institutions have online but it’s a good case study in how the business world misses the point of social media.
In the new era, bigger isn’t better. Bigger is just bigger (and in many cases, unwieldy).
It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they’re not engaged. I’d rather have ten zealots following me than a million apathetic associates who only added me because they were entering a contest to win a flat-panel TV. Unfortunately organizations whose social media presences are crowded with disconnected freebie-seekers will likely top the list (think: Meijer).
This is West Michigan, so think of it like this: Jesus only had 12 “followers” and look at what he accomplished with them.