How to Scale Social Media

If you read the previous post How Can Social Media Scale? and took all the hints, how to scale social media should be as plain as the nose on your face, or the friends on your Facebook.

If you have thousands or millions of customers and prospects, assigning community managers to interact with them quickly becomes unsustainable. Each manager can only deal with a limited number of community interactions, and for brands of any size, hiring armies of social media community managers is out of the question. So the key to scaling your social media use is to convert customers into evangelists.

Evangelist is the term we use to refer to your fanatic supporters. If your product or service is of sufficient quality, you likely have a number of very satisfied customers. These people might be candidates for evangelism, but the ones we’re really talking about are those who are rabid in support of your brand and your products.

Take Taco Bell for example. A quick look at their Facebook page reveals folks who are so into Taco Bell that they campaign to bring back old menu items. Take a look at some of their posts.

Bring back burrito

Posts on Taco Bell's Page to Bring Back the Beefy Crunch Burrito

The above is just a small sampling of the fan fervor for the burrito. There are whole Facebook pages dedicated to bringing back this and other Taco Bell menu items. See a sampling below.

Bring back menu items

Fan Pages to Bring Back Taco Bell Menu Items

So if you’re Taco Bell, you start looking at those responsible for the posts and pages for evangelist candidates.

But what exactly do we mean by the term evangelist? Product evangelism has nothing to do with religion, but product evangelists do exhibit an almost religious fervor in their support for your product (think Apple customers). The best online evangelists have a rich assortment of social media connections to enable their advocacy to reach far and wide.

As John Stuart Mill said, One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who only have interest. While all members of your social media community are important, the most important are those who passionately promote your business and its products.

As we’ve said, you probably already have evangelists. They’re your enthusiastic customers who recommend your products or services, and who tell their friends about you. One of the most valuable things your organization can do online is to identify, cultivate, and enable online evangelists. Doing so multiplies your online efforts many fold.

So how do you find evangelists? That’s the topic for the next post in this series, Identifying Social Media Evangelists. If you’d like to weigh in on the conversation, reply below and perhaps I’ll incorporate your ideas in the next post.