The Non-Obvious Insights Blog. Non-Obvious Insights
The Non-Obvious Insights Blog.

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

The Magic Button: Finding The Real Secret Formula For Social Media

IStock_000011720474XSmall Let me tell you a secret I don't often share: I have a magic social media button. This button has only one special power: when I press it, I can immediately give you a million fans, followers or friends. You can choose whether you want this instant audience on Twitter or Facebook or some other site. They would have no cost to you, and you would have all of them overnight. The only catch is that they are from completely random regions and demographics – and I can offer you no guarantee if they know anything about your business at all.

Would you ask me to push that button? More importantly, if I did offer you a million new fans overnight – what would you do with them? Everytime I ask this question, I'm greeted with a similar silence. See, the problem with the math here is that I'm giving you a truckload of UNQUALIFIED followers to your page. For all you know, I might be offering a million steak lovers as new followers for your vegetarian restaurant. Good luck using Facebook to convince them to give up their steaks and go for tofu instead.

Ok, by now you've probably realized that I don't actually have that magic button – but the premise isn't so silly. Everyday business owners challenge their marketing teams to build fan bases to reach as big a number as possible. So they turn to promotions and short term incentives. Like our page for a chance to win a vacation. Follow us on Twitter and we'll give 10 cents to the charity of your choice. Who cares what you like, if you care about our brand or if you might ever actually buy anything from us?

Playing the volume game is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, you need to focus all of your efforts on two big things:

1. Passion – how much do you love us, our products, our people or your experience with our business?
2. Influence – what is the size of your network and how many people pay attention to your opinion?

Those two elements are the real secret formula behind social media. When you have them both, all sort of good things happen. People talk to other people. Engagement is high. Customer satisfaction, and more importantly, customer delight goes through the roof.  If you're looking for a formula for success in social media, that's it.  It might not be as easy as a magic button – but it is certainly not complicated.

6 thoughts on “The Magic Button: Finding The Real Secret Formula For Social Media”

  1. Rohit, well put my friend! It’s so much more important to measure level of engagement, particularly with key influencers, over a bunch of follows or likes. Thanks for the continued great work!

    Hope all is well!


  2. Rohit, I think you are really succinct at the end here on paying attention to these two things, passion and influence. Of course, I think social media and one’s follower or fanbase is a pretty complicated thing to really understand, but these two are definitely pillars. I do think more and more we are moving away from easy but misleading metrics and really embracing social media for its real strength, which is the dynamism of so many personalities interacting.

  3. For some people is quantity over quality, I totally agree withyou guys, is worthless having a bunch of people following you when youre not really achieving anything at all.

  4. Amen!…. Yes. Great article and well put. First thing I ask my clients, “Who is your target market?” Those are the people that you should be focusing on. I am finding that most people, as you state in your article, are looking at the numbers vs. the quality of actual leads. It will eventually backfire at some point.

    Debbie Adams
    Adams Social Media Connnections

  5. Rohit, that was quite an interesting article. I agree with the basic idea that we should be focusing on quality followers over quantity followers. But I also believe that if you’ve got a million steak lovers as your new followers for your vegetarian restaurant then they might not go to your restaurant at all but all of their friends who are vegetarian might want to try out the place. Through talking to each other, they will be more inclined to try it out since a friend has a connection with it no matter how small.

    The Dalai Group is an online marketing company that focuses on quality customers and followers. One of their specializations is in the Hispanic market in the US. Check them out here: Dalai Group


Leave a Comment

The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter. Non-Obvious Insights
Layer 97
The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.

All Books

#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object


Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message