Above: The state of Social Media “thought leadership” today.

From Tom’s post on the matter:

In the social media bandwagon, brands place a lot of emphasis on the absolute number of friends, fans, and followers. They treat that number as a proxy for how well the brand is reaching its audience. The assumption is the bigger the number, the more effective the outreach.

Six years ago, Häagen-Dazs followed a consumer landgrab strategy with a loyalty program that aimed to build a 500,000 member database of “loyalists”. The focus was on quantity, not quality, and the tactics to grow the audience were close to bribery. Consumers received lucrative incentives and monthly gifts to agree to be on the list. However, it was a shallow connection at best. The profile became deal hunters, not true brand loyalists. Häagen-Dazs ultimately killed the program when they discovered that a 500,000 member database of shallow names actually held very little value.

If you are still measuring the success of a social media program or campaign by looking at web metrics like traffic to your website, number of retweets, new followers or “likes” without looking at how they convert into business metrics, you are still measuring hot air.

Tom Fishburne, chapeau.