"It Takes A Neighborhood" ~ Big Is Not Always Better!

“How many folks in your social media contact base?”  

Well I’ve asked that question recently so I can’t complain when others do it too. In fact, it’s one of the criteria for bringing on board Neighborhood Boutiques Ambassadors. “How many folks in your contact base, including social media”.

Different phrasing but the bottom line is the same. . . HOW BIG IS YOUR NETWORK?

While watching Seth Godin’s TED TALK featured in yesterday’s NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES blog, I realized that big is not always better. In fact, many times it’s a detriment! The bigger the haystack – the harder to find the needle! Yet we all seek to be bigger and bigger  – assuming that our size is equally relevant to our success! Hum. . . think again.

Facebook has a humongous following; changing so rapidly I can’t keep up with the numbers. Twitter, Linked In and Pinterest – equally big numbers. Then there’s the “niche” marketing big boys like Etsy with over 1,000,000 artists and craftsmen jockeying for position in order to be found among the millions under the same roof. Wow, I think . . . now that’s success!

Big is not better. No longer about mass, but connections & relationships.

Big is not better. No longer about mass, but connections & relationships.

But is it? Only if all those 1,000,000’s. . . are getting what they want – and need! It’s not success if the big numbers exclude the best care we can give those who land on our doorstep and ask to stay!  But then of course, when one looks at the “giants” bottom lines – well they’re pretty healthy. Darn what the consumer wants – it’s all about the funds in the bank and the recognition big numbers provide for ego’s already too large for their britches. Oops, a bit of a bias showing here!

Seriously, the internet is changing and Google has a lot to do with the change. It’s no longer about massive amounts of ‘stuff’. Now it’s about less mass and more quality. Suddenly it’s about making connections and building relationships. Less commercialism and more relation-ism.

And it’s also about “niche”. Niches to be exact. Small sites targeting a very specific demographic with less emphasis on being gargantuan and more focus on being what the consumer wants – and needs. If customers want to be (1) found, (2) recognized, (3) visible and (4) cared about; then big doesn’t cut it!

We live in a world that can be connected with the touch of a finger. Yet we live more isolated from each other than ever before. Emotionally and psychologically isolated, as well as physically. Families and friends spread across the globe. Yet travel makes it easier to come together than when the only mode of transportation was horseback. And the internet makes connections almost faster than the speed of light. 

Another truism is that we crave connection. It’s part of our human DNA. We’re built for connecting and forming relationships. Even if the only reason we do so is to make that next sale – big or small. 

If we haven’t yet discovered that it’s about “connections” and “relationships” then we’re not reading the latest info. We’re not paying attention to what it is the vast majority of folks really want from social media. Yes, most of us gravitate to the biggest – but we may not be cozying up to the best! Why? 

Focus time on making real connections and building strong relationships satisfies our emotional needs

Focus time on making real connections and building strong relationships satisfies our emotional needs

Because at some point, the newest becomes big – bigger and bigger. It becomes impersonal and we’re left to spend precious time elbowing our way to the forefront to get a minuscule piece of the pie.  Most often never gaining even a morsel. . .

That’s why niches are forming. That’s why big isn’t always the best. That’s why the thought of an old-fashioned neighborhood where connections are made and relationships brighten our days is where it’s at. 

Granted such an arrangement is not for everyone. And there’s enough of the pie to go around for those looking to find a place in cyberspace. The value in finding a niche place to land holds more promise than at first we realize. But once we do; we’ll discover that focusing precious time on making real connections and building strong relationships satisfies our emotional needs – and may also bring a boom to our bottom line!

Karl Sakas says it best in an interview with cartoonist Tom Fishbourne: 

If you appeal to a core in such a meaningful way, you’ll get a broader audience, with evangelists at the core. Otherwise, it’s the “one size fits none” …”

Warmly,

Linda

Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Neighborhood Boutiques-OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Empowering Women to Thrive
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Images: KarlSakas & Meetville

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2382941337/pjm5n494765lxfks49h7_400x400.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]

 

Linda S. Fitzgerald

I have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be - personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness.

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