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Does size matter? Get your head out of the gutter! We’re talking about audience size here. SocialToaster founder, Brian Razzaque, is an expert on the topic of social media audience. Check out his advice for activating the right number of fans for your business.

Does size matter? Get your head out of the gutter! We’re talking about audience size here. SocialToaster founder, Brian Razzaque, is an expert on the topic of social media audience. Check out his advice for activating the right number of fans for your business.

What do you look for when targeting top influencers on social media?

I think traditionally people have looked for small numbers of individuals with very large numbers of followers. You wanted small numbers of high influencers because managing them is a very manually intensive process. One person can only manage a few hundred influencers that have a reach of a few hundred thousand.

At SocialToaster, we believe that it is more effective to harness large numbers of ordinary people who have an average number of connections, and then enlist their support in a concentrated and scalable manner. That’s what our platform is designed to do. We’re able to make it so that one person can manage hundreds of thousands of ordinary influencers who have the potential to reach millions of people

Is there a perfect number of fans for a certain business?

Historically in social, most brands have really been focused on quantity. There’s a perception that your social marketing scorecard depends upon the number of fans or followers you have. The reality is that those are relatively useless numbers. Most marketers will tell you that having a high volume of fans or followers is generally ineffective. What’s more meaningful is getting the right fans or the right followers. Focus on the people who are truly engaged around the brand and who actively participate in conversations. Having a much smaller number of those fans is better than a large volume of people who are not engaged at all.

Does the size of a business have any bearing on the effectiveness of a brand ambassador program?

One thing that’s interesting for small businesses is that the ratio of investment to return is much more favorable for them because generally they are not investing a lot in traditional marketing. Things like traffic volume to their website is relatively low compared to a brand that has an established name that’s driving huge amounts of traffic through other means. For a small business this really can pay off if they can enlist a couple hundred people to act as ambassadors to be engaged around their brand. That can result in an increase of several thousand or tens of thousands of visits per month. Relative to the current traffic, that may be a 200% or 300% increase in traffic to the website.

This is different from a very large brand where increasing the number of active and engaged people, even if you double it, may result in only a 10% increase in traffic to the website. This is one of things that we look at with each brand: what are the current marketing efforts doing? That can tell us how successful, relatively speaking, an influencer or advocate marketing initiative might be.

What frequency and quantity of touches would you recommend for a nurturing campaign?

The conventional wisdom is that it takes 7 to 12 touches for a consumer to create an association in their mind with a specific brand, so we know that the goal is to get in front of a consumer that many times. In a nurturing campaign, you need to find a balance between the frequency that you’d like versus the frequency that is going to turn them off to the brand. On our platform, we have found that enlisting the support of advocates on a 2 to 3 times per week basis is optimal in terms of keeping those advocates engaged and productive enough. With these numbers, over the course of a 90 day to 6 month initiative, advocates are going to effectively reach their friends and peers 7 to 12 times. That way you are really building up the brand relationship, not only between the brand and the potential consumer, but also between the advocate and their friends. It becomes very powerful because you achieve the 7 to 12 touches without the backlash of consumer turn off.

Want to learn more? Vote for Brian to speak at SXSW Interactive 2015.