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Social Media Geography

by Randall Craig on May 24, 2011

Filed in: Blog, CRM, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media, Strategy

At one time, were you riding high with a ton of “Friends”?   Then you realized that many of your Friends were there in name, but had zero engagement?  Or you maintain a presence on one platform (MySpace?), and realize that it no longer meets your needs?  Or, you started a Facebook Group and now have many Group members, but you realized that you really should have started a Facebook Page?  In all of these cases, you realize you really should migrate your connections from one Social Media venue to another, but don’t relish the unpleasant task of actually doing it.

It is unpleasant because when the move is made, many people will choose not to move with you.  They simply don’t care.  Or they have abandoned you.  Their name is truly like a fossil – it’s there for you to see, but the once-relationship is long dead. As a result, we worry unnecessarily about “losing” people we don’t currently have – and therefore postpone making the decision to move.

So if you do have to make a move, here are some ideas:

1) Do it as soon as you can, both to minimize user attrition and so that new fans/members can be spared the hassle of transition.

2) There are three groups to consider.  Those who will never move (because they have already “checked out”), the true followers who will do exactly as you say, and the muddy middle.  Don’t plan for the first group, as they will never move.  Don’t plan for the true followers, as they will move immediately when asked.  Instead, concentrate on that middle group who just needs a nudge – a reason and an incentive – to re-engage and to move.

3) Find a way to make the grass greener at the destination venue.  Let them know why you are moving, and what’s in it for them.  If you are moving only for self-serving reasons, that’s not good enough.

4) Consider giving everyone who joins the new venue before a certain date (14 days?), something of value: a whitepaper, teleconference, etc.

Making a change from one venue to another is time-consuming, and because the number of followers/fans/friends always ends up going down, it is a humbling experience too.  Before you head down the moving path, spend a few moments making sure that you are sending them to the right place.

This week’s action plan: This week, answer a few questions about Social Media Geography.  Where are your relationships housed?  Do they need to be moved?  What are the options?  And are you happy with the “return on relationships” that you have earned?

Bonus concept: The concept of Social CRM – the tight interconnection between Social Media and CRM – is the connection between community and sales.  Too often, organizations engage in Social Media Marketing that has no further goal than… Social Media Marketing.  Without the CRM dimension, the creation of community is merely… community.If you are going to change the venue, move them into your CRM system at the same time.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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