This is on the money. The old BS marketing model is dead. Long live relationships! I recently had a web marketing and social media client in Miami ask me how they could get their niche business to have thousands of followers on Facebook or Twitter. I told them to stop making B2B technology products and to start selling coffee and then they can have as many social networking friends as they are good at recruiting. The important social networking tactic for them is to build relationships with clients and their friends in their market.
Such attributes don’t sit well with brands in a hurry but thats the point. The fastest way to get “there” whatever the magic number may be is to focus on being “here” listening and talking to the community in front of you. Any other shortcut may create the appearance of a community with high membership numbers, but you wont have any influence over them, loyalty wont increase and efforts wont translate to the bottom line.