During this conversation, he mentioned that one of his clients was not satisfied with the number of subscribers she had on her YouTube channel. She has lots of views, just not too many subscribers.
That led us to an exchange about social media engagement in general.
So let me play devil’s advocate for just a minute.
It occurs to me that many people get hung up on how many ‘friends’, ‘followers’, ‘likes’, ‘subscribers’, etc., that they have on their various social sites, and many people go to great lengths to increase these numbers. In some cases, they are using methods that really have no benefit aside from raising the numbers, such as bribing people to Like their page or retweet a post.
But is really more important; the number of ‘friends’, etc. you have, or how many people you are reaching? Do people have to actually subscribe to your YouTube channel to see your videos? Of course not, and most people prefer to remain anonymous.
The same goes for your friends on Facebook and your followers on Twitter. If you have 30K friends or followers, how many are actually engaging with you and your brand? My money is on the fact that only a small number of these people are actually engaging with you through social shares and retweets, etc.
The few people who are actually engaging with you become your advocates and will promote you to their network because they like what you are doing and saying. The majority of your followers are merely statistics on your social site, giving the impression that what you have to say is so important that thousands of people can’t resist your messages. It’s kinda like the modern day equivalent of ‘being the popular kid in high school’.
Ok, devil’s advocate time is over now…
I am not dissing the importance of numbers. There is no question that an implied authority comes with larger numbers of followers and friends.
What I am doing is suggesting that this is not the only measurement that matters.
I would rather have a few hundred followers and friends who are actually really engaged with my brand, who I can interact with and develop a trusted relationship with, than have a few thousand faceless followers and friends who are simply bolstering the numbers on my social sites.
After all, what is social sharing about? Call me crazy, but I thought it was about sharing and interacting.
For those of you who have huge followings, or those of you who are wanting to have huge followings, I don’t mean to offend. You are likely doing well (sometimes exceptionally well!) and the big numbers are working for you. And, let’s face it; the more people who know about you, the better it will be for your business.
But my point is – don’t get hung up on the numbers. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep sharing meaningful information and you will get the attention and the following you are looking for. Those people who are following you will share your information with their networks and your credibility will be boosted. Take your time, remember to respond to everyone, share any of their information that you think is useful, and you will build a following that is not only growing, but has some depth and some strength.
Until next time…
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