# of sales
# of blog followers
# of items
# of admirers
# of Facebook Fans
# of Twitter Followers
I wonder if we would work as hard on increasing these numbers if they weren’t so out there, for all of the public to see and judge? We can’t help but judge someone’s success based on the visible evidence before us, and for most of us, that’s how high their numbers are.
I have noticed however, that some businesses with really high numbers, are somewhat deceiving. It’s awesome to have 10,000 blog followers, but if your average views per day is less than 50, then I am guessing those followers aren’t really all that interested in reading your blog. If you have over 50,000 Facebook fans – good for you! However, I’ve noticed that with my measly 600 fans, I’ve had higher “talking about” numbers than a lot of major companies with likes in the tens of thousands. That means something.
With all of these numbers so publicly on display, it may be tempting to try and accumulate as many as we can, so we can appear to be more popular and liked than we actually are. (Remember Newt Gingrich’s fake twitter followers?) It feels pretty good to have higher numbers than the other guy. Even if that means underselling our products just for high sales numbers, or spending all day in “I’ll like your page if you like mine” threads.
I’m proposing a re-focus. You want a lot of numbers, but you want them to be meaningful numbers. You want fans and followers who actually care about what you have to say. You want people to heart your shop and items that would actually consider making a purchase, and blog followers who are going to actually read your content.
Instead of focusing on inflating your numbers as quickly as possible, focus on giving people a reason to keep up with you. You’ll get twitter followers who will actually read and click on your tweets if you keep them interesting. You’ll get blog followers who will actually look forward to reading your posts if you are a genuine and consistent blogger. You’ll get Facebook fans who actually engage and share your status updates if you space out your link posts with interesting content worth sharing.
Time to forget about how your numbers make you look, and think about what your numbers are actually doing for you in terms of your business. It’s better to have a lean following of loyal fans than a massive crowd who is ignoring you.