How Our Numbers Relate to Our Ego

# of sales
# of blog followers
# of items
# of admirers
# of Facebook Fans
# of Twitter Followers
Etc.

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.

Unfinished Wooden Wall Unpainted Letters Numbers by GalleryWoodLetters

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.

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8 thoughts on “How Our Numbers Relate to Our Ego

  1. Heather May 24, 2012 at 8:30 am Reply

    So true, quality not quantity! That’s why I don’t participate in those link ladders and such that you see on Facebook and such. I want people to like my page, heart my shop and follow my blog/twitter because they WANT to, that’s what counts! Great post!

  2. twistedpixelstudio May 24, 2012 at 10:22 am Reply

    Excellent point. I have discovered teams that have rules that you must go through that team’s roster and favorite at least one item from their shop on a daily basis. That is simply insane and falsely inflates popularity for any given shop or item. Thanks for bringing this up!

  3. ImagesByCW May 24, 2012 at 11:00 am Reply

    Couldn’t agree more with you and the previous commenters. While it is nice to have high numbers (and I do not) to show for, because 1) be honest, it boosts our own egos and 2) it also seems to justify to our environment what we are doing. But it is the ‘real’ followers/friends that count no matter on which network, be it virtual or the real world. They will – hopefully – also leave comments, which we all love :).

  4. TheCatBall May 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm Reply

    I think you nailed it here! :)

  5. Tes Scholtz May 25, 2012 at 1:06 am Reply

    Absolutely!! This: “It’s better to have a lean following of loyal fans than a massive crowd who is ignoring you.” should be needlepointed on a pillow…or something!

  6. delightfullyperceptive May 25, 2012 at 10:47 am Reply

    This seems related to some thoughts I was having the other day in terms of wondering whether there is some sort of online expected etiquette in “following our followers” or “liking our likers”. I hope not- because if so then I may not be considered a nice person in this online world. I love getting a blog follower, a reply tweet, a comment, an etsy heart, etc- but this does not mean I’m going to follow them, like them, favorite them, etc. I’m hopeful that my content is interesting to others and I always consider it a plus when someone attaches themself to me and they have content that I really do like too… Then I feel nicer. :P

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