So do the numbers count in social networking? Hmmm, well there are two distinct camps or matters of opinion on this subject. A lot of people believe that the more followers you have on Twitter or friends/fans you have on Facebook or connections you have on LinkedIn the better. So those people are out aggressively collecting, or maybe hunting would be a better word, people to add to their lists. There are list builder programs you can purchase that guarantee certain numbers in a small amount of time and then there is the good old fashioned search and follow every one you find method. Since this is my blog I can say that I do have a problem with just adding multitudes of people to your lists. I can understand why Oprah has over 2 million Twitter followers or Ashton Kutcher has over 3 million Twitter followers, they are famous and obviously that many people feel like they know them already, much less by following them we feel a little more connected to them.
Having a high follower count can be a big rush. I must admit that the day my followers in Twitter hit 200 I did the happy dance. :)) I AM A NUMBERS PERSON!!! I have a degree in Accounting – I love numbers. I know you non-number people don't get it but I thrive on numbers. So to teach myself not to focus on the numbers has been a exercise in self control. So why not collect followers and friends like I collect shoes?
It was brought to my attention early on that social networking is much more than a way to connect with old friends and classmates, that it is truly the media of the future. This media can be and should be used to build lasting relationships with real people that share a common interest or who see value in something that you can provide. It seems to me that adding followers, friends and connections should have a purpose. If your purpose is to simply have huge numbers so you can say that lots of people want to hear what you have to say then go for it. If your purpose is to provide some value to man kind then be more selective in the people you follow and thus the people that follow you. I think it is much more important to have 500 followers who really want to hear what you have to say than to have 10,000 followers that don't care what you have to say.
So does all of this mean that I do not know my numbers – absolutely not. I recently found this fantastic statistics site called Twitter Counter. I can tell you at this moment that only 3 months into my social media project I have 488 quality followers and I follow 525 amazing people on Twitter, I have 95 friends on Facebook and 17 colleagues on LinkedIn. My numbers are simply growing because I am hopefully providing quality information that people want to receive and I am building lasting relationships with people that I simply would not have met outside the world of social media.
Mantra – Quality over Quantity!!!
This is a re-print and update of an original blog post I posted on 9/5/09.
I have grown to understand that numbers are not the important part and that Quality of contact, Quality of conversation and Quality of relationship are the most important. But the numbers person in me wants you to know that in the months since I wrote this original post my numbers have grown significantly. However, I have been diligent to grow those numbers by meeting amazing people who bring benefit to my life and I feel I bring benefit to theirs. At this time I have 1575 followers on Twitter, 454 friends on FaceBook, 852 Fans on my Facebook Fanpage and 66 contacts on LinkedIn.
Don't forget the Montra – Quality over Quantity!!