How many followers do YOU have? What is YOUR Klout score? How many people like YOUR page? Haha! Haha! Haha! MINE is bigger than yours!
Does size really matter?
Well, for some people it does and the focus on social proof is now causing many of us to be concerned with how big we are! Social media is a powerful tool to build our personal brands. When we start out actively using the different channels available, we can fall into the trap of focusing on the numbers and not the engagement.
The numbers give us that immediate validation we are looking for and it is exciting to see our growth. But when our score drops or our followers stop following, we can fall into the trap of feeling inadequate and, well, small!
John Falchetto recently blogged about this and called it “number porn”:
“With the online measuring tools at our disposal we now have the ability to indulge in number porn. The bigger the number, the more we get hot and bothered.”
We can always inflate our size by buying ‘fake’ followers who make us appear bigger than we really are. On the surface it might look attractive, but underneath it is just plastic and no substance.
Let your numbers grow organically. By being natural and authentic you will show that what you have is actually worth looking at. You will create a real community of true relationships and growth with come naturally.
It’s not the size that matters. It’s how you use it
This is the classic quality versus quantity condundrum.
Don’t be focused so much on how big it is, how much you have, or how many follow you. [Click to Tweet]
Move away from measuring “how many” and focus on WHY your page, post, tweet, is popular. Was it a question you asked that prompted a lot of comments? Did a video you post result in a high number of retweets? Did a thought leader in your sphere of influence mention your post in their blog or tweet? All of these are indicators of how you use it.
It’s not about bringing a half a can of beer to a party where everyone else is bringing a keg. What you bring is a bottle of the most expensive craft beer, kind of like Sam Adams ‘Utopias.’
Your content does not belong at a kegger! Yours is about high quality taste that will be savored and remember, not chugged and forgotten. Soon the right people will be lining up just get a taste of what you offer!
How to “size up” who to follow
Here are 5 criteria I am using to “size up” the people I decide to follow:
1. Do you have a photo?
I want to connect with a real person not an egg head, silhouette, or cartoon character.
2. What are you tweeting and sharing?
If I notice that all you do is promote your size and self-worth, well, time to move on. Remember, it is 80% listening and 20% speaking.
3. Who else is following you?
I put a lot of trust in thought leaders I respect and value. If people I respect also follow you, then it is practically a done deal.
4. What is your blog or website about?
I always click on the link you put on your profile statement. Does your site/blog resonate with me? Is it something that I am eager to share with others? I want to know more about how you use it, not how big it is!
5. Are you in my target audience?
Thank you to Kimberly Bordonaro who recently shared this tip from Robert Caruso, founder of Bundle Post, who says, “Follow back your target audience always. Otherwise you are being a celebrity not building relationships.” This one is so obvious, yet can easily be forgotten in the number porn game. Check out Kimberly’s recent experiment where she is happily losing followers!
Avoid the red light district of number porn. Continue to bring your own craft to the party and nurture the community who respects you for how you use it.