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The Importance of Numbers in Social Networks

                                                                              The Importance of Numbers in Social Networks

   Followers, Likes, Retweets, Subscribers… Is any of this stuff important? There is a lot of noise on both sides, people telling you that numbers are important are usually trying to sell you some kind of software and people telling you they’re not, have 50k followers and get retweeted like crazy. Social networking, via popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube has evolved from peer-to-peer interactions to becoming a viable relationship building tool for businesses of all sizes. In fact, Facebook alone boasts an astounding 845 million active users worldwide; further, the site accounts for one of every five page-views on the Internet worldwide. With numbers like this, social media as a whole (and Facebook in particular) is too powerful a resource for business owners to fail in developing a social media strategy to connect to their customers and potential customers.

   When it comes to building up your fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and connections on other networks, you will read a lot of various thoughts on whether you should be focused on the number of connections you have versus the relevance of those connections. So the question is which is more important? The answer – both are! When it comes to your social media accounts, you will want both large numbers and a strong base of followers that are totally into your niche or industry. For instance, savvy business owners have taken to Twitter as a tool for both promotions and for answering customer complaints in real-time. YouTube nets 4 billion page views daily and has attracted business owners to this free advertising platform. Moreover, Facebook has now given business owners the flexibility of coupon marketing and special promotions to a target audience.

   IF (notice the big “IF”) our business objectives require that we reach a higher audience then numbers like followers, “likes” and others become a measurable item. For example, if you sell information products through a blog, then your social media strategy should include increasing those numbers. When you create something, you need to put that creation in front of people. On external platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, there is a publicly accessible digit known as Likes or Followers, however, you have to be realistic and admit that only a tiny fraction of those digits are actually engaging or are relationships. Those could mean people that you interact with or people that consume and share your content. If you run a Facebook Page for example, it’s very easy to get an idea on the users that actually engage with you. Just a look at the number of “Active Users” and compare with the total number of “Likes”.

   In conclusion we can say that numbers matter. They matter in different ways and at different levels. You are the only one that can determine that. What are thoughts? Do you care about social proof? What is your business goal behind having more followers? It’s your important marketing decision.



Published on 25th Nov 2012 @ 4:28 AM