The internet often feels like a huge popularity contest. Social networks, for example, display our follower, fan and “like” counts for the world to see. As a result, many business owners look for ways to boost these numbers.
This approach is seriously flawed on 2 levels. In fact, it can have a toxic effect on your business. Allow me to explain.
1: The numbers are almost meaningless today
Initially, the number of followers, fans or likes you had, was a useful social proof tool. For example, you’d see someone on Twitter claiming to be an expert at something, notice they had a huge following and assume they were a big deal. Today, these numbers have little real-world influence.
People are now increasingly aware that anyone can fake any of these popularity numbers. They know that anyone with a credit card can buy 100,000 Twitter followers or Facebook fans. You can also buy retweets, Facebook “likes” and more.
Prospective clients and customers are aware of this. As a result, fewer and fewer of them are influenced by artificially inflated numbers.
2. It causes you to focus on the wrong things
Most importantly of all, by chasing popularity numbers, you’re focusing on the wrong things. Only a minority of people buy followers, fans and likes.
The majority of those chasing the numbers use simple tricks [or automation software] to increase their counts. And it causes them to make mistakes!
As you’d expect, these tricks don’t attract the right people. They’re designed to attract the most gullible or least experienced social network users. They won’t help you build meaningful connections. In a nutshell, they add nothing of value to your business.
A more effective approach is to decide what you want your social networking to achieve. Then, focus on making that happen. This might include:
- Connecting with the right people.
- Sharing information and ideas, which your marketplace will find useful.
- Looking for people in your marketplace who have questions, which you can answer.
- And listening. Listening to your prospective clients so that you gain a deeper understanding of their needs and wants.
Your social networking goals will vary depending on your specific goals or targets. The key thing is to aim for quality and meaning, not empty numbers.
P.S. This will help you: Are you building a tribe or writing drive-by content?