Does The Numbers Game Help You On Social Media?

I’ve been on a culling feast over the last week or so. In my case it’s not about animals; it’s about reducing the number of people I’m connected to on social media.

Like almost everyone else I know, back in the day we connected with anyone who reached out to us first. Sometimes we were the ones reaching out to others, which is fine to do when you’re new to a platform. As a matter of fact, almost 2 months ago my third recommendation for people new to LinkedIn was to connect to a few people who you’re hoping to reach via a couple of tips I offered. Not everyone can wait until someone reaches out to them first.

This past week, over the course of two days, I reduced the number of people I was following on LinkedIn by 450 or so. I didn’t do it without thought; I had specific reasons for doing it, which I’ll get to in a little bit.

At the end of December, in my last article of the year on socialization, I mentioned that I was following just over 1,100 people and had gotten down to that number by unfollowing a number of people who didn’t look like they ever talked to anyone else. Now I’m down to following 1,038, and it’ll probably be going down further.

Also last week, I shut down my Facebook business page, where I mainly talked about leadership and health care finance, but I also shared some articles from this blog and a couple other blogs I have or had going. I had around 435 people connected to that page, but when you consider that I only have 423 people I’m connected to as friends, and most of the people on my business site were my friends, it felt like a lost cause keeping it going.

Some years back, there was a guy talking about the need to increase one’s social media numbers; I think it was Jeff Bullas, someone I used to be connected to but I’m not any longer. His thought on the subject was that the higher the number of people you’re connected to, the more shares of your content there will be, and the better chance you have to not only market to a larger audience but potentially gain business from it.

This isn’t an uncommon belief. On LinkedIn, there are people who use the term “LION” to mean that they’re a LinkedIn Open Networker. That means that anyone who connects with them they’ll automatically connect back with. They don’t care anything about you or what you do; they just want numbers. You might hear from them the day you connect, but it’s doubtful you’ll ever hear from any of them again unless you write them. Even then it’s pretty much a crapshoot; frankly, I wouldn’t bother unless you know they create content you want to consume.

I’m someone who decided years ago that just shooting for numbers without regard to quality or lack of socializing wasn’t my bag. I could have easily been connected to 50,000 people, but I’d have had to follow that many back. That would be tiring, and not in anyone’s best interest. It’s also not a positive when it comes to social media marketing. At least it’s never been one for me; the analytics prove that people sometimes share things without actually reading them. A lot of people on Twitter openly admit that.

You want to know what drives so much spam to our blogs? These idiots believe that if they can get their links on as many blogs as possible it’ll make their own deficient, unintelligible and horrific blogs look good in Google search. Trust me, it doesn’t, mainly because Google also knows when people are link farming by trying to do this, because they offer nothing for any competent blog owner to consider it’s worth keeping. Those bloggers who don’t care to look at, respond to comments or anything else with comments don’t help them in any way; it’s a lost link on a blog that’s soon to end because the owner doesn’t care about their blog one way or another.

I’ve grown tired of following people, hoping that they’d recognize my proficiency in something and hire me. I’ve grown tired of connecting with people I don’t know who live in my area when neither of us have anything in common to offer to each other, to whom I’ve never talked, except for maybe that opening sales salvo after we’ve just connected without them knowing anything about me or my business.

I figure I have a good 5-10 years left where I can make an imprint on my financial and personal life. I need to work harder on making it happen without the distractions that aren’t helping me one bit. Even if more people just talked instead of marketing all the time, I feel like I’d gain in perspective, which is a pretty good deal in the long run.

These are my opinions on the subject, though. I have some analytics backing me up, but nothing says my analytics look like everyone else’s. What are you seeing with your connections? Are you happy, or are you thinking about making a change?

For a bit more of my thoughts on where I’m headed, check out this video; y’all take care!


8 thoughts on “Does The Numbers Game Help You On Social Media?”

  1. To be honest I never try to give any value to number on my Social Media Strategy as I am mostly doing all this ”Social Media Game” for my own fun. My main business remain my Blog and for me the numbers from this only matters! Specially as giving too much value on Facebook for exemple is worthless as the algorithm is made to make us stressed!

    1. I totally agree with you about Facebook numbers, and it’s the same for most of social media in general. High blog numbers would be great, but I’ve had to become a bit more realistic over the last few years.

  2. The great purge. I love it. As a gen x-er, I have never been able to compete so to speak with all of the numbers that the millennial gen kids have on social media. For a long time, it was depressing.
    But recently, I have accepted my numbers as being what they are and that my growth needs to be real and engaging. I mean who wants a million followers at 1% engagement for their business.
    So rather than purge my social, I just left it as is and enjoy slow and real growth. I am however, purging my email list with only those who actually read my newsletter.

    1. That’s a great way of thinking Eric. I’ll admit that there are times when I think about killing one of my YouTube channels because it rarely gets that many visits. Then I realize that it all helps build up a portfolio of my proficiency that I can access at any time down the road. I think when we get to the mental place of recognizing that we’re not all going to be online superstars it bodes well for our peace of mind.

  3. I have been very poor about engaging with people on Twitter for a while now. I think I am stretched too thin.

    Someone told me it is because of the pandemic but this was going on before that.

    But as much as I have wanted to build things I never cared enough to really play the game.

    I used to write about more things that would have a wider range of interest to readers but I don’t think about that now.

    I just write and if it resonates with people that is great.

    Truth is I don’t make much money from blogging anymore and that is part of the change.

    Full time work takes precedence.

    Just evolution I guess.

    1. The numbers aren’t as important as the creation, but if you’re hoping others read then there needs to be a bit of promotion. I wrote an article here once where I mentioned a guy who once said that all you need are 10 true fans and you can make millions. I’m still working on those 10 true fans. 🙂

  4. Thanks for this, pumping your followers on Social is just simply not as important as many make it out to be. Another problem with mass-following or connecting with unknown accounts is that of your profile and algorithm. While these tools are obviously used to market products to you, they’re also there to help you connect with relevant content and users based upon your connections and interests. So, connecting with profiles without any plan could make you harder to find, and less likely to accomplish your goals. Looking forward to reading more!

    1. Good stuff Aaron; totally agree. I know I don’t often hit my market even though I use the proper keywords. I also know that it wouldn’t be better being connected to 100K people if they share but never read anything I put out. I’d rather reach the people I know are interested more than everybody.

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