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Number of followers friends connections do not matter

January 28, 2011

There was a time when we measured a website based on ‘hits’.

If you ask Avinash Kaushik, he would most-likely tell you that hits are the most idiotic way to measure a website. Think about it in simple terms: a website is never responsible for the hits. Other marketing is responsible because it has to tell people about the site.

That said, a website is responsible for the second.

So, people were dumb. But the internet was new, people didn’t know shit, so they measured websites on hits.

Cue the rise of social media.

We have numbers of followers/fans, etc. We know none of that matters, really. It doesn’t matter if the brand you manage on Facebook has 456 fans (likers) or 456,000 likers. Numbers aren’t a measure of success, behavior and activities are.

But then along comes a nice round number that is distracting.

I have two of those for my personal brand. The first is 500 connections on LinkedIn. When one gets to 500, LinkedIn stops counting. 501 becomes 500+. With 496 connections, I’m unreasonably focussed on finding people to connect.

The other is Twitter. I have 1967 followers on Twitter.

Now, I recognize that these numbers are meaningless. 500 people who aren’t really connections isn’t better than 20 good career building people who I actually engage with. Same goes with Twitter. Even though I follow over 2000 people, I have lists of people who I truly follow. Surely the same applies to people who follow me.

What do you think of arbitrary round numbers?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2011 5:50 pm

    i or penchant it Number of followers friends connections do not matter « People fancy to part now im your rss reader

  2. January 28, 2011 5:51 pm

    No you are right, just more useless data:
    – subscription rates for calculating CPM are useless
    – street traffic patterns for billboard rates are useless
    – mailing list sizes for determining reach, completely useless.
    – inbound call rates from a mailer, completely useless.
    – number of hits on a landing page from a new advertiser banner ads with no other stats , completely senseless.

    Now if someone has 500+ linkedin contacts and then tried to accomplish something with those contacts and had zero results, then I would first fire the person’s brand manager! Second I would cull the list down to the contacts that actually produce results or will likely produce results.

    One of the facebook fan pages I manage is for the local HS soccer team. there are under 300 hard core HS soccer fans on the page. One of the goals of this list of fans was filling volunteer opportunities when they become available. The last test I ran we filled the volunteer requirements (8 positions) of a specific event in less then 48 hours of announcing the need for volunteers. No, you are right, I could have done that with 7 fans, number of fans don’t matter.

    The numbers may be meaningless by themselves, but it’s like the old joke, size doesn’t matter, it’s how you use it. 8)

    Good Hunting.

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