There is a lot of speculation around social media numbers. Many are of the opinion that the greater the number of social media followers or fans a business has, the better the social media account and the increased business. But at the end of the day, it’s not how many followers or fans you have as a business that really counts; it’s the number of followers or fans that are actually acknowledging, referring or doing business with your business that counts in Halifax, Dartmouth, Toronto and elsewhere.

Myth #1: the greater the number of followers or fans means a greater social media reach for your business

Reality #1: this depends on what your followers are doing. If they are sharing and engaging others about your brand, that’s good. But if they are following and then forgetting, then that’s bad. Sharing really counts when it comes to reach. When someone else shares your brand on social media, what they say is more likely to be trusted and shared by others further. Numbers along do not guarantee reach. Reach is created in many cases by the sharing of others. No sharing definitely means a decreased reach.

Myth #2: the more you push out on social media the greater your reach will be for your business

Reality #2: when you post more you can show up in more time zones and times of the day. But this does not guarantee that these increased postings will create reach for your business. Just because you post more than the other guy does not necessarily mean you will do better. Quality often trumps quantity. After all, when followers and fans like what you are saying,  they will share it with their friends and followers. Now showing up is important. But putting out great content out is far better than posting just to get your numbers up. I would rather you put out 5 great posts per day than throw out 20 “Hail Mary” posts hoping that you will get a bite. There is already lots of noise in the social media world. You have to learn to be different to be heard.

Myth #3: the more followers or fans I have the more money I will make for my business

Reality #3: increased numbers on social media can create more opportunities, but they do not guarantee them. Let me give you an example. You can engage with all your followers throughout the day and increase your follower numbers hand over fist. But if you never ask for business, they will simply engage you and not think of doing business with you. If you are using social media for business, you have to ask for business. If you don’t, you are simply playing. Now it’s great to provide great information, conversations and build your brand; but business does not occur until money is transferred from one person to another. You need to remember why you are on social media: “Business“.

Myth #4: I don’t have enough followers for my business to be effective on social media

Reality #4: if you have one follower, you have a great starting place. Don’t focus on what you don’t have, and focus on what you do have. Make that one follower a refer-a-maniac. Build a great relationship with them and win their support. Treat that follower as a gift from God and make the best referer of your business ever. Treat followers and fans as people, and focus on what you have. So many businesses on social media are so focused on numbers, and NOT focused on the people. To this point, I never saw a number walk into my business yet and buy something. People buy from you. Focus on people, and focus on the people who have joyfully connected with you already. Let them know that you are grateful to have them with you. Reward them for their faithfulness some how.

Myth #5: if I engage with my all of my followers throughout the day my business will do better

Reality #5: you have to create billable hours or sell something to stay in business. It’s great to engage with your customers, but you have to watch your time. You cannot be on social media all day long with your customers, unless that’s what you are getting paid for. You may have to acknowledge your followers and fans in a broad way throughout the day. There may be a few conversations that you will want to specifically hone in on. But you have to create business. Social media is supposed to enhance what you are already doing. So you better be doing what you need to do to create business. Don’t forget that a varied approach that adds social media is what is required to create business  You simply can not park your butt on social media all day and expect the cash to flow in. Simply talking with your followers and fan all day probably won’t drastically increase your business either. Be smart in how you run your social media for your business. Don’t run yourself out trying to be the social media superman.

So I hope this gives you a few ideas on what numbers mean in social media. Don’t bother getting into a spitting match over who has the better numbers. This is meaningless. Focus on what you have and build on that. More numbers does not necessarily mean more business. Run your social media smartly and you will see a payoff over time. What do you think?