The more followers I get, the better I feel. Feels like I’m getting something right.
To get an email that says “so and so is now following you on Twitter” or “So and so added you to their circles on Google Plus” or “you have a new connection on LinkedIn”, or “So and so liked your page on Facebook”, or “So and so is now following you on Pinterest” is like music to my ears and candy to my tastebuds!
Who doesn’t like to get more followers? But just how many followers are enough?
This social media thing can get quite addictive and can invoke obsessive behavior.
For bloggers, this is a special concern. Many bloggers measure their online success by the number of followers that they have.
And no wonder; since more social media followers oftentimes equates to greater social proof. In other words, the more social media followers you have the more the online community ‘respects’ you.
But does the number of social media followers necessarily equate to how successful a blogger is?
When it all comes down to it, I guess it depends a lot on what success means to each individual.
For me, social media followers are important since it is kind of like an indication of how large your market is. And who doesn’t always want to reach a larger share of the market?
But, when it gets obsessive and addictive then there is a problem. Just how many social media followers are enough?
How do you determine when you have “arrived” at the right number of social media followers?
I have done my own little survey to see the correlation between the number of social media followers that a blogger has and the amount of traffic it gets in terms of the number of visitors and the number of views. I used the Alexa ranking to determine the amount of traffic received.
What I found was that there is definitely a correlation between the total number of followers that a blogger has and their Alexa Rank.
I collected data for 10 top bloggers within a specific niche including the number of social media followers they have on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and their corresponding Alexa ranks.
The top blogger had a combined social media following of 879,271 followers and also had the best Alexa ranking of 3,830. At the bottom of the list was the blogger who had the least amount of social media followers at 23,060 followers with the worst Alexa rank of 435,423.
The middle of the data was a bit fuzzy. There didn’t seem to be a direct positive correlation between the total number of social media followers and the Alexa Rank in the middle of the data.
Some bloggers in the middle had relatively smaller numbers of social media followers but their Alexa rankings were better than expected. Here is where I questioned whether these persons were benefiting from paid traffic to their blogs.
What we need to bear in mind therefore, is whether an Alexa ranking is based on totally organic traffic or if paid traffic has contributed to the Alexa ranking.
Because the fact is, that a blogger who pays for traffic is likely to have a higher Alexa rank than another blogger whose traffic is mainly organic. But you can’t tell just by looking at Alexa ranking whether or not paid traffic has affected the numbers.
Similarly, a blogger who pays for advertising in order to gain social media followers is likely to have a larger number of followers than someone who generates social media followers organically.
Personally, I prefer organically generated social media followers. This is because the persons who follow you based on your own marketing and visibility efforts, are more likely to stay with you and become paying customers. But that’s just my opinion.
Facebook, however, is an exception since it is extremely difficult to gain organic following based on the algorithms at work on that platform.
At the end of the day, while I take the number social media followers into consideration to determine a blogger’s “success”, I believe that the number of subscribers that the person has in addition to their Alexa rank is a better gauge of successful online marketing.
But back to the original question at hand. Just how many social media followers are enough for you?
Amy Jo Martin offers the following tips to increase the number of social media followers that you have:
- Follow persons with similar interests or in a similar niche as you
- Share content regularly and consistently
- Your content should always educate and inform even if done in an entertaining way
- Entertainment is always good – use it often
- Inspire followers with your posts – Make them want something more
- Make an exclusive offering that they can’t resist and
- Engage by talking back – It’s a conversation, not a monologue.
These are great tips and if you follow them diligently you should see an increase in the number of social media followers that you have.
But, I am really interested in hearing what you guys think. How many social media followers are enough for you? How do you determine when you have enough social media followers?