Social Media Followers Are Not Everything

In the last few months I have been active on the social media websites Twitter and Google+. I constantly see people talking about their number of followers. I will admit that I fell into this trap early on but I quickly realized that the number of followers does not make you an authority on a certain subject. Perception is not reality on the Internet and just because someone has 25,000 followers does not mean that they are an expert in any subject. It definitely does not mean that they should be followed just because others are following.

Twitter and Google+ Followers

The two major websites that allow individuals to follow public profiles are Twitter and Google+. Facebook is not created to have a following as many of the things that are posted are not posted publicly. This means that the majority of this article is going to reference Google+ and Twitter when talking about a following. Just recently Google+ had updates to the suggested user list and many individuals I know happen to be on it. In fact, one individual has gained over 2000 followers in one day. While I think he should legitimately be on the new suggested user list there are many that probably should not.

When Google+ first started they created a suggested user list of individuals who already have some type of Internet presence. This didn't have to be an area of expertise they simply had to be a unique website or a YouTube channel. Some of these users may not even be of the highest quality. I will be the first to admit that there are several individuals on the suggested user list on Google+ that I would never follow. They are not an authority in their specific subject and their content does not interest me in any way.

Social Media FollowersThis leads to the question who is an authority?. The only way you'll know is if you follow someone or look at their posts and see what they are creating. Some people are much better than others in their area of expertise. By looking at a few posts and seeing what websites that particular individual contributes to you will quickly understand if they are a true expert. You may also want to look at the web traffic that goes to the websites in which that individual as an author.

Is Web Traffic More Important Than Follower Count?

In all reality, I firmly believe that web traffic is significantly more important than follower count. Web traffic tells the true story of how authoritative that particular person or website is. If the website is receiving 25,000 daily visitors but their Twitter profile only has 100 followers this is not a big deal to me. In fact, I think it is much more respectable to get the daily visitors to a website rather than amassing a large number of Twitter followers. It is important to note that you can actually buy twitter followers for a very low price at the current time.

There is no true way to know the exact traffic for specific website. You can use websites like Compete or Alexa to look at some of the metrics but these are not going to be 100% accurate. The only way to truly know how many visitors are going to a specific website is to see the analytics that have been installed on that website. Most website owners are not going to give you access to their analytics. Some website owners that offer full disclosure will be more than happy to share screenshots or YouTube videos when looking at analytics.

Instead of trying to get a huge following on Twitter or Google+ it is much harder to try to build up a website. By creating an online presence that is not a social media website you will know for certain that you are creating good content. You never know when one of these social networks might go down or delete your account. Crazier things have happened. Many social media accounts have been hacked over the last few years so you could lose all of that value.

Building Authority is Done Through Web Traffic

I will be the first to admit that one of my goals is to build web traffic to websites in which I own. Unfortunately, I see many people on social media simply wanting to build a following. Some people want to get the 10,000 followers or 20,000 followers. At this point there is no true way to measure how much a follower is worth. In fact, most people who are on social media are not going to lead to revenue because they do not purchase products through websites that are not already known.

This is something to think about when trying to get 100 new followers every single day on Twitter. I will admit that this used to be a strategy of mine when I first started but I quickly learned that there is very little value in doing this. The only followers that you should be concerned about are those that actually read and digest your content. Unfortunately, many people on Twitter and even Google+ may follow you but do not read your content.

If you can build a website that gets over by 1000 daily visitors you have done something truly astonishing. If you build a social media online profile that gets over 5000 followers this is not that impressive. A lot of people get very lucky by getting on the suggested user list on Google+ or get a mention from a big name on Twitter and they can add thousands of followers in a day. Sometimes these followers may look at your website but often times they will simply follow individuals and never engage with them in any way.

If you plan on building an online empire I would strongly suggest with creating content on the website and building relationships on social media. Do not worry about the numbers game as the following is not everything. In fact, a following is almost nothing unless you have built strong relationships that can help you in the future.

   

Comments

Great article Al! I have started from no experience what so ever 2.5yrs ago & built my blog & my website/blog along with 9 social media accounts to share too and always I look for website/blog presence before social media numbers - also I never "buy" followers or "likes" but will share when linked back to - personally reply to comments & love to share great information!

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