I’m part of a writer’s group on Twitter that works hard to promote each other’s books. But it seems as though some people are so preoccupied with follow numbers. I regularly see tweets about boosting numbers and getting people to 1000 followers, as if that’s some magic number.
I’m not sure why this is so critical.
It’s the same with my blog. Every new follower gets my heart racing just a little bit. It’s the little pellet I get at the end of the maze for running it correctly. Sometimes I get the pellet, sometimes I don’t.
Is it all just a numbers game?
Social media is such an unwieldy beast, it’s hard for me to get my mind around it sometimes. I don’t automatically share my life events on social media every time something happens to me. It doesn’t even occur to me to do this.
Maybe it’s because I’m old.
But with social media, it’s all about the ‘likes’ and the clicks and the engagement. How many people like your life? How many people like your new puppy? Or your kid’s soapy hair-do? Or what you had for dinner last night? How popular is your presentation of your life? You want your friends to ‘like’ your posts, don’t you?
We’ve all been reduced to clicks.
Social media is a billion dollar industry for businesses and advertisers. Ads are curated through algorithms to show you products and services they consider most relevant to you. So when you ‘like’ that post on Facebook by your sister-in-law’s niece about her girl scout troop’s trip to Washington DC, that information goes into the algorithm. The algorithm process the information along with other factors, like the information in your profile, to determine what ads are displayed.
My ads are not relevant to me.
I tell myself that I don’t care about the numbers, but I guess I do. I notice when they go up and feel a sense of ‘reward’ when they do. But it’s all a popularity contest. We can do anything we want now – filmmaking, publishing, recording, etc. – but you’ve got to win the popularity contest, you’ve got to get your clicks, if you want to make it ‘big’. And that’s all about the numbers.