Influence in social media has become a hot topic lately. What is influence and how I can get my hands on measuring it? Sounds almost reasonable as all our lives we have had numbers equated to us – height, weight, siblings, test score, grade point average, goals, interviews, jobs, performance, salary, etc. It is almost never ending but there is one thing that is not measurable in mathematics – influence. Influence in social media or many other aspects is not about the numbers. If 20,000 people were subscribed to this blog would that make me influential? What if only 500 were reading it am I still influential?
The Wide Variety of Math
Math. There is so much to math. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, integers, formulas, algebra, geometry, theories – it is a lot but yet in social media we assign one number to influence – the most. Think about that. The most followers, readers, friends, connections is what so many aspire for as it gives them the power of being a number. Look at me, I have so many followers, fans, friends, connections. Ok, I am looking but how much are you letting us see past the numbers?
Influence Is From Within Our Community
Influence is from the relationships that we build within our community. What do the people that know you or are exposed to you on the social media profiles say about you? What stands out about you that makes them even think about you, visit your blog, tweet you on Twitter? What makes people literally stop what they are doing to make YOU their focus?
Interesting as when we think of it that way, we have to think that you have made an impact upon them that we cannot assign a number to. How can we assign a number to influence if it is scaled by each person and how they have accepted you into their lives by making you their focus?
Influence is Not A Mathematics Game
I get a bit fired up when people talk about growing my follower, friends and blog traffic. I see it differently as if you judge me by my followers, connections or perceived friends then sorry not to be harsh but move on, not much else to see here. I do not necessarily care about the numbers of followers, friends, connections, retweets, no, I care about the people. There is always a person behind each tweet, like, friend, blog, etc. that is not a number. I like to see the person, but, that is just me.
How Do We Build Influence?
We build influence by communicating. Transparency is a big word in the social media community. I agree that transparency is big but yet telling people what you think they want to hear is not necessarily being transparent. Some may disagree but being transparent is being you. The most stripped, down giving it all that you got, forgive me later (ok maybe not that far) part of you that you never ever know that people may like. I am the very enthusiastic sports team fan, ok over zealous but that is the same way I am with work, friends and being at home and a mom. For some that is what they like about me (as seen on Aug 18th) but others not so much. Do I not influence them with my excitement and passion for what they are doing or what is going on in advertising and marketing? Absolutely I do not and that is ok because they are the ones who focus on the numbers.
Build influence by being a member of a community. Give them all you got as through sharing something that you think no-one is paying attention to, reaching out to people more than you check the traffic stats, retweets, etc. Think about those that you think about and put your focus on them as you can have all the mathematics but what happens where there is no-one to talk to?
What do you think? Is influence a paint by numbers?
photo credit: bubbo-tubbo