Monday, December 24, 2012

Social Media Monday—My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers

Social Media can appear to be all about the numbers.
On the surface, social media appears to be all about amassing numbers, increasing reach, and generating sales. Everywhere we look we’re being told how to get more hits on our blogs, generate new followers, and strengthen our web presence. After all, the higher our numbers, the more valuable we are. Right?

The truth is, that couldn’t be more of a perversion of the truth.

I’m not doing this to win some numbers race. I’m a writer because I want to reach people, to help them, and have a positive impact on the world around me.

Chasing the numbers is a path to certain
frustration and ultimate failure.
If all I’m looking for is higher numbers, I’ve missed the point. I’ve set a course that follows certain frustration and ultimate failure. So if it’s not for the numbers, then what’s the point? Why even bother with social media?

The point is what the numbers represent…the point is the individuals who can be impacted by what I write…challenged by what I say…changed by what I share.

When I get caught up chasing the numbers, the significance of what I’m doing diminishes. But when I step away from the race and concentrate on who I’m writing for and who I’m writing to, things fall back into place.

I’m first and foremost a writer. For me, social media is a tool. It’s the means to an end. It helps me find my audience. But when I begin to measure my worth as a writer through the numbers of social media, I’ve gotten off course.

My worth is not determined by my numbers.

I write to impact people.
For me, the blog posts that mean the most are rarely the ones that generate the highest numbers. The ones that mean the most are those that help someone, that connect the dots for an individual who’s hurting or help someone who’s frustrated finally see the light. It’s when I pen those words that I feel true satisfaction in my calling.

So how do I avoid the numbers race? I’ve come up with a few things to keep me on track.

  • I quit talking about myself on social media—completely. Instead I work hard to help someone else succeed or reach a new level. This takes my focus off me.
  • I volunteer. I offer to write an article or blog post for someone who doesn’t have the same size audience as me.
  • I issue an invitation. I ask someone who doesn’t have as much experience and/or exposure to contribute to my blog.  
  • I watch the clock. I limit my time on social media to a strict thirty minutes a day. With that, I don’t have time to obsess over my numbers.
  • I reveal something new about myself. I know this seems like the opposite of the first bullet, but it's really not. I'm talking about being vulnerable, not saying come look at me. I've discovered that I make those important heart-to-heart connections when I open up and I'm vulnerable. When I revert to slick slogans and polished posts, I'm really just hiding.

Social media is an important part of our toolbox as twenty-first century wordsmiths, but it’s not the focus of what we do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the race to the highest numbers and forget why we’re doing it. This media driven world we live in ebbs and flows. One second we’re on top, the next at the bottom of the pile. When we measure our worth through charts and graphs generated by numbers we’re certain to fail. But when we look at the lives that are impacted by our words, success is guaranteed.

I’d love the opportunity to learn from you. What do you do to keep your focus on the words and not the numbers?

Don’t forget to join the conversation.


  1. Edie,

    This was very insightful.

    My goal for my blog is to help writers find new ways to glean writing ideas from their everyday life. So, I rarely talk about myself except in anecdote. I do ask a lot of questions so that they start thinking about their own life and pulling ideas from their own experiences.

    If I can do that, then I'm successful, no matter how many people follow me.


  2. Thank you for these reaffirming words, Edie. It also helps to remember that our loving God doesn't care about our social media stats :)

    As for what I do to curb the social media monster check: life takes care of that for me. I just don't have a lot of time to become obsessive. I do what I can and don't fret about how I don't have time to look at FB once more or how I'm so behind on...

    Have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

  3. In our society of wanting to stay on top of everything, numbers are often our focus. Thanks for the reminder that reaching people is what our purpose really is.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. I sooooo needed this today. Not because of worrying about numbers (I realized a long time ago that I wasn't going to be a social media wiz!), but just as a reminder that "when we look at the lives that are impacted by our words, success is guaranteed."

    Through these many years of writing, I've had the joy of hearing from those who've been touched by the words I've written, and I know you have, too. Whether it's a book, an article, or one of my blogposts, I know that if I'm faithful to take my writing seriously and give it my best, there's a good chance it'll reach someone who needed to read it. And that is success enough.

    But that doesn't mean I'd turn it away if God decided to bless me with over-the-top financial blessings!

    Merry Christmas, sweet friend.

  5. Edie, thanks so much for sharing this. I'm not media savvy, so my blog is it. Through my blog, I try very hard to make sure I write what God wants written, and don't leave anything unwritten that he wants written.

    When the new stats program I put in last month, erased the numbers for my followers up to that point, and showed I had 1 follower, even though I knew I did have subscribers,(thank you for being number 2!) I thought how dreadful, but God showed me, like you have said, the numbers aren't that important. I write. God increases as he sees fit.