Monday, November 20, 2017

Why Social Media Is So Much More Than Just Numbers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

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 writing thing to win some numbers race. I write because I want to reach people, to help them, and have a positive impact on the world around me.

If all I’m looking for is higher numbers, Ive missed the point. Ive set a course that follows certain frustration and ultimate failure. So if its not for the numbers, then whats 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, and 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 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.

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 doesnt have the same size audience as me..
  • I issue an invitation. I ask someone who doesnt 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 dont 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.

As twenty-first century wordsmiths, social media is an important part of our toolbox, 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 we’re 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 hear your thoughts on this. How do you keep your focus on the words—and the people who read them—instead of the numbers?

Don’t forget to join the conversation.


Our #socialmedia focus must remain on the people we’re reaching, not the numbers we’re getting - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


  1. Your words could not ring any more true ma'am. Our readership is not about how many reads something we write, it's about how many lives we touch with God's amazing grace. Thank you for reminding us all of this important lesson; and thank you for helping me begin to learn the correct way to use social media.

    1. Jim, I'm so glad I've been able to help you! Blessings, E

  2. This post reminds me to be thankful for social media and technology that reaches the world. I need to live more in the "I get to do this" attitude, not "I have to do this".

    1. Jennifer, that's so true! Thank you for sharing, Blessings, E

  3. As always, Edie wise words. Thank you.

    1. Marilyn, thank you for stopping by! Blessings, E

  4. Amazing post bringing focus. There are those posts that "go viral" and then quickly forgotten. Then there are those evergreen post that get a few views daily. Those are the impactful ones.
    When I was making business cards and preparing for my first writer's conference, it was those old but still helpful The Write Conversation post I'd turned to for guidance.
    Keep up the great work, Edie!

    1. Ingmar, thank you so much! You are a great encouragement to me, Blessings, E

  5. Thank you for your support and information. I agree it should be more about building relationships. Would you like to guest blog on my site?

    1. Jann, Is love to be a guest on your site! Thank you, E

  6. Edie, thank you for sharing this great post. Such a needed word!

    1. Callie, I’m glad it was encouraging! Blessings, E