If I could add 100 subscribers or 10,000 subscribers online, it may not make a difference to my bottom line. I need to attract the right subscribers to actually get business from them. I've even written in the past that marketing is not about the eyeballs, it's about the intent.
Have I changed my mind? No, not when it comes to advertising.
I don't care about how many total followers or subscribers you have, I care about the number of those followers or subscribers who have common interests or might be prospective clients for me. If you offer the ability to advertise to your network, I'll do it if the number of relevant followers or subscribers is right for my business – not just simply because you have a huge network.
There is an advantage to big numbers, though. It's promotion and authority.
There is momentum in numbers. Low follower counts cause low follower adoption. You might have the best blog, twitter account or facebook page in the universe… but it's grueling to add followers when you don't have any. If you have 100 followers, it could take weeks or months to naturally get to 200, even with the best content.
With 10,000 followers, though, you might be able to add 100 a day! There are two reasons why:
- Big numbers confirm that you're a big deal. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. People are lazy… they glance at your Twitter page, your Facebook page or your blog and they try to find out how big a deal you are. If you have big numbers, they tend to click the follow button a lot easier. It's an unfortunate fact. It's also why I display a number of ranking badges in my sidebar.
- Big numbers allow you the opportunity to promote. Many years ago, I did a test where I announced that my blog had won an award as the best marketing blog on the Internet. I did a ton of guerilla marketing and promoted it everywhere. My blog's readership grew tremendously as a result. I then wrote a post about how I did it.
I've watched other bloggers do it, too. Back when you could hack Feedburner's subscriber counts, I saw a few very influential bloggers take full advantage and do it. Their blogs skyrocketed in popularity – it was incredible. I've hesitated at purely cheating (unless it's so incredibly simple that I just had to teach the people a lesson that developed it).
Am I advocating cheating or or buying followers? That's up to you. I'm really not going to tell you that it's a bad thing or a good thing. I'm just going to tell you that it does, indeed, work.
I am currently promoting my Twitter account with Featured Users and have added a couple of hundred new followers. It's a nice service that is permission-based, so I'm not cheating or buying followers – I'm just promoting myself. My goal is to get over 10,000 followers sooner rather than later.
One note on Featured Users: I would not pay for the large Buy Once package in the future. My adoption skyrocketed early in the campaign and has since dropped off – probably because my face is being fed to the same people over and over. I've also been modifying my location since they target geographically. In the future, I think I'll just buy the smallest amount of ads and then execute the campaigns with their monthly subscription.
Ten thousand followers is a nice number to promote. Since I'm writing a book that will be out in August (Corporate Blogging for Dummies), I want to get all of my numbers up – across Facebook, Twitter, and my feed subscribers. This way my network to promote within is larger and I can touch more people with it.
So… yes, I do believe that big numbers count!