In the past ten years social media has blossomed, grown, and turned into a gold-rush of opportunity. People from all communities have raced to the top of sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube … the list goes on and on. New platforms appear so regularly that it can be difficult to keep up, and it can be tempting to try and climb to the summit of each of them.

But when does it start to become merely a numbers game?

I hear so many different strategies on the “when”, “what”, and “how” we should share to each of these platforms. Should I have one account, or two accounts to separate my business and personal lives? Should I post once a day? Twice a day? Every other day? Should I join and go full-speed on the newest platform to stake my claim? The opinions are as endless as they are exhausting.

There’s no right way to approach how one should use social media. Gaining numbers can be beneficial, but be careful that it’s not an ego-driven agenda with the purpose of getting to the highest number of followers, likes, or views. It’s impossible to deny the potential benefits of having a large following, but for small businesses and individuals, the work it takes to grow and sustain those numbers can be counter-productive and overly time-consuming. And in some cases, they have no benefits whatsoever.

True influence and authority do not always go hand-in-hand with the number of followers one has on a given platform. Large followings may bring opportunity to some who might otherwise not have been noticed through traditional channels, and I think when that happens it is a wonderful resource. But for many of us, the number of followers and possible “celebrity” status on social media is just another check in the box.

Figure out what is important to you and focus on that. The number is not as important as the real people behind those numbers.

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