A popular topic amongst social media folks is the ongoing discussion around how many likes/followers a person or organization has and how much that matters. Most folks will usually side on how the numbers do not matter, and what’s more important is engagement, conversions, and whether those connections actually result in contributing to business results. All of this is is very true. Having a large social reach is certainly useless if none of those other things are happening. But I can tell you from experience that anyone that says the size of your reach does not matter is flat out wrong.
Almost 3 years ago a bomb dropped on me when Microsoft laid me off. I did not see it coming, nor should I have as they never had laid anyone in history of the company. I was ill prepared to enter the job market with thousands of other unfortunate souls. I had failed to focus substantial efforts on my own social credentials. I was fortunate however to have a decent enough severance package to buy me the time to focus on myself. And that’s exactly what I did concentrating on blogging, building my social following, and influence in social marketing.
Those efforts were the foundation to some fairly significant career happenings in my life. To more clearly reinforce why the numbers do matter, the following are a few examples to demonstrate how.
- In the past 2 1/2 years I have scored 3 different interviews, 2 at Microsoft, and 1 for my current gig. In all 3 experiences, my social following was clearly a big reason for getting the initial interviews. It put my name at the top of the list every time.
- Every client pitch I walk into is proceeded with my social credentials, and every time, it impresses them enough to walk into the room with a level of credibility before I even say a word.
- Most recently, I was contacted by a casting producer for Season 2 of a reality/adventure show called Escape Routes. I was clearly identified and drew interest initially because of my social following.
I know what some of you are thinking…all those people don’t know enough about social media thus are easily influenced by big numbers. And my response to you would be….Yea, that’s exactly my point.
Of course those numbers are not the be all end all. You have to back it up with actual knowledge, experience, and an ability to effectively leverage those networks, which I have been able to do. In all my examples, if I wasn’t able to back it up with clear examples and experience, of course they wouldn’t have worked out for me. But one clear fact remains; MY SOCIAL REACH OPENED THE DOORS. And that my friends, is the whole point of this blog post. Having a large social following in and of itself will open doors for you. You better be able to back it up, but the doors will open. Fair? Maybe, maybe not.
What’s your take or experiences?
Joy Seletsky says
Well, put Jason. I agree that social reach is increasingly becoming a door opener. I do think though, that we are going to quickly evolve to a place where measurements of influence (Klout, for example) will begin to matter more than sheer numbers. Do you agree?
Hi Joy. I think the science of influence measurement is still in it’s early stages as Klout can attest to. I think what would make measuring influence more interesting is if there was a way to integrate more factors. Self hosted blogs, whether you’ve authored successful books, speaking engagements, etc. Perhaps a method to integrate the ability for people to enter information manually and/or have others enter credentials/feedback on your behalf?
Thanks for stopping by!
Janet Callaway says
Jason, aloha. Loved hearing your story. Congratulations on your successful branding and the business you built. Sounds to me like Microsoft did you a huge favor. And you, wisely, took advantage of it and created a new life.
Social reach does open doors because most anyone, and certainly any company, wants to see that third party validation that they are making the “right” choice. If _____ people follow Jason, he must be adding value to their lives.
Best wishes for a fantastic weekend. Until next time, aloha. Janet
Thanks Janet. I’ll always value the time I spent at Microsoft. One of the greatest teams I will ever get to be a part of.
Dino Dogan ( says
yup..thats right dudes. You girl was lying to you when she said “size doesnt matter”. If she was honest, she’d say “sorry honey, but I love you anyways”.
Size does matter. It may not matter to you, but it matters to others. And it should matter to you.
Come over to my blog, I’m have a Social Media Penis Pump with your name on it lol
HELLO. Well said as always Dino. Always love your commentary. I’m on my way over now. 🙂
Peter Kadas says
At last someone is thinking like this! I’m so fed up with that engagement is everything bullsh!t. Of course size does matter. The top of all, no one ever provided any kind of formula to measure engagement (no, Klout either). Well said, Dino. I like your “Ugly truth”-like posts.
Here here Peter! I think it’s foolish to point one specific measurement when it comes to audience analysis. Each one serves an important purpose.
Size indeed matters! It has to be substantiated with delivery and execution, but it is part of the social proof that we build in social media.
Clive Roach (jedi_roach) says
A good post and indeed, size matters. However, I agree with some of the others here that influence is an important factor, and I do not think that Klout has it totally right ye, but surely influence in whatever way you measure it remains a key factor
Thanks for stopping by Clive. I think the size of your reach is more impactful in opening doors then it pertains to measuring influence such as the Klouts of the world. They have a long way to go before those numbers match reality.
I hadn’t realized quite your history. My family was also affected by layoffs just about 3 years ago.
Congratulations on all of your success in social marketing to bring you to this point!
Size does matter. But I think you’ve done pretty well all the way around!!
Thanks for the kind words Keri. I feel lucky to be where I am, and enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge with anyone that finds it useful or interesting!