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In relentless pursuit of numbers

“So, what do you do?”

“I work in digital marketing and social media”

“OH! Awesome! I’m really trying to get my numbers up on instagram at the moment, know and hints and tips?”


“What do you mean why, because I need more numbers!”

I can’t tell you the number of times this exchange occurs in my everyday life. It seems everyone from the barista at my local coffee shop, doctors, cafe owners and my daughters daycare teacher (yes really) have a side hustle that they want to pick my brain about. And it’s always about getting their numbers up.

While I’m happy to help, the first question I always ask is: Why? Why do you want to get your numbers up? Does that person in Ontario, Canada who just followed you on Instagram really have intentions of visiting your salon in Sydney, Australia? Are all those likes, mentions and follows translating to where it matters most…cold hard cash?

“But it will help with the algorithm”

Ahh yes, the algorithm. Look, while there’s no denying that getting noticed on socials will help your brand, is your time focusing on just the numbers serving your business well? Wouldn’t you prefer to have a small community made up of genuine prospects and customers who bring in a steady stream of business, versus hundreds of thousands of followers where only a small percentage engage and even a smaller portion convert?

The golden rule of social media, and marketing generally, is to be where your customer is. Put the majority of your efforts where the majority of your audience hangs out, especially if you’re hampered by a shoestring budget or time poor. If there aren’t many patients waiting to be found on Snapchat, don’t open an account there if you’re a dentist.

Remember to think offline too, particularly if you have a bricks and mortar presence. Social works best if it’s used in conjunction with the rest of your marketing plan. If you’re a restaurant, you could leave flyers at complementary businesses to invite them to like your page and mention the flyer on your latest post for 20% off their meal.

Don’t think in silos, because your audience certainly doesn’t.