All weekend, I worked on the launch of this. Startup Noire turned from an idea to like a fetus of a business. It was like after the first trimester when it’s okay to tell people you’re expecting. I blurted out that I’m starting a company, and you know it’s real when your parents tell their Facebook friends to like the page. Thanks mamacita & daddy-o!
In any case, that’s part of any startup reveal nowadays: social networks! You’ve gotta put your flag in the sand and mark your territory, which is getting increasingly difficult nowadays because everybody has an idea or a site or a project, and they’re snatching up names quick.
I’m a social media person (gurus and ninjas are played) by trade. That’s what I’ve been doing since 2009. It’s nothing new, the expectations of being a brand on social media. However, I’ve been somewhat removed from the real stake of the numbers for a while. I found myself getting anxiety as I was fleshing out these profiles.
Even while doing social media marketing, I always thought numbers never told the whole story. Maybe because I could switch between being a marketer and a consumer. Someone who has more than 10,000 followers on any platform probably has a spam problem. Let’s talk engagement numbers, and it’s still something that makes me jittery.
The saying “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t” was relevant up until Internet marketing came into play. The Internet has changed everything. People are obsessed with hearts and comments. It’s not just social proof, but it’s validation. As a brand or a company, you want people to like what you’re doing. Hell, your plan relies on it. I have a saying “if a brand launches without a digital presence, did it really happen?” But the pressure that comes with it is stomach churning.
Knowing the stats is good, but can lead to obsessive behavior. And you never get a true picture of the amount of people your work is really touching until way down the line when you convert them into a paying customer, and sometimes not even then. “Followings” are misleading. I think about how many pictures I double tap on Instagram doing a mindless scroll, and I laugh thinking that there are people who feel better just because the number looks right.
I almost fell down the rabbit hole on Instagram. I use the network, maybe not as much as my peers. Most of my personal feed features Layla or food. But doing it from a business mindset, I was literally torn between doing “best practices” to build a large following, and just spreading the message of Startup Noire and following people who truly align with that message, and letting them make the decision to engage or not. I almost fell for it!
Are numbers good? Yes. But when it comes down to it, it’s an ego boost. I don’t care about quantity if the quality is shitty. I don’t want a bunch of bots, spammers, or dormant accounts under my followers list. I want the company to actually mean something and do something. Don’t fall for the numbers trap. Stay focused on the end goal.