When it comes to social media, it’s easy to get lost in the number crunch. Facebook has over 500 million users, Twitter has over 175 million. You have 357 Facebook friends, 3246 Twitter followers and your blog has been read 467 times.
You have 23 mutual friends with someone on Facebook, yet you have no idea who that person is.
It’s true that social media brings with it a broader sense of reality through user-generated photos, videos and stories, but it also has the ability to squash that reality and replace it with a meaningless numbers game. Everyone knows (in theory, at least) that relationships matter more than friends or followers, but developing frail and fragile online relationships is still an accepted practice.
So, that’s why it’s nice to turn on your computer and experience the most basic relationship element: you say something nice about someone, they say something nice back.
A month ago, I wrote a blog about an up-and-coming online travel magazine called Travelati. I had no ulterior motives—I just loved their idea of a crowd-sourced travel magazine and thought the world should know too.
Last night, we received an email from Travelati thanking us:
“Really appreciate the interest in Travelati. Thanks for the post. We launched our first issue yesterday and have seen a tremendous response, with downloads in over 40 countries in just 24 hours.
We’d love to talk more about what we are doing. Feel free to reach out to me directly at ****@travelati.com”
A simple and genuine response with an update on how they’re doing. They even quoted part of our blog on their Facebook page. In the age of auto responses and auto follows, a personalized reply is a welcome reminder of the true potential of social media relationships. It’s an example of businesses being as real on the web as they would be in person. And that, my friends, is what numbers should be made of.