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A few years ago showing your RSS subscribers numbers was a big deal for validating your blog success and/or readership. Fast forward to 2009 you’ll see banner ads not saying how to get more blog readers but how to get more Twitter followers. I know you have heard the saying, “It’s not about the numbers“, I have said it before and I’m sure you have heard plenty of “social media speakers” say it before too. But when I talk to businesses and they ask me, how many followers I have and ask how can they reach my audience and gain the same amount of followers and more, it’s tough to say, it’s not about the numbers. Even with Twitter’s new list feature people are already trying to create a social algorithm measuring the amount of followers you have to how many Twitter list you are in and the name of those list compared to your tweet content for validation. Sounds crazy right….

To my point when I say it’s not about numbers, I do mean it. My usual response is it’s about the relationships you have with your connections no matter which social network. It could be a Linkedin or Facebook Fan pages, you could have thousands of connections or fans but without any true relationship with your community, the numbers are just that, numbers.

But what about brands who are now looking to Twitter, Facebook, blogs and “influencers” to create “viral” content to market their product or service? How do brands select who they should reach out to? What are brands going to look at to see if you have an audiences or not? You guessed it, they’re going to look at your Twitter followers, now list count, RSS subscribers and any public analytics number they can find online. So, to completely say it’s not about the numbers? You lie.

Here are 11ways brands look for influencers on the social web

1. Compete.com
Site Comparison of socialwayne.com (rank #97,270), socialmediab2b.com (#110,989) | Compete

2. Technorati blog rankings – http://technorati.com

3. Tweet Grader:
waynesutton | Twitter Grader

4. AdAge Power 150 Rankings

5. Blog Postrank via http://www.postrank.com

6. Twitalyzer Twitter influence rankings
Twitalyzer Profile

7. Your Twitter list count
8. RSS Subscribers via Feedburner – http://feedburner.google.com
9. Alexa rankings – http://www.alexa.com
10.  Linkedin Connections

11. Facebook fans
Facebook | Mashable

12. BackType comment engagement numbers
People — BackType

Still this isn’t a green light to gain as many fans, friends, connections or followers as possible but evaluate your goals for establishing true meaningful relationships on the social web.

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