When it comes to social media, the signal-to-noise ratio is low. That is, there’s a whole lotta noise and not much signal. In the words of Clara Peller (RIP), “Where’s the Beef?

These days you have about 3 nano-milliseconds to get a reader’s attention because they’re trying to read your blog post, check email, check in on FourSquare and play CityVille, all at the same time…and let’s not even talk about what it takes to KEEP their attention.

To get their attention, you need to flaunt your social proof — or show them that your blog is worth reading because other people think it is. Judge Judy would call this “hearsay”.

You see, it’s not enough for YOU to say that your blog is “the best”, or “award-winning” or “read by a lot of people”; you have to PROVE it.

And, the only way for you to prove it is by highlighting your numbers. Numbers don’t lie. 2+2 is always 4 — at least in this dimension.

People don’t have time to waste so tell them straight away:

  • 47 new Facebook “Likes” per day
  • 24 reTweets daily
  • 15 comments daily
  • 163 new subscribers each week

Put the numbers in their face and your quality and success are irrefutable.

When people see numbers like that, they think to themselves (even if they don’t consciously know they’re thinking this), “Hey, this blog must be doing something right, they’ve got a lot of people paying attention.” And, then guess what they do? They follow you on Twitter, they subscribe to the blog and Like your Page on Facebook, too!

Here are some examples of companies that get it right:

  • Manta Media, Inc. Look at the full-color, HUGE testimonials in the top-center of the page. Look at how they leverage the ads they’ve taken out on ESPN Radio. And, if you scroll a bit, you’ll see the exact number of company profiles that have been updated in the past 24 hours – talk about social proof!
  • Angie’s List. The rotating testimonials are a GREAT way to show feedback from members — even if the testimonial is not directly attributable to a specific person or a specific vendor. How cool is that!? Further down the page, they tell you how many members submit new reviews each month – 40,000.  What would be even better is for them to show the exact number of reviews that have been submitted month-to-date.
  • And, for a different take on social proof, take a look at Chris Guillebeau’s blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. If you’ve ever read anything by Chris, you know that part of his way of showing up in the world is through experiential travel. He doesn’t just tell you, he SHOWS you. He tells you how many countries he’s visited and how many countries there are in the world so his 152 countries visited out of 192 countries in the world, actually means something to the visitor. He makes it relevant with those three extra characters.

Show, don’t tell. This is one instance where it’s OK to showcase the quantity, in addition to the quality.

AvatarLena West

Lena L. West is the leading expert on how women entrepreneurs can monetize social media. She is also the founder of the Influence Expansion Academy, the only social media mastermind program created EXCLUSIVELY for women entrepreneurs.