3 Reasons Social Media Stats Can’t Be Trusted

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When social media stats speak loudly confirming few reads or comments, we may mistrust our missions. Yet, God lays out His messages in our hearts years before any of us use our keyboards for ministry. Because each of us has a unique voice for Christ, our posts resonate with some people and not with others. That’s a built-in, from-on-high feature to encompass the unreached people of the world.

God didn’t tell me before I began blogging that posts were above par when thousands read them. He merely asked me to share His message and to make sure it was His, and not mine. Likely, that’s your story too. So to do that, how do we see our dispatches as Godly expressions of faith, rather than statistical communications?

Jesus Is Our Focus, Not Social Media Stats

Maybe you’ve heard the adage that numbers don’t lie, and believed it. Untruth can swim around in our heads to downplay the real reason we write. As scripture indicates in Deuteronomy 14:2, we are a peculiar people who God chose as holy, and set apart. To that end, we’re already steps ahead by virtue of our Christian status.

If that wasn’t enough, our advocate is Jesus Christ who goes to the Father on our behalf. Every time we stray away from fellowship with the triune Godhead, His grace brings us back into relationship.

Just so readers know, I was guilty, like other writers, of putting faith in stats when I started blogging. At first, my nucleus of success centered around who liked, followed, shared, or used an emoji to signal approval. God didn’t take long to deliver the message shown in this image.

Run to Jesus not social media stats

Immediately I sought forgiveness and aligned my sights differently which meant a heart change was necessary. Instead of running to stats, I ran to scripture, meditation, and prayer before turning on the computer.  I didn’t want social media stats to become a spiritual pacifier in place of Jesus and The Word of God.

Social Media Stats Can Lead Us down the Wrong Path

With a recorded 2.8 billion global social media users in 2017, stats do provide a way to track the interests of readers. Beyond that, our marketing strategy should center on what we sense God wants us to write.

God expects us to trust Him for results, so when social media stats rise to the top in our hearts, there’s a problem. One of my ongoing goals is to memorize Psalm 91 and for good reason. Too many distractions surround us contributing to finding ourselves on bunny trails.  Repeating frequently, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him, I will trust,” puts Him first.

Psalm 119:105 is equally helpful, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” By staying focused on scripture and our relationship with God, it’s not likely stats can avert our ministry purpose.

Social Media Stats Can Be Fleeting and Discouraging

Social Media Stats Are Transitory

Why Social Media Stat's Can't Be TrustedStats change daily and should not monitor how we feel about writing. A bounce rate could represent something as fickle as disliking the website colors or viewing the dreaded blank page. Stat metrics represent decisions made by countless personalities that decide to share or ignore the post. Likewise, topics do trend, so if your post isn’t trendy today, it may be the next week.

Viewers also have preferred times of the day to peruse social media sites which affect engagement. Trying to follow impressions, conversions, and exit rates are similar to herding cats. The statistics don’t conform to norms and definitely, don’t represent that we hear from God and write content accordingly.

Bottom line: Evaluate statistics with a grain of salt when posts are of superior quality and represent God’s message through us. Followers come and go along with reasons why they do so.

Social Media Stats May Mislead Writers

Due to human nature, followers may shadow larger ministries that have a global following. People like getting on the bandwagon of the success of others. The content of these ministries may be subpar to what you and I write, yet they get clicks, hurrahs, and accolades. I’ve felt that sting knowing what I’ve written has merit, could change a life, and needs to reach people’s eyes.

Additionally, it’s comforting to note that according to BufferApp.com, you can expect 118 interactions for every 10,000 to 99,999 followers. That puts into perspective how difficult it is for first-time and veteran writers to get content in front of eyeballs for viewing.

Does that mean you give up delivering a message from God’s heart to His people? Should we let stats determine our importance in the Christian writing arena? If stats are the determining factor in whether we continue writing, should we diffuse their power over us? If statistics guide our way, what place do God and faith have in our ministries?

These penetrating questions help us think about our place in a virtual world of words. Social media sites are here to stay, and they are viable platforms for God’s voice to reach the world for Christ.

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Betsy writes for JESUS because of "Everyday Life with HIM" without pew-warming stuffiness or religious garble. She's an encourager at heart with a mission to draw others to Christ.

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Comments

  1. Rev. Carla Smith says

    Thanks for this piece, I wondered how we as Christians in this social media-driven world would hold true to being LED by God instead of being led by the world, Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers (Psalm 1:1). May the Lord help us all.

    • Betsy says

      Thank you for your comments and timely scripture (it’s always timely). I know God is ready and willing to help us. He helps me all the time when I take detours. I’m so glad that Christian writers can use social media sites to share the Gospel message. God uses every voice to get out His message. I’m learning to seek my importance in Christ by staying intimate with Him.

      Blessings to you in all you do for Him,
      Betsy

  2. Wanda says

    I appreciate this dose of encouragement, Betsy. While I do think we can learn something from the numbers/stats, it certainly shouldn’t be where we place our value.

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