Bet you thought I was going to say, add more people! Isn’t that the answer? Find more potential readers, send them a friend invite, try to get them to follow back, beg them to click your blog link, entice them with a giveaway. . .

But what about the people sitting right in front of you? What about Ms. Twitter Follower #654 or Mr. Facebook Friend #2209? You might recognize their avatar, maybe even know where you found them or what website they run, but do you communicate with them?

Your platform is not the people following you. It is the people you connect with on some basis. There is a difference. So how do you easily expand your platform? Get to know them!

Twitter @ mention or leave a Facebook wall post for someone you haven’t talked to before. Just say good morning, wish them a nice weekend, comment on a photo. Be genuine.

Comment on a blog you don’t normally follow. Contribute to the informative posts, or send good wishes to a more personal post. Either option is a good way to get to know the people hiding among your growing followers list.

Share an announcement about someone else. Did a follower just reach a milestone with their blog or book? Retweet on Twitter or share on Facebook. People generally like to see when others have obtained even a modicum of success; it gives encouragement they can do it too. So the occasional cheer for someone else is always a nice gesture.

It’s not that bloggers and authors don’t mean these things. In fact, I think it’s safe to say most of them would love to be able to chit chat with everyone all day. But since they simply can’t, they tend to avoid everyone who doesn’t take the initial step. And while it’s okay to continue to strive for more followers, don’t forget to connect with the ones you already have.

Do you find yourself focusing more on numbers than on relationships?