Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What is your Dunbar’s Number?

people standing near building

Robert Dunbar, British anthropologist proposed that there is a cognitive limit to the number of people we as humans can maintain a stable social relationship with. Meaning we know each other well and how each of us are related to one another. I suppose you can say, ‘hold a meaningful relationship.’ That’s my way of interpreting it.

That number he proposed based on his research is 150. Other anthropologists like H. Russell Bernard and Peter Killworth have suggested the number can get up to 290. 

How does that relate to your social marketing efforts? There is no point in having lots of fans and likes when it is not meaningful. If a tribe that has meaningful relationship is about the size of 150-290, would that be an ideal number to have on your Facebook page? Or your Twitter following? One that allows meaningful relationships. 

What’s the point of numbers when numbers do not mean anything?

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