[Business] Why You Shouldn't Buy Your Followers

I'm going to let you in on a secret: in the future, nobody is going to care about how many followers you have. 

This might sound crazy, but it's true. We are now thoroughly entrenched in the social media world, and today anybody and everybody can have thousands of followers behind them on social media. 

In the future, people are going to care more about engagement than followers. And frankly, anybody in the marketing world should already be doing this. 

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Engagement vs. Followers: What's the Difference

Engagement is really a pretty simple concept. It's the number of people who are liking, commenting, and interacting with whatever it is that you post on the internet. 

Engagement with your content and the number of followers you have is intertwined. Generally, the more followers you have, the higher your engagement. 

Let's take a look at Twitter Goddess Chrissy Teigen, who has 9.71 million followers on the platform. Whenever she tweets, people go crazy for it. 

 

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Look at that, 423 THOUSAND likes and 42 THOUSAND retweets about her husband stealing her phone charger!

This is extremely high engagement. She posts, her shit gets shared and retweeted, and it reaches hundreds of thousands of people, even if they don't follow her.

However, there are tons of people on Twitter who have thousands of followers but nowhere near this kind of engagement. For example, this person who has 104,000 followers but almost zero engagement: 

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As you can see, a high follower count doesn't mean anything in terms of the engagement with the posts. There really aren't that many people who are actually interacting with what the account is posting. 

How Do People Get These Artificially High Numbers?

Well, the answer is, as always, in technology. 

Bloggers, small business owners, and anyone trying to promote themselves online through hard work and time are fully aware of irritating follow-unfollow accounts. These accounts, though often connected to good people who are trying to grow their businesses, use technology to

  • Rapidly find and follow someone
  • Like a few of their photos or posts
  • Wait a while until they get a follow back
  • Automatically unfollow

This technology grows your following quickly, but in many cases, it's only filled with other accounts that are created entirely for the purpose of growth and without real substance. It doesn't help you gain followers who are actually interested in your content, it only helps you gain a following in numbers. 

Why You Should Care

You might be asking yourself "Why should I care?"

And the answer is honestly pretty simple: if you have low engagement, no matter how many followers you have, you won't see a dramatic increase in your sales. 

Here's the thing: Twitter and Instagram and Facebook are all smart. They know that there are people out there who will simply buy followers. That's why they rank the content that they show in terms of engagement. 

So, in simple terms, the content with the most engagement gets shown more easily. If there is less engagement then it gets pushed down in the feed. 

Why do they do this?

Well, these companies want to show you content that is actually relevant. They want to show you news or other exciting things that everyone relates to. They don't want to show another marketing post if nobody is actually reading it. It's a waste of space on their end, and it would piss users off. Imagine if you went onto Instagram and stuff kept showing up that you didn't care about just because the person had a ton of followers.

Gain Your Followers Naturally

In short, you need to work hard to gain followers naturally. 

How? Well, here are a few tips: 

  • Make good content: people on the internet want content that is interesting and relevant to their lives.
  • Niche down: Focus on your target market
  • Switch it up: You want your content to look consistent, but you also want to keep it fresh. Try and keep themes. 
  • Play the long game: Just like anything, your Instagram empire won't be built overnight. Be patient with it and know that if you stay consistent, you'll grow. 
Grace Baldwin