Well there’s a debate before I even start talking.
How important are our followers? Do you think followers are important? How important do you think it is to have a huge following on social media?
Now there are different ways of looking at those questions. This is really just me having a little chat about it in my head and writing it down as I think, but I’d love to share with you. Please read on and join in if you’d like to.
There is a lot of discussion on social media about followers. People often post things like “help me reach 500 followers by tomorrow” or “help me get to 1000 followers.” But why? If you have 500 followers, is it going to make you more important than someone who has 499 followers? The answer is no, of course not.
I know how exciting it is to get new followers! I love it when I see that someone new has followed me! I do sometimes question why certain people follow me on social media though. An example recently was some guy who tagged quite a few of us firstly asking for details of memorable dates (as in relationship dates) and then posted some article that he wanted us to look at, about women’s anatomy with diagrams, what a weirdo! So clearly not all our followers are important from that perspective.
Follow trains can give split opinions too. Personally I think follow trains are a fantastic way of finding new people that you may not have come across otherwise. They are a way for bloggers to put themselves out there rather than just promoting themselves randomly on Twitter/FB or whatever. They are an opportunity to meet and interact with new people. On the flip side some people might just put their name on all the follow trains going and not set eyes on anyone else’s blog. That isn’t what they are supposed to be about.
I discovered recently that people actually buy followers. I think sometimes I must walk round in a little bubble of naivety because I genuinely didn’t realise that people would be able to buy followers, let alone want to. Please tell me what the point of that would be, unless it is to make you look really popular and successful to other people. In your heart you would know that they are bought followers though so that wouldn’t really do much for you or your self-esteem would it? It would just make other people think you are popular.
Delving into that concept, what would genuinely be achieved by other people thinking you are popular? Really think about it…
I also found out off someone the other day that there is such a thing as ‘social bots’ – these are computer generated followers that are there to make someone look popular and successful. Now, again, I personally don’t understand because these aren’t even real followers.
People play the “follow/unfollow” game to to gain followers on social media. They follow you to get you to follow them back and as soon as you follow them back, they unfollow you. What on earth is the point of that? Well we know what it is, it’s because they are a member of the “get as many followers as you can”club.
See I told you this was going to be a bit of a debate, even if at the moment it’s just bouncing around in my head.
I absolutely appreciate that for some it is really important to have lots of followers because it may be their business or livelihood that they are trying to promote. If you are a blogger and are doing it as a job then of course it is vital to get as many followers as you can because you will get more opportunities and brand requests. I know some companies will only consider bloggers with a certain amount of followers.
There are Twitter accounts where people have statements in their bio like “follow for a follow.” Am I missing something here because I don’t understand why people would do that? That is a genuine question, I really don’t understand it. This feels like people just want someone to follow them for the sake of an extra follower, does that make sense?
I’ll admit that when I first started my blog and then looked on Twitter to see if there were any other bloggers on there, I saw a couple of people with lovely blogs who had over 5000 followers, and I was really impressed by this! I liked their content so I followed them too! But do you know what, even though they had that many followers, they didn’t interact with everyone who followed them and I know that because I paid people compliments on things they had written or commented on things they had said and got nothing back.
An important way of looking at the question – “are followers important?” Is thinking about the actual followers, not the numbers – the people. People are the most important thing on social media: human beings who you can interact with, talk to, have a laugh with, sound off to, share photos with.
So from that point of view, followers are extremely important. Now this might sound a bit contradictory after my comments in the first few paragraphs. Please let me explain.
Our real followers are what give us a sense of purpose. Our real followers give us happiness and encouragement.
As a blogger, my followers are really important to me. I would like to hope that the people who follow me, do so because they like to read at least some of what I write. I hope these people like some of my photos on Instagram. Mostly though I hope the people who follow me do so because they think I’m a nice person and want to interact with me or because I might post things that make people happy or help them in some way, or something I say might make someone’s life a little bit better in some small way, even if it means thinking about something slightly differently. It might simply be that they are other bloggers and are just genuinely being supportive, For whatever reason people support me, I truly do appreciate it.
It works both ways. I follow people who say things that I am interested in, have lovely blogs, are funny, post nice photos, have good opinions, are interesting, share my point of views on things, maybe people I admire from the TV or love their music or people who simply just come across as genuinely lovely people. I also like to support others. Personally I think that’s what it should all be about. This way I get to look at some of these ‘followees’ posts in my feed. Am I right in calling people I follow, followees? There’s probably a better collective name for them!
Gosh I can really waffle on sometimes, can’t I?
Importantly I’m trying to say and I truly hope the message that comes across in this post, is that followers are important – as people – but just trying to get a high number of followers, just for the sake of it, isn’t important. So if you have 65 000 followers but half of them are ‘bot followers’ or bought followers, that won’t give you a deep down genuine sense of happiness.
However if you have for example 120 followers and they are lovely people who like what you post and want to interact with you, surely that is the most important and gratifying thing.