In his excellent post titled Social Media “Experts”: Please stop ruining social media, Chris Jenkins echoes what I have been preaching for years: There is no value in big followership based on bogus claims.
The difference between real fans and contrived social media follows is why I can have as many plusses, likes, comments, and shares on a post as someone with twenty times my audience size; the people who follow me are, for the most part, actually interested in what I have to say.
Sure, people with hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter or Facebook are attractive. With such a big audience, they must be good, right? Look past the numbers. Instead, focus on what they share and how they interact with others. You will quickly realize if they have cheated their way into fame or grown their audience organically.
Buying likes, tweets, and clicks may be a solution for new entrepreneurs and business owners. After all, human beings see credibility in numbers and will be more likely to give a page with 10,000 likes a chance than one that has 150 — even if they both sport the same content.
However, this method never stands the test of time. Why? Because many of the bought followers are robot accounts and random folks who are not part of your target audience. So, you will never really get any interaction from them. And of course, sales are out of the question.
In social media, interactions matter a lot. They allow you to gain valuable insights into what your audience thinks and wants. Without that information, you will only scratch the surface and create half-baked content and products.
So, the next time you wonder how you could increase your following, take an honest look at your current audience instead. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are these people?
- What do they want or need from me?
- Why did they decide to follow me?
- How do they respond to what I share?
- Do I acknowledge them enough or just broadcast content?
- And most importantly: Do I really have the time to handle a bigger audience?
The size of your audience does not matter. What matters, though, is the people who are part of it.