You’ve depressed the refresh button seventy-four times in the past half-hour, and still no new followers or fans. So you check the internet connection, clear your browser’s cache and even opt for a re-boot! Alas, 3 brand new followers…it does not matter if they include @peekaboo, @make$$$now or any other spam account; after all, “a follower is a follower”. If you’ve never worn a meat dress or made teenage girls hysterical, then don’t get fazed about the elusive 7-digit followership. Star-struck Little Monsters and emotional Beliebers will easily follow shiny things and soft voices.
From hash tags like #TeamFollowBack and #Follow4Follow, to posts that say “Share this to show you care about your boss”, our online obsession with big numbers is at best worrisome, usually shameful and sometimes scary. Facebook fans, Twitter followers, YouTube views, likes, comments, shares…it’s mostly about fuzzy insights and the wrong math.
People and brands obsess over the size of their followership or fan base, and measure their online success by it – the more the better. This is false as your presence on the digital landscape should not only be about reach, but also the depth of engagement. The marketplace is indeed competitive, and social media has become a stage for popularity contests. Some brands even go as low as buying followers for a fee, not minding that they are getting spam support which only enriches the illusion of influence.
Aiming to grow followership or fan base is not a bad strategy for brands, as long as they do the same for conversions and engagements. It should be about quality and not raw numbers, as we know that the right audience is more important than the biggest one.