This is not a popularity contest.

Marketing is something that we all do every day. It’s how we do business, it’s how we blog, it’s how we use social media. Heck, it’s how we make friends and how we get along with our families! You might not think of it this way, but we’re marketing ourselves with respect to our present situations. How you behave and how you act when you’re around people, it’s a form of marketing yourself. Whether that be when you’re out with friends, or at a family dinner. It’s a skill that we all have, albeit some have more skill than others. But I truly, wholeheartedly believe that if you have the right resources, you can tap your potential as good as anyone else.

Something I see people doing every day, with respect to digital marketing, social media, blogging, and so on and so forth, is that they treat it as a popularity contest.

Digital marketing is not high school and this is absolutely not a popularity contest. Being successful is not about being the most popular person in the crowd. Being successful is about being strategic, making smart moves and doing things to benefit you and your quest for bettering your content.

Successful companies use social media, digital marketing and blogging as means to spread information and build relationships with customers. Unsuccessful companies purchase followers in a hopes to look better but ultimately never get the Return On Investment (ROI) that they’re looking for.

Successful bloggers and social media personalities use their platforms as a means to share information, meet new people and make new friends. Even celebrities! They want to build relationships with people, make sure that if someone reads their blog, they want to come back.

  1. Do not focus on the follower count. Furthermore, do not focus on the following count. If you’re successfully marketing your brand – be it through a blog, Twitter, Instagram or any other platform, the number of followers does not matter. In fact, if you’re properly marketing yourself these number can often fluctuate. Some days they’ll go up, other days they’ll go down.
  2. Do focus on interaction. When someone likes/comments on your blog, tweet, post, etc… this is what’s important. This shows that your content matters. This shows that your words, your art or your contributions to the web have resonated with someone. If they take the time to like/comment on your blog, make sure you take the time to let them know you appreciate their time.

I think that people get so wrapped up in trying to gain followers that they fail to realize it’s better to have 100 people read something when you have 100 followers, then it is to have 100 people read something when you have 100,000 followers. Ultimately, the goal should be to communicate with other’s and to showcase your work, not to be more popular then ‘the next person’.

If you want to grow your presence, genuinely, focus on interaction. Focus on ensuring that, whether you have 20 followers or 200 followers, they see your posts, they read your words or they view your artwork. Because it’s the people who invest in you that you need to invest in.

I cannot stress this enough: STOP LOOKING AT FOLLOWER COUNT. What matters is that people hear you, they understand you and they appreciate you. What doesn’t matter is that you’re popular. Because I can assure you of this, even the most successful of bloggers in this world don’t do it for popularity. They do it because they love what they do and they want to share, to connect, to appreciate.

Also, you can still feel hella unpopular and hella lonely even with thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers if your followers don’t pay attention to your content.


Story time:

My former boss was under the impression that having 600,000 followers on twitter meant that 600,000 people were reading every tweet that was put out.

Every time that we tweeted and he didn’t allow us pay attention to the feedback we were getting, less and less people would bother reading our tweets the next time. Not only that but, every time we distributed tweeted, not listening to the feedback we were getting, we would lose followers in droves. People were becoming uninterested in what we were sharing and we were failing to build relationships with our audience.

His answer? Buy more leads. Buy more followers. (Yes, this a second boss telling me that buying more followers is the solution to digital marketing) According to him, all we needed to do was buy more followers for our twitter account.

As a result, over the period of six months in which he was in charge of Digital Services, our twitter analytics systematically declined in readership and systematically increased in unfollow rates.

It wasn’t until he went on holiday that I had free power to design the social media distribution the way I wanted, taking into account the feedback I’d been receiving for months. We went from an average of 25-35% interaction per tweet to having 70% and 74% interaction during the two weeks he was on holiday.

When I showed the analytics to ‘Upper Management’ they agreed with me (for the first time ever) and we began taking a new approach to our emails, blog and social media – one that was about sharing information and building relationships, listening to the feedback we were being given and using that for our growth. We focused on our digital platforms being a two-way flow of communication. It wasn’t until my boss stopped counting followers each day that the followers actually started growing. They were growing because, for the first time in the six months he’d been my boss, we were actually taking the right approach to digital marketing.

Since leaving the organization, I do believe they’ve reverted back to their old ways and they’re up to their old tricks. When I left, I left them with a twitter account that had 680,000 followers and was getting between 8,000 – 20,000 likes/retweets per tweet that I put out (depending on the time of day). In just ten and a half months since I’ve been there, their following on twitter has grown to 1,000,200. But, somehow, their average like/retweet rate per tweet they put out is 100-150.

Yeah, they have over 1,000,000 twitter followers and they get 100-150 likes/retweets per tweet. This is why it shouldn’t be a popularity contest. With over 1 million followers, they’re averaging a rate of 100-150 likes/retweets on their page.

So what’s better? Having 100 followers and knowing that 100 people are interacting with your tweets, or, having over 1,000,000 followers and having 100-150 people interact with your tweets?

55 thoughts on “This is not a popularity contest.

  1. Spot on! You’re my girl! Love you Vee! 🥰 I’m all about communication, connection, and LOVE! After all, IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE!!! Thanks for always inspiring us at WP! Blowing kisses your LOVELY way! ❤️😘💜😘🧡😘💚😘💙😘💛😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know that it’s not possible that you have 100 followers and have all 100 of them engaging on every post to make, right?

    But you’re extremely correct about how important it is to interact with the people who appreciate your work enough to comment on them.
    And yes, it is better to have a community, than just populations.
    I understand personally how it feels to take my time and read a post and take even more time to digest it, and comment, without getting a reply from the post owner, especially when I feel the comment needed a feedback. This discourages me from commenting on such people’s post, not because I feel bad, which of course I do feel bad, but because I’d feel it’s of no use commenting if no one would read it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. On every post? No. On one post? If you really tried I bet that you could engage all 100 people on a post that you make. On average though you should be aiming for a 70 percent interaction rate…

      Your last sentence there, that’s a really important point for everyone to know and remember. People believe there’s no use in commenting if they feel someone isn’t going to read or care about what’s said. That’s the key to cultivating a community – people need to show gratitude towards the time people take from their lives to read their blogs and leave comments on their blogs.

      Like

    1. Exactly! People appreciate you for what you bring to the table, not for dropping a once in a blue moon ‘shock and awe’ means to cry for attention.

      Like

  3. True that! Some of my posts have gone unnoticed and have not gained many views. But that encourages me to learn. I have to become better at communicating what I want to say. I don’t know for sure whether this happens to all or a majority of bloggers, but it has happened to me. And I am not ready to give up yet.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I should show my posts/analytics from January/February when I started this blog. In the first month of my blog I only had 100 views and 15 likes. A lot of what I was writing those months went unnoticed. But, I was writing for me, I was okay with it being unnoticed. I’m still okay with no one going back there and finding those posts.

      Don’t give up! You will get there. Get to that place where your work resonates with people. Where your words go noticed and where your thoughts play an integral role in someone else’s day.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yeah, I can really see that happening. For a couple years there were some ‘buzz topics’ going around that you could, simply by writing about, get some serious attention for. A lot of people grew because they hopped on the bandwagon. Thing was, when they went back to writing what they really wanted to right, people lost interest real quick. So I can definitely see how someone would have that many followers and zero involvement!

      Like

    1. I wholeheartedly understand why. I have a special place in my heart for the people who’ve been with my blog, reading, liking and leaving comments since January. I truly believe they know me better than mot people in my real life.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well written post, V! I find that IG especially is dangerous for follower counts. Twitter I haven’t used in years but I see how it’s a needed platform for businesses/marketing. It’s hard not to notice the follower counts staring us in the face each time we log into IG or Twitter. I find that WP analytics are much less “in your face” and I’m not finding myself constantly checking the counts on here (I like this about WP).

    You are so right about building community and forming relationships with people. It’s sad how people buy into follower inflation as a desperate attempt to get noticed. Even with purchasing followers from the “black market”, the engagement wont flourish if the company isn’t interacting with their audience on a personal level.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. IG is so dangerous for follower counts – especially because so much of what is on that platform is fake. Fake photos, fake edits, fake realities. It’s a great platform to share, but you have to weed out a lot of shit to be able to trust what you’re seeing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tbh I haven’t updated my IG photos since 2017 except for IG stories which were more recent. I took another hiatus because it’s so easy to get sucked into that vortex. Since leaving I lost all ambition to work out though so it’s a real struggle not having the same accountability as before.

        Fake realities definitely. I think deep down we know that the photos are edited and mostly fake, but our minds have a hard time deciphering what’s true and what’s not. All I see are highlight reels, and then compare that to my life to theirs which makes me feel bad. They seem to have everything going right for them, yenno?

        I feel like the only people we can really trust are friends and family, and even then they tend to inflate shit and make things look better than it actually is. I know people who lied about their degrees and which universities they attended. And I personally know these people!

        P.S. If IG had a big giant pool floatie as their brand, it would be rainbow poop swirl. 🌈💩

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That is true but it is not that easy to be ‘noticed’ as a new blogger or a small blogger. So, I am happy with the likes I get. It is a learning process but the most fun is to be able to write what I truly want but I also want to get feedback. It will take time I guess. Thank you for your advice!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember that feeling all too well. Back in January when I started, in the entire month, only 100 people saw any of my posts. To me, it just made me feel so good when I actually did get feedback. Write what you want and the people you’re looking for, they’ll find you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I thought about that possibilty too, that what I write it ok but that the people just haven’t found me yet. 😀 Because I also think if all of the readers would come at once, it will confuse me too. So, to each her/his own pace.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. People are living in fool’s paradise that number of followers who follows them shows their popularity. People have become attention seeker. They want to just gain attention of other people by doing weird and senseless things. People have become self obsessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. While it would be nice to have both… We can’t be too greedy, can’t we? I agree that it’s the interaction that counts as opposed to the number of followers or subscribers.

    I also do not see the reason or logic with buying “subscribers” who are just there to beef up the numbers but don’t do anything.

    Liked by 2 people

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