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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?