Following vs Followers

AKA “What not to devote your time focusing on.”

It’s really easy to fall into the numbers game. I mean, incredibly easy. While I’ll be speaking about Twitter right now, this applies to any of your social media accounts.

The number one question I get asked is “how can I get more followers?”

My immediate question is “what do you want out of your followers?”

Because let’s face it: you can have thousands of followers who don’t pay attention to anything you’re doing. We translate large follower numbers as popularity because of being an authority figure. However, you also have to take into account things like bots and spammers. Yes, I understand the ripple effect larger numbers have. But don’t let that dictate your every move.

You’re going to build a natural following. How you interact with those people will affect how quickly those numbers increase. I’ll use my Twitter account as an example. I started small, with my network. Different niche audiences I spoke with were then added. Later on, I added industry experts in related fields of interest. As I participated in events and made use of lists, my numbers started picking up.

At first, I followed the big ratio everyone used to focus on. 2,000 people was the goal. You needed to follow at least this number to break the limit on Twitter. If you were a heavy user, you might remember this. It was to counteract some aggressive behavior on the site, but served to irritate a number of business-oriented users. When people started noticing the issue, you started seeing a variety of account management sites pop up. The obsession with removing the inactive/spam accounts was high.

But you’ll quickly realize a) there’s no way to ever completely avoid those kinds of accounts and b) the more time you spend on tasks like this–the less you’re devoting to your own efforts. Then the focus was on following fewer accounts than your follower total. Again, this was to give the view that your content was so interesting you didn’t have to both following others to draw a crowd. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, I’ve just moved beyond that focus.

Not too long ago, I flipped the figures (following more than my follower totals). And you know what? Not only did it not affect my use of the website, I still have the same fluctuations in followers I did before. We can do a deep dive into this more, but I really think this is something people need to move away from. Push out your content. Learn and interact with your audience. Let the numbers speak for themselves. You don’t need thousands following you all the time, if only a fraction are ever going to use your content and check your account regularly.

The Sounding Board Graphic

I’ll be posting about my Dessange Paris Influenster VoxBox later this week. However, the video review is up now, for anyone interested.

I’m trying to work my way through the YouTube Creator Academy trainings. Definitely bookmark this site if you’re interested in pursuing the platform more.

The awesome staff at ars technica shared news about a Twitter update that allow you to filter “non-quality” tweet. Roll out has started with verified users through the iOS app. I’ll keep an eye out when it expands to other devices and users.