This is a bit left-field from our normal blog posts, but if people are interested in these techy things, then I’ll keep them coming over the next few weeks – this one on why shouldn’t buy social followers is hopefully the start of a few informative tech posts..
We’ve had our blog and insta account for a while now, a couple of years or more for the blog itself. We first set it up when we relocated to Liverpool, so friends and family could keep up to date with our ongoings – but then of course Grayson turned up, so it took a turn more towards a family and lifestyle blog, and instagram just progressed from that.
We’ve been approached by several companies offering to “increase your followers” or “boost traffic to your website” – and quite frankly, we couldn’t think of anything worse.
A bit of background here – I’m (Mark) a Software Engineer – I’ve spent my whole professional life (about 16 years now) working online. I literally eat sleep and breath the internet. I’ve been around to see the scams. I’ve seen the warehouses full of mobile phones with fake accounts set up, all following accounts to boost peoples numbers. It really amazes me that people feel like that follower number being so high is crucial to their online presence.
It simply isn’t.
I’ve written a post in days gone by about this, and followers on Twitter – so I thought I’d put it in to a simple analogy here which works just as well for Instagram or WordPress followers.
Imagine you own a shop. A small shop, that sells nothing but bottles of water. You know that there will be a few people out there who want to buy your water, they’re thirsty, we all need it. You’re nice to them, you talk to them, hear their stories, tell them yours, and they leave your shop happy, with water.
They’ll probably come back. They are probably local, and will remember you. They probably enjoyed their experience in your shop.
These are your followers.
But, you get a big hungry for these types of people – so you decide to pay someone to send people in to your shop. Suddenly, you’ve got hundreds of people in your shop. Wow! It’s packed! But at the end of the day, you notice that you’ve still got full shelves – you’ve sold less water today than you did before you had all these followers!
What’s worse, is that your initial followers, the genuine customers who came to buy your water, the ones who used to pop in for a chat – they’re walking past your shop now, instead of popping in to see how your day has been, and to buy a drink. It’s too busy.
All these new people that are in your shop – they don’t want to talk to you, and more importantly, they don’t want to listen to you! You’ve got shelves full of water, and a shop full of people – you’re shouting at the top of your lungs to get your messages out, and these people aren’t even looking up to see where the noise is coming from.
You’ve simply diluted the quality of your followers by adding a load of noise – just to boost that number. It really is a big mistake.
We are nearly at 1000 followers on Instagram – a number we never imagined we’d get to (we never tried, to be fair, insta and the blog are purely hobbies for us both). But what we’ve noticed over the past 5 or 6 weeks is that the people that we’ve followed, and that follow us, interact. And that interaction is, in turn, leading to other people joining in.
So remember, next time you see someone offering to increase your followers for a bit of cash – think carefully – don’t end up with a shop full of people who aren’t interacting with you. You simply shouldn’t buy social followers – if you’re doing things right, and being social, then things will happen organically, and that’s exactly what you should be aiming for.
I’m happy to write about anything web / tech related – from WordPress tips, SEO optimisation and so on. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cover, pop it in the comments and I’ll try my best!