Making a Case For Ignoring Your Follower Count...
Why I'm Trying Not to Give a F*ck About Numbers
So I'm writing this at 10:50 on a Wednesday evening (because all my idea's come to when I am about to sleep, brain be dammed) this isn't really an idea, more of discussion*...
I generally don't like writing these kinds of posts ( because I am not the best writer) but love reading them. I decided early on that my blog was going be more of an edit of what I was enjoying/doing at the time. However since properly entering into the public insta-sphere (not so much blogging) have I recognised just how numbers driven a lot of people are, and just how easy it is to get bogged down with your follower count. I also feel as though this is an issue that is applicable at whatever stage of the game your in as well.... starting out or established.
NOW I GET IT... Regardless of what people say, if you want to make a career out of this, numbers are important. It shows how many people are interested in what you have to say about a place, person, a product... you name it. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting engagement and growth, I like looking at my analytics! Whats performing well, what isn't and questioning why, its really interesting.
We have seen over the past years, is that as this sector grows brands want a slice of the action which, amongst other things, is what makes blogging/vlogging ect lucrative, and a lot of that (not all of it) boils down to numbers. Brands want to know how many people that person will reach via their platform, and who represents the brand well. Thats understandable, its called influencer marketing for a reason.
The thing that prompted this post was that I put up a picture on Instagram one evening (picture to your right) and I gained about 20 followers within 30 minutes - something for my small slice of the internet was unusual, but of course exciting.
However as I have learned, quite quickly with Insta, this is often a transaction and these followers are often short lived, the classic: you follow me/I follow you. Which sometimes is fine! You find someone who's content you like, maybe that you wouldn't have found otherwise, and its a friendly way of returning the favour and saying 'hey!' I like you too, lets support each other!
What bothers me however, is the follow/unfollow crap that even a lot of very popular 'influencers' (I hate that word) favour. What ever happened to just following someone because you liked what they put out?
Now I am not saying this everyone- It really isn't. Plus with the algorithm change people have got more and more frustrated that their content isn't being seen, which believe you me, I fully understand! But this BS of following, then unfollowing is just annoying AF. A friend mentioned that they're follower count dropped 20/25 followers because they hadn't posted in 2 days...
If you follow someone and then change your mind about them, or you just aren't connecting with their content anymore, then of course you are under ZERO liability to keep following them! But, to follow then unfollow, OR expect that person to follow you back otherwise you just unfollow them anyway regardless of if they do, or don't follow you back, (lol hope that makes sense) is one of the downfalls of Insta that keeps cropping up time and time again and makes me sad and slightly annoyed (I am well aware there are bigger problems in the world, my poor grammar for one, sorry). Maybe I was naive, but being fairly new to running my own site I was honestly unaware that this was even a thing.
I spent about 20 minutes getting p*ssed off, wrote this post and then realised it's not worth your time to get bogged down with. However, I think those of us who find ourselves immersed in this online world, would be lying if we said that numbers haven't bothered us at one stage or another.
I was having a conversation with my friend about this and what it boils down to with us (and I am sure, many others) is that we enjoy doing it. We love photography, food, beauty, style, travel, peaking into other peoples lives and sharing slices of our own. Like many others we do this as a hobby, and it's important to remember that and why you started in the first place.
Would it be lovely to have lots of followers, who love and engage with your content? Of course. I always get a bit giddy when someone leaves a comment or views my post (I'm a little lame like that). However, I am doing my upmost to take a step back, ignore those pesky numbers, remember what is actually important and focus on the enjoyment of these platforms.
Social media can be a bit of rabbit hole, it's still very new and we're all learning how to use it and when lines need to be drawn, not just with this issue, but so many others. It's important to pull yourself out sometimes, remember whats important and value yourself as more than your follower count...
I am really interested to know how you feel about this, are numbers the be all and end all or are you not bothered?