Let’s replace this amateur practice with genuine interactions.

Author: Leo Saini

Photo by Unsplash

Whenever someone follows me on any of my social media accounts, I get a new follower notification: “XYZ person has started following you.”

“That’s awesome. I want to know who this XYZ person is,” I think whenever someone follows me. Five out of ten times, it turns out that the XYZ person has just created their account three days ago, only has 15 followers, and are already following 4700 people, just to get noticed by them and potentially get a follow-back.

So who are you XYZ person? What are your goals? What are you trying to achieve by blindly clicking the follow button on hundreds of profiles? Are you not willing to put in the hard work to gain followers organically? Would you rather spend that $20 on Facebook ads or an overpriced cocktail in a nightclub while trying to impress a stranger who you might never see again?

Do you feel like I’m interrogating you like a cop right now? Do you realize that following way more people than the number of followers you have makes your profile look cringeworthy? Do you understand that the follow-unfollow crap is just a short-term and temporary solution? So how about you quit this amateur, unauthentic, lazy tactic and do what professional marketers do?

Just see how fake it looks.

And did it work for this user above? Well, the answer is right in front of you. This user must have spent hours clicking “follow” on a couple of thousand accounts and probably broke their thumb due to this, but they only managed to earn 58 followers.

I can’t emphasize enough how inappropriate this behavior is on social media. I think social media giants should come forward to stop this practice. Maybe put a limit on how many accounts a user can follow in a day. I think fifty a day should be enough! It’s highly likely that you can’t “genuinely” follow more than fifty people in a day, right? So why not have the decision-makers of big social media platforms actually put a limit on how many accounts a single user can follow in a day?

Yes, Sometimes, It Works

First of all, sorry if I offended you with all that ranting. But as a professional marketer, I know that you can do way better, even if you didn’t study marketing at university like I did.

Now let’s get back to the follow-unfollow strategy.

I know some people who have “kinda” succeeded by following thousands of strangers in one day. I’m not saying that it never works or doesn’t work at all. But I’m certainly trying to emphasize the long-term cons of this easy strategy.

If you take the path of least resistance for your personal branding, you’ll never truly learn social media marketing, SEO, SEM, SERP, copywriting, influencer marketing, pay-per-click, Google analytics, segmentation, targeting, retargeting, Facebook pixels, YouTube advertising, guerrilla marketing, and the list can go on, trust me.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Hey, I know what SEO is. I read the top ten tricks to get on the first page of Google.” Everyone has read those tricks. Everyone knows everything on a surface level. But unless you personally apply those top ten SEO tricks for your brand or business, you’re never going to truly understand the in-depth nature of marketing.

Stop taking the easy way out. Now allow me to introduce you to a different way, a more professional way.

The Solution

I took one of my Instagram business pages from zero to 2,500 followers without any paid ads or influencers. I have made $600 from one blog without following-unfollowing strangers. No, I’m not bragging, this is just a proof for the fact that it’s possible. There are many alternatives to the follow-unfollow strategy, but this particular solution is not just a solution, it’s an antidote.

Here’s what I’d do. Instead of destroying the follow button on a thousand accounts, how about you genuinely interact with just ten or twenty accounts? By genuine interaction, I mean that you should actually read their blogs, watch their videos, and examine other posts of theirs, such as images and podcasts. And then tell them how you feel about their creative work, what you agree and disagree with, and don’t forget to hit the like button if you like their work.

When it comes to marketing, long-lasting relationships are far more fruitful than one-night stands. Genuinely following, liking, and commenting on someone’s post is a far better investment than hurting your thumb by clicking the follow button on people’s profiles without even reading their names.

Forming strong, trustworthy, and financially beneficial relationships online with someone you’ve never met is 100% possible. Just remember that your intentions need to be genuine.

I hope you found this post to be an interesting read.

Take care stay well.

Sharon R. 😉