If you hang around the social media scene you hear a lot of purists say things like:
- The numbers aren’t important
- It’s the quality of the connections
- The number of followers isn’t important
- Focus on building deep relationships
Offering a different view can throw them into high dudgeon. But here’s the dirty secret that huge players like Scott Stratten(80K followers), Chris Brogan(174K) and Brian Clark(72K) don’t always talk about. Sometimes clients demand a number.
In the real lworld of day-to-day world of selling social media to medium sized companies you hear things like, “how long until we have 10,00 fans?” or “We need to have one million followers by the end of the year.”
If you’re Scott, Brian or Chris they will listen to you explain about how it’s all about relationships and it might take a year or even two to really build a vibrant following. If you’re not one of them, they look at you like you’re crazy.
You start the process and you pick up a few hundred fans the first couple of days and everyone is happy. A month later fans only trickle in at a few a day. Your contact tells you that she’s getting heat about the slowdown and something has to be done.
Because there is a cog in the machine that has to hand off a report that is being judged on a single hard number – social media piety takes a back seat to the new business reality. Someone needs to fix “the number”.
So you explain that there are ways to boost fans and followers, but the people collected are usually very low quality and many are just bots. Everyone sits around the table looking concerned then it’s clear – do what you need to do.
Want 100,000 new fans for your Facebook page? No problem, write a check for $160 and you’re done.
I suppose with half a billion accounts, at least 1% have to be scam accounts right? That means that there are about 5 million totally fake Facebook accounts.
When I first looked into this I thought Facebook fans would be more expensive than Twitter followers, but they’re not. Thinking about a little more, I guess that makes sense.
Twitter fans are being hawked constantly within Twitter. I’m sure you’ve received a DM saying, “Get thousands of followers this weekend!”
At the BuyTwitterFollowers.com website you can… well, buy Twitter followers.
So do you make a small investment in an effort to display some social proof so that phase two will be natural? Do you buy some fans then hire Brand Glue in hopes that they can ramp up your follower retention?
The problem is once you start down this road can you ever get off the juice? When a client sees 10,000 new followers in a month, they will not want to return to 173 the next month.
Are you buying fans? Are you using any tools to help increase your folllower count? Is the number of people following someone a status symbol? Are you impressed by people who have a ton of followers?
Looking forward to your comments.
Les James says
I’m impressed by someone who has the right ratio of following/followers on Twitter. Having 50,000 followers is meaningless to me if they are following 50,000 back. I get really impressed by a ratio like 157/3578. It says to me a couple things. First this person isn’t part of the follow me follow you croud. Second, only following 157 means that they probably pay attention to the people they follow. Finally the 3578 tells me that this person’s following is probably very focused around a topic and this person is well respected in that field.
There are always exceptions to this but it’s the first thing I look at and often forms my initial impression.
Phil Buckley says
The thing I wonder about if I follow someone who is only following back 1% of their followers is, will they interact with me? If I ask that person a question do I get blown off?
Happily, that’s not usually the case, but sometimes when the ratio gets to out of hand (think Conan O’Brien) I feel like it’s worthless to follow at all.