Don’t follow-back.

Every day I get a few people that follow me on Twitter or Instagram, but the next day they unfollow me. Why?

Obviously, they were looking for a follow-back. There is a trend where people follow as much account as they can in hopes of getting a follow-back. They’re only looking to grow their number of followers but is this the way you grow a following? An audience that will engage with your content and that is interested in what you do?

 No.

It’s a cheap tactic.

By adopting that strategy, all you are doing is harm yourself. It doesn’t benefit anyone to get followed by uninterested people. It even makes you less credible.

Look at the enclosed pictures below. This is how the account of someone that uses the follow-back strategy looks like.

Now, look at these other ones.

You can easily see the difference. Some people only follow people that follow them back. That’s why they have nearly as many followers as they follow. For what? Having a high number of followers is useless unless they are interested in what you’re doing.

I don’t follow those who are only looking to get a follow-back. I hate the follow-back trend. It’s all fake.

Don’t focus on figures.

The number of followers you have is not important.

I’m not trying to grow my figures. I don’t care about having 200k followers if only 500 of them are actually interested in what I’m doing. You need to focus on quality over quantity.

You need an audience that is engaged with your content. This is the most important, whether you are a business or a personality. If you sell a product that none of your followers has interest for. No matter how big your audience is, you won’t sell anything.

Engagement is more valuable than your number of followers.

I’m trying to build an engaged audience, and you do this by creating content, providing value to people and engaging with them. That’s the only way to build a valuable audience. Please don’t try to buy followers; this is even worse. It makes you look like a scam artist. I have no respect for these people. There are no shortcuts. You need to work.

Be engaged.

You need to engage with your audience. When was the last time you engaged with someone who followed you? You need to take some time to know your followers. Even if it’s not obvious most of your followers are real people like you and me, they are not all fakes or bots.

What you should do is look for who the person is, what business he is doing and what’s his interest. Send him a message and thank him. Everyone can do it, no matter how big your audience is. You probably won’t be able to do this for every follower once you get at a certain point but you must do your best and keep engaging with them. The simplest things have the greatest impact on people.

I’ll go further and say you must engage with people even if they’re not following you. You are looking to grow an audience, right? Look for them. Use hashtag, you can even search for keywords on Twitter. Let’s say you’re in the tea business. Go on Instagram and look for #Tea or #GreenTea and engage, it’s up to you. You can apply this to any social media.

Give more.

Give value to these people. They will then have a reason to follow you and be genuinely interested in your content or product. Don’t bullsh*t them. You can’t ask someone to follow you or buy your product if you don’t give them any value.

Help your followers if they need it. Give free samples or anything that could interest your followers. What are they looking for? Provide it to them. Listen to your followers. Most marketers make the mistake of not listening and keep selling their products even if no one is interested. Don’t make this error.

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…

– Theodore Roosevelt

Finally, it’s in your interest not to follow the easy way. It is, of course, difficult to grow an audience, and it takes a lot of work and patience, but it’s completely worth it.

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