Because I am continually beefing up my own social media knowledge and education, I take several online courses, sign up for countless webinars and newsletters and attend conferences. This ensures that I stay up-to-date with the latest, most cutting-edge social media information. Or, at least, that's how it's supposed to work, right?
The most frustrating thing I've noticed, however, is that many experts give the absolute WORST advice when it comes to seeing your numbers go up and to the right:
- Have great content
- Use compelling images
- Post frequently
- Use hashtags
- Follow people
- Tag others
And the list goes on.
What if I told you that you can do all of those things and still come up short when it comes to getting those numbers up?
Many people, business and bloggers want a large social media following because it can lead to so many opportunities, many of which are legitimate and money-making. I can't blame anyone there.
Yet one of the only constants about social media is the fact that growing your accounts is incredibly frustrating and challenging. You do all of this work, and you don't see the rewards of follower number increases.
What makes it worse is the fact that you KNOW your content is better than so-and-so and he/she has WAY more followers than you have!
I've discussed Instagram's bot problem at length, and it seems they're starting to turn the ship around in terms of combating this problem.
It's still a problem for many. And businesses, bloggers and brands don't know what to do.
Here's my tip: If you're feeling frustrated over the lack of growth, it's essential to keep the right perspective about social media followers by remembering these 3 things:
1. You're not alone. Big brands struggle with growing beyond a certain point. Plateauing is common. You can ask any social media manager at any company. They've seen it before, and they'll see it again.
2. The number of followers you have doesn't mean a thing about how effective your content is, so don't equate the two. Engagement and follower count are two different things. Sometimes they correlate, but other times they don't. If you believe your content is the best you can produce right now, that's all that matters.
3. A lot of people cheat by purchasing followers. It's cheap. It's easy. And it lends a certain credibility to accounts via followers who don't know any better. Likes can be bought; followers can be bought; engagement can be bought. Numbers lie.
What to do instead.
Rather than getting caught up in those following/follower ratios, consider taking a step back and thinking about the bigger picture. If you're relying on social media accounts to take you where you want to go, rather than owned channels or properties, you're going to set yourself up for disappointment.
Have something to offer to the real world. Get involved in a community. Find a worthy cause to support. Think and go outside of yourself to find ways to connect with others -- really connect -- and focus on growing your network, rather than your followers.
A network is more valuable than a following.
A network is more reliable than a following.
A network is more impactful than a following.
For more insights into social media growth, consider signing up for one of my classes. I'll get down and dirty and tell you the truth about what it takes to build a social media following.
Have anything else to add to the discussion? Tweet me at @mareejones or email me here!