Being Authentic in the the Numbers Game

There are a few ways to gain new followers as a blogger on social media, particularly on Instagram.

Followers are everything to a blogger who wants to earn money. They are how we do what we do. If no one is reading or commenting or interacting, businesses are not interested in working with us as influencers.

Many influencers are trying their hardest to bring in an income for their family. They are hustling and working and trying to produce the best content for their readers.

But because of Instagram or Facebook algorithm, most of the content never even gets seen.

Instagram and Facebook shows the pictures that garner the most likes and comments. That means that when you open up your app, you are seeing posts from the most popular people in your newsfeed FIRST, instead of seeing things in chronological order from your friends. This is why when you open Facebook, the biggest news stories are always at the top. Have you ever noticed that your newly engaged friends announcement, that baby arrival and your friends wedding pictures are always at the top of your feed? That’s because they are popular so they are shown to you first.

Now, this is not the best news for influencers. It’s great if we have thousands of followers, but not so great if we don’t even compare to the other bloggers and influencers in your feed. You don’t even see our content.

So, of course…the goal of most bloggers and influencers is to be seen. Not only are we fighting to produce creative content, we also have to fight for that content to be seen. 

The easiest way to get our content seen is to gain followers- and quick. There are several very popular ways to gain followers on social media:

  1. Buy them. Yes, this is an option. Unfortunately, a lot of people do use this option. You download an app and pay the app to create fake accounts and follow you or like your photos. From the outside, it looks like we have THOUSANDS of followers. But in reality? Most of them are FAKE.
  2. Go viral. Produce a video or a post that goes viral and attracts thousands of viewers to your account.
  3. Follow/Unfollow. This method takes a bit of work, but can also be done using an app. Basically, the influencer searches for people that they would like to have following them (a target audience). The influencer follows them so that the person receives a notification that they have been followed. Upon seeing this notification, the person usually follows the influencer back (yay, new follower!). The next day, the influencer unfollows them, usually without them knowing. This is usually done in huge lots of hundreds of follows, then automatic unfollows as soon as they have followed back.
  4. Participate in Giveaways.  One very popular way to gain followers is to participate in a group giveaway. An influencer gets together with several other influencers (usually 20+) and together they put in money to host a giveaway. The rules of the giveaway are simple…follow all the hosts and like the photo to enter. One winner is chosen for the lavish grande prize. This type of giveaway usually costs anywhere from $25-$200 to host and gains anywhere from 200-1000 followers.

Now, I am neither the jury nor the judge on whether or not these methods are right or wrong. I have very good friends who are very talented bloggers who use these methods, gain tons of followers who stick around, and then make tons of money from their blogs. In some ways these are smart marketing method used to get ones blog out there and I have no reason to say that’s not acceptable.

But none of these methods sit right with me. First of all, I can’t afford to buy followers or participate in endless giveaways to gain followers. Follow/Unfollow just feels slimy to me, especially since I absolutely HATE it when people do it me. Going viral might happen, but I’m not going to put all my eggs into that basket lol.

There is one other method that I didn’t include on that list above, but unfortunately it’s not one that influencers tend to go for because it’s not always successful and its a very, very slow way to grow followers.

Being authentic. 

My desire and goal for my blog and social media platforms is to put forth authentic content that will encourage and inspire my readers. I want you to be able to read and laugh and cry with us. I want you to be able to know that you are not alone, and that motherhood, marriage and parenthood is the most gloriously beautiful adventures you will ever be on. I want you to read and grow in your knowledge and understanding of what it is like to be in the world of foster care.

Do I want followers? Of course I do. Do I want to use any of the methods listed above to gain them? No. I don’t. I want people to follow me because they want to. I want you to gain something from my social media presence.

So, guys. In the sea of bloggers and influencers, I’m a tiny fish. Most businesses won’t even consider me since my number of followers aren’t sky high.

 

I don’t really have a great conclusion to this post. However, I do have a challenge for myself and one for you, my readers.

First, for myself: Stick to being authentic. Stop thinking about the numbers. Consider each individual person who says that my blog inspired them/made them laugh/made them think. Remember the handful of people who have reached out to me and told me that they are pursuing foster care from reading my blog. Write for my family and trust that being faithful to being authentic will eventually lead to a side income for my family. Continue to pursue businesses and work passionately with them without sacrificing my integrity.

And if I continue to do that, will you do something for me, readers?

Please remember that what you do on social media has huge influence. Every like you give and video you view are essentially votes for the popularity of that video/post. If you watch a video that is produced by a page, you are essentially sharing that video and that page with your followers, even if you never click share. And when you skip over your little blog friends post, you are essentially making them invisible to the rest of Facebook. I’m not taking it lightly when I say that my blogs success lies entirely on you, my readers. 

So please…when you are on social media, like my blog posts. Like my Facebook posts and comment if you can. Share if you can, and even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing my entire blog on your feed, could you share it with a friend in a private message? 

The same thing goes for other blogs and small businesses that you follow and love. Giving a like or a comment on social media goes so much further than boosting our ego. 

 

Who is your favorite blogger or influencer to follow on social media? I’d love to hear!

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Tam says:

    Proud of you!!! And yes yes yes! As I was reading the different methods I kept thinking, “this doesn’t sound like Suzanne. She wouldn’t do those things. She shares about the realities of her life and God’s work in it.” And then you went on to say just that! Keep up the good work. Keep up the vulnerability and the sharing. God is working through you and it is so evident that God is working in you, too. Love you so much!

  2. Stephanie Gilbert says:

    This blogging world is tough, but I have to remember that I’m not in it for “me”… I’m not even in it for the money. I’m in it to encourage other moms/wives/women and help a few small shops along the way. I do like to host a giveaway here and there to give back to myy followers, but hosting one a week or every month is just not feasible! And I’m like you… the other ways aren’t for me. But who knows, maybe we’ll both go viral… one day lol. Keep up the hard work, friend!

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