I find myself writing this because there are plenty of questions floating about regarding how to gain followers on social media, and I wanted to sum up a few things I’ve learnt over the years, in list formation.
Items in image above:
Silver Boyfriend Watch – Infinitee Apparel
Ipad – Apple
Iphone 5 – Apple
Midi rings – Ebay
Vanilla Candle – Ikea
1. Thou shalt not neglect thy account
I can honestly say this is the most important. There are plenty of tip posts out there, and this applies to all social media- Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Blogger, Weheartit, Pinterest, Vine, Avanatta, shots… the list goes on. You name it; don’t neglect it. If you don’t have the time to nurture your social media babies, water them and make them grow, don’t plant them at all. (metaphors, metaphors…) I learnt this the hard way.
The theory lying behind this is the fact that people do unfollow inactive accounts. There are even platforms set up for doing this automatically- for example a robot can clean through someone’s following and unfollow anyone who hasn’t tweeted in over a month! With this comes lack of interaction (something I think I’ve caught but I’m trying to get over this phase) and it even can explain why people with lots of followers don’t get many retweets… If an account is old and has been inactive over its lifespan, it may not generate much response when it is used.
2. Thou shalt not delete thy account… and start a new one
Similar to the reasoning above perhaps, yet again something I was very stupid enough to do. People ask why I have several spare account lying about- I had loads over 1,000 followers on twitter, I’ve given away several over 20,000 and given up a few that have just hit 10,000… and for what reason? I was always finding new interests and things to tweet about, and felt (rightly so) as if the audience I was reaching out to had no interest in that stuff whatsoever. If you really really must delete your account because you’re dying of embarrassment at the stuff you posted a year ago, then do so knowing the risks of growing an active account from 0…
The truth is, people follow other people for a reason. I really like the fashion & the hunger games for example. Let’s say I follow a blog on tumblr, who posts recent outfits of the hunger games cast, and I check it regularly, interact, like and reblog posts and send them messages. All of a sudden, they change their blog to gif edits from Divergent? I really like Divergent too, but I’ll be left thinking “Why can’t I see what Jennifer wore last week? Why am I suddenly being bombarded with images of Theo James shirtless?” To be honest, I don’t think anyone would complain about seeing Theo James shirtless, but I’ve lost the content that I actually signed up to see on my dashboard, timeline, Instagram feed or wherever. This applies across the board again. People follow you because they’re INTERESTED IN YOU or your style, or opinions or thoughts, and once these are replaced, your followers could get a little too friendly… with the unfollow button. This doesn’t necessarily apply to brands and very established celebrities, but the likelihood is the less well connected people feel with you PERSONALLY, the more likely they are to click unfollow. Think twice before you completely reinvent yourself I guess…
3. Thou shalt find a “theme” and stick to it – BRAND YOURSELF!
So you’re a minimalist fashion blogger? Make up enthusiast? Or maybe you just really like one direction? It doesn’t matter, find a theme and stick to it. Make sure people know that they really are getting what they see, and be consistent. An example is how people are classed in different image upload styles. As a photography and graphic design enthusiast, I can see how for example one person might like to keep all their images in black and white. This is their style, and this works for them, but this might not work for somebody else, say a fashion blogger who needs to portray the actual colour of the clothes that they are wearing. Thats where other styles come in, such as white space around images on Instagram, or “tropical” filters and images, vs minimal ones. The best Instagram accounts are always themed right? Use a group of writing styles, image & filter styles to brand yourself. It really personally upsets me when I see really famous celebrities with very messy and unthemed Instagram accounts. Word is, even Kim Kardashian has hired someone to help her edit her selfies… Not all of us are as blessed with VSCOcam & Afterlight skills after all…
Great places to start for inspiration are tumblr and WeHeartIt, or even look to your favourite Celebs (only ones with organised Instagram accounts please, HA) for inspo.
4. Thou shalt not mass follow… and then UNFOLLOW!
This annoys people tremendously. There’s nothing wrong with following lots of people, as when you’re on the 0 follower count it’s nice to get yourself out there. However, there is lots wrong with following 5,000 people, gaining 3,000 followers and then unfollowing everybody! Why?! These people actually bothered to take the time to look at your page and give you a follow. Wouldn’t you feel back stabbed if they did that to you? These people are dubbed the most frowned upon for a reason.
5. Thou shall be in a clique, and grow with thy clique
People use each other for personal gain on social media. That is fact. However, people have learnt to amicably share resources, for example by retweeting each other and revining each other in a little elitist club that you probably won’t be able to join unless you’re actually their close friend, or you pay them, or you have a large amount of followers yourself! If people were as helpful as they were when I first joined twitter, the internet would be such a different place! However, I believe that people can be helpful. If you see someone with the same reach as you, why not help them out? Give them a retweet on that new post they did, because you like their content, or tweet out their new youtube video because you watched it. Or maybe somebody’s blog post inspired you? Give them a link in your post. You never know, they may even return the favour! Bottom line is, these cliques exist, but they’re not talked about.
I must also stress- please don’t be fake. There is nothing more annoying than someone who is clearly cosying up to you because they want a shoutout. I can’t deal with “Hey Joksie, miss you, we should catch up!… can I have a shoutout?” Hm. Shady.
I hope these tips mean something to you! I haven’t gone in to full depth because otherwise I probably won’t get to write about this again… However, I’m starting up a personal social media branding service. If you are interested in advice on how to brand yourself, or would like personalised graphics and branding expertise across the board, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to help.
What do you think! Are you guilty of any of these? I think I was…