Recently we had discussions with some brand marketing and social media specialists who shared a common concern about the etiquette and ethics of social media followers and following. While social media is a goldmine for marketing opportunities, more often than not, followers look for specifics when they choose to follow someone or an organization. We asked them to honestly consider the following questions to see if the problem they shared fell under the following individual analyzations:
(A) Is your content relevant to your brand?
(B) Do you offer something fresh, informative, consistent and useful?
(C) Are you doing too much self-promoting?
(D) Too much message automation? Automated messages can be a major turnoff, especially when message inboxes are flooded with these bots. Who has time to read all of that stuff? Most of the time such automated messages are ignored or deleted.
(E) Do you personally engage with your followers?
Let us also point out that you will probably see many affiliate accounts following you on your social media site, advertising how to increase your social media followers by purchasing a package for a certain amount of followers. While many people desperately think this is the way to go to quickly improve their followability, we don’t advocate it and besides, it is not a guarantee. We believe in authentic organic traffic. Besides, what type of database guarantees you will get these followers and what is the quality of those followers should they follow you? It may take time, but depending on your industry or the content of your personal page, everyone’s pace and consistency in posting will deliver different results. There is no “One Size Fits All” cookie cutter formula for everyone.
Our discussion touched on another disturbing trend that all of us face. You will get someone to follow you and after you follow them, they will unfollow you whether it takes a day, week or month later. You watch your following numbers go up as your followers decline. Now, while the above 5 questions are legitimate, this deceptive social media tactic “I follow you, you follow me, I unfollow you and you still follow me” has many screaming foul.
While you may often wonder, as we do, why people who have 125K plus Followers initiate to follow you, when you only have 500 Followers, although they could genuinely want to follow your brand, more often than not we find there are ulterior motives. Should you choose to reciprocate and follow them, sadly you wind up discovering when you check your analytics you notice they quickly unfollowed you just so their metrics will look good. Unless you are interested in their brand offering, we suggest unfollowing them in return. As you can tell, we are not a fan of this type of deceptive cat and mouse social tactics.
Look folks, in business, we will always find those who are respectfully ethical and unfortunately, there are some who use slick maneuvers for personal gain. Don’t be socially illiterate to their tactics if this is the case. Be prudent.