What is the most important thing about social media for you? For many people, their answer will exclusively refer to the amount of likes and followers they have on their social media profiles. While we understand these things can be important for some platforms like Instagram where the number of likes expose other people to your profile through the explore page, it is crucial to acknowledge that it isn’t and shouldn’t be all about numbers.

It has recently become apparent that social media users are trying to manipulate their profiles by finding shortcuts to success. More explicitly, by building followers and generating likes and profile views, through ‘cheat’ methods. For example, the recent spate of bots found residing in the follower lists of influential people have caused concern.

Take the US president Donald Trump – not the world’s most popular man but with 31.5 million followers he seems to be doing something right after all, no?

Well…no. In the past few weeks, many news organisations have exposed the façade of the president’s Twitter following with almost 15 million allegedly being fake bots. These have the potential to spread fake and misleading news stories according to the New York Daily News.

And it’s not just the fact they are fake which is causing a stir, but also whether social media users are paying for this disservice.

You may question the harm of artificially building your followers. At face value a number doesn’t appear to be damaging to an individual or businesses reputation, especially if that number is high.

However, it is a form of deception. You’re claiming popularity, credibility and support which doesn’t yet exist. You’re also deceiving yourself about the success of your own business.

So how do you grow your social media following organically and ethically?

1) Don’t take shortcuts to success – following or paying for a bunch of random accounts isn’t likely to boost your business in comparison to tailoring the process to attract your target audience.

2) Pay attention to content which creates the most engagement, whether a reactive post where consumers can get involved and have their say, or the tactical placement of an attractive image which grabs attention.
3) Learn the importance of SEO – many have heard of SEO but don’t bother learning how to use it. This can have a massive impact on your social media following and we may be able to help! (link back to my article about it here)

4) Most importantly, be patient. Social media followings won’t grow overnight, but it is possible to grow them organically over a couple of months so don’t take the cheats way out – work hard to earn your followers. This way you will attract consumers who are more likely to buy into your business.

We here at Approach understand how influential social media can be, so why not let us help you out. Get in touch today and kick-start the growth of your online presence.

Image sourced from Pexels.