Feb 18, 2013

Much Ado About Followers

One of the most prevalent posts I see on various social media outlets takes the form of the following: "OMG! I used to have 987 followers, and now I only have 953! What am I doing wrong!?"

First of all, losing followers generally has very little to do with you. Just like friends in the offline world, friends (read, followers) in the online world will come and go. It really is no big deal. Post what you normally post that got folks to follow you/friend you/connect with you in the first place.  And, if you are NOT doing that, perhaps that is a place to look.

Then again, maybe the folks that left your stream of thought did so because they got what they needed (or what they felt they needed) from your posts. Are you posting your own content? Do you spend most of your time reposting (read, sharing) what others have posted. If it is the latter, your followers may have decided to cross over from your stream to the folks you are reposting. After all, if you're doing it, then why should your followers bother with you when they can go straight to the source of your posts?

Sometimes, folks quit following because you quit posting. I'm not saying you have to post every 10 minutes, but when was the last time you posted something?  And, the last time you posted something original? And, the last time you responded to someone?

Just like offline lives, online lives seek interaction with other people.  If folks are posting to you, responding to you, reaching out to you and you are not reciprocating, then those same people will quit trying. After they quit trying to truly connect to you, they will quit following you. Why? Because you evidently only like to hear yourself speak (er, see your own posts).

All of this aside, people will come and go. So what? As long as you are keeping up your end of the equation, there is nothing you can do to keep folks around. Some, much like offline friends, will stick around for years.  Others may come by for a while, leave, and then come back again. And still others will visit a while then leave forever. That's life - online or off.

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