We wrote a short post about the importance of Hashtagging as a tool to help build your emerging fashion brand. That post is a reflection of just how important social media has become to any business. That post was inspired by our featured designers Shana Luther and Monica Noh. It goes without saying that social media management is crucial to your brand’s success but getting followers is HARD, really, really hard. Who doesn’t check to see how many followers a person, brand, blog, etc. has to quantify their importance or significance. We have certainly looked at emerging labels and unfairly judge them based on their number of followers and we’re sure others have and will continue to judge us by the same measure. Is it fair? Absolutely not but unfortunately it is reality we have to live with.
In the face of such injustice it is tempting to cheat and buy followers. I know that we have been tempted. However, we would never counsel someone to take a shortcut so we have decided to grind it out. We would rather have a hundred engaged, avid followers that believe in us and what we’re doing than ten thousand that couldn’t care any less. We think the value derived from those that actively follow you is much greater than sheer volumes of unengaged followers.
Racked recently debated this same subject at length and it is a highly worthwhile read. It’s worth noting that we are in agreement: in the long run shortcuts don’t work. Here are a few takeaways.
– Why Buy Followers? “Originality doesn’t get bloggers noticed anymore—numbers do.”
-“The original bloggers who’ve been doing this for years [and are hugely successful] … are honest and legit. There’s respect that comes with that, with letting your blog get big on its own, the organic way. If people would ever find out, you would lose all credibility and that is not worth it.” -Dale Janee, LA-based blogger
-Fake numbers make real money: “Companies pay bloggers based on a perception of influence … they are being defrauded if … those fans don’t exist. If that sort of practice came to light in the real world, people would probably be getting sued.” ” -Alice Wright, the founder of blogger forum GOMI.
-But others in the space say the ethics are not so black and white. “I don’t think there was anything wrong with getting a little help in the beginning,” an anonymous blogger said.
-Beyond the Numbers: Ethics aside, buying social media followers leads back to a question on every Instagram users’ mind: Do numbers actually matter? According to social media consultant Anita Hovey, the answer, unfortunately, is yes.
-But others are getting savvier, looking at follower engagement and comment frequency as well.
-‘Ultimately buying followers might seem like a good idea at first, but the move hurts bloggers in the long run.” James Nord, co-founder of Fohr Card