My husband recently started posting his drawings on Behance, Creary and Instagram. At first, it discouraged him to do this since I told him the first months will be rough - but we then agreed to follow a white-hat, value-based social media strategy.
Not everyone thinks value should be your main motive. Black Hat World, the biggest black-hat marketing community on the indexed web, constantly promote random tools to get followers by exploiting follow for follow sites and bots.
There are literally dozens of siteS where you can buy localized comments in dozens of languages and pay pennies on the dollar.
BUT... let me explain why you shouldn't.
1) Vanity Metrics Are Useless
Vanity metrics such as number of likes, number of followers or views are designed to lure people to stay on a certain platform.
The more you stay on Facebook, the more Zucky (Mark Zuckerberg) earns. Time on site is the most important metric for any social network.
So, while the focus on the key metrics to grow their business, most people focus on likes.
The first thing my husband told me was "Yeah but I received 50 likes, hence I'm not good enough".
The feeling of being inadequate is exactly what vanity metrics were made for. You need to feel insecure, post more and like more. You need to envy other people so you can comment on their post and fuel the algorithm.
But you know what?
You ARE good enough. LIKES on a social media does not define how good you are, and this metric is so useless even INSTAGRAM removed it from their feed.
Likes are easy exchange of appreciation, can be 100% faked without consequences and have no real value. They are important to let you grow, but only when they are true and from loyal fans.
Never focus on metrics. Focus on who gets you metrics (your fans).
Most people crave to have 100000 followers and never reply to their comments, even if they have only 2. It's ridiculous, and it shows how little most people are to gain a following on a social platform.
2) If you're not in the USA, growing a following is EASY
Let me repeat: if you're not in the most competitive country on Earth, growing a following is easy when compared to starting a business (like a local store).
Let's say you want to get 10.000 Instagram followers, which should be enough to get brand deals and start doing affiliate marketing.
In Italy, you can interact with 900 posts per day by investing 7-8 hours per day on a selected social platform. That should give you a medium of 50-60 likes per post and around 5 to 6 followers per day.
After the first phase, assuming you can dedicate a full working day to growing your instagram profile, you should be able to gain +15 or +20 followers per day, and you could get to 10.000 followers in one year or two.
ONE year is the best case scenario. Can we stop a second and contextualize how much 1 year is?
We're talking about 365 days. Most businesses can't even file all the required papers to open their doors in 365 days.
Most countries are like Italy. Not really that competitive when you provide value and actually engage with the community you want to attract.
Please, listen to me on this: I totally get you want results fast. We're all humans, and my unconscious crave to see 1mln followers on my accounts too. But try to look at the objective reality, and you'll see the real picture.
I'll talk about how to engage naturally with new people on my next post, but generally speaking: you have to care about every new follower you get and every comment you leave.
40% of comments are from bot, or at least that's what you'll see on small accounts.
If you comment a post of a guy with 100 followers, he WILL see it and he WILL answer. If you have a good follow, you have a very high chance he'll follow you too.
Focus on building value, and you can get results with 200 followers. Focus on metrics, and you'll need to buy thousands of followers to have 1 comment per post.
3) Ads are cheap... like really, really cheap
Do you know what my clients always ask me?
"Can you share me some secrets on how to reach more people?"
or "Maybe we can exploit the algorithm to get more views!"
and similar questions.
Most of them have crazy ideas on how structured their team should be. They have a social media content producer, a manager for the design process, a copywriter and an expensive tool.
But they don't want to invest 5€ per day on ads.
Let's talk about this for a second. Most of my clients are in Italy. If you have a great profile and provide value through your post, getting likes for 0.01€ is fairly simple. I was able to get likes to my husband's post at 0.0056€.
This means I can buy over 100 likes for 1€ and around 5% of them may comment on my post and 2% will follow my profile.
If you invest 5€ per day, you'll get 15.000+ likes on your posts with new people coming to see your profile every single day.
But no one wants to invest those 150€ into their OWN growth because "who knows if ads will bring results"... yeah, but buying a social media scheduler for 99€ per month when you have 50 followers makes perfect sense, right?
Invest in yourself by engaging with your followers and, if you need a little boost, USE ADS.
There's nothing wrong in using ads and they will bring you fast results to gain confidence and boost your authority. You can also use ads on blockchain-based platforms, where there's less competition and higher engagement rates.
Stop searching for quick shortcuts by paying someone you can't afford. Use the tools and the knowledge you have to grow a organic following.
4) It will make you look like a fool
Let's say you do everything black-hat to grow a profile on Instagram.
You start a profile. You buy 1000 followers and let it rest for a bit to not make Instagram suspect about you (yeah, all of this is against their TOS).
You post once and buy 200 likes + 10 power likes. You get some followers.
You buy a bot to let it like 100 posts per hour, comment on 20 and DM 15 people per day. You also get another one to view stories from 100 people per day and follow/unfollow random accounts based on follower count or hashtags.
Then let's say you get to 10.000 followers and you see you get some real traction.
Maybe a journal quoted a thing you said, or whatever.
You get a sudden boost of 5.000 followers.
At that point, you must narrate your story to them. They'll want to know.
And what will you say?
"I got where I am thanks to 5 bots, countless black-hats techniques and scammy products online"?
It doesn't sound like a good position to be in, don't you agree?
Buying followers may give you an instant gratification because you see more actions on your insights. But please remember those interactions are fake.
I know how hard it is to start from zero. I did everything too early in my life and I like to challenge myself, but let me share you a thing about me.
My last post on my PERSONAL social profile was about 1 year ago. I'm helping friends and businesses, but I'm not posting myself.
The reason is my mental health. I was in a terrible mental state for about 10 months.
I hate my biggest client because they make a terrible product and I need to market it as a "great thing". My friends constantly hit me on the back and I had some fights with my husband.
So, I had nothing useful to share with the world. And I stayed silent.
Now that I have something to say and share, I challenged myself once again and start from blockchain-based socials and publish0x to improve my English.
And if I can write 1200+ words in English on a platform where 95% of readers are interested in crypto currencies only, you can engage with people naturally and build connections without buying followers. Trust me.