I’ve been thinking about blogs and followers and such (obviously, if you read yesterday) and of course, when you begin thinking about something, the world joins in and you notice things of a similar ilk.

Yesterday I read a story (Pure Wow or Buzzfeed, I don’t remember) about an 18 year old girl who has two million social media followers. 2 million. The platform was either Instagram or youtube, and yes I should read more carefully, but the particulars don’t really matter in this case. It’s all about the big picture.

So: 18 year old woman, 2 million media followers decides she wants to start a clothing line. Clothing company said they would do a test run before they committed full on. Sounds reasonable and intelligent business practice.

2 million followers.

2,000,000

Could not sell 36 pieces of clothing.

36

So what do we learn from this?

  1. Followers mean nothing if you don’t have a rapport. If takes less than a second to hit the like button, but if those followers don’t care about you….
  2. Just because you have followers doesn’t mean you are an influencer
  3. Taking cute pics of yourself in clothing does not mean that people are going to buy your clothes, especially if none of your pics are of you in these clothes
  4. People were probably not following you because of your sense of style, especially if your sense of style is exactly like every other teen girl who shops at Forever 21
  5. Followers are not customers
  6. Have a back up plan or strategy if your business venture fails.

Now on the upside, you know I am a big believer in going for your dreams and failing. Failing at something teaches you more than any book can. As does coming up with a plan and following through. Big kudos to this young woman for trying. I give her a big thumbs up on the try.

But…

Whether you are 18, 38 or 68, you have to take a social media profile with a grain of salt. Sure. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can have a huge social media following. There are all sorts of people who will follow you if you follow them, and then the number snowballs. A cute girl posting cute pics of herself will gain followers. I mean really…

Why do you need followers?

I know I like followers because the comments I receive make me think about things in ways I never imagined, I’m a questioner by nature, and I love when people give me different perspective about things I’ve been pondering. Blogging is an immediate responsive platform. I post, people comment. Brilliant.

But I don’t claim to be an influencer.

Influencer.

That’s the problem we’ve created with all this social media.

Everyone with a twitter, blog, or channel thinks they are an influencer.

Some people have profited from being social media influencers. I have been to youtube events with my daughter where she has paid money to listen to influencers talk about their lives. (OK- the swag is pretty good. She recently paid a very small amount to go to a get ready for prom event and the stuff she received in kind was way more than the cost of admission) She has bought clothing from youtubers clothing lines. I get that there can be a payoff.

But

Numbers wise: what’s the ratio of those who make money vs. those who do not?

Trying to be an influencer for a few years is not bad if you are the entrepreneurial type, but you still need a plan. That’s my problem. I think kids think it’s easy to make money via social media. And we all know that there is nothing easy about business. It’s the general mindset that is disturbing to me.

Nothing in life that is worthwhile is easy.

Spending more time on how the blog looks versus the content quality is going to bite you in the ass at some point. At some point, function must overtake form. Pretty opens the door, but quality seals the deal.

I applaud all those who take a leap of faith into the unknown in at attempt to start a business. But maybe read an accounting book so you understand a balance sheet, and perhaps an actual book on marketing. There are reasons why people have degrees in these subjects. You don’t have to go to college to be a success. But you do have to understand some basics.

And those numbers at the bottom of your social media. They really don’t matter. What matters is what you post above it.

125 thoughts on “Influence Me?

  1. I have thought about this myself: a social media account doesn’t just have numbers, it has what I think of as “depth,” that is, how many people on that list feel like you really know what they’re interested in, and by extension, really care about what you say. And how many of them will respond if you post something. This blog you’re writing has a lot of “depth,” a lot of comments.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. I feel the same way….of course there are blogs that “liked” but that’s not as important as the ones that mean something to you. I love seeing the bloggers I know will make me think, or laugh, educate me, or just post amazing pictures or creative stuff. Content is clearly what makes you successful as far as I’m concerned. Great content and ten followers wins

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have met a writer friend on Twitter and when I was in California where he lives we had coffee and talked for 2 hours. I think when you speak the same language online, in person it may stay the same

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was just talking about that and how the followers of word press blogs are so much more than facebook followers or even twitter. Although I recently spoke with someone who is going overseas to meet a twitter follower. They build their trip around this. I found it strange and didn’t know what to say but I didn’t understand. I like your blog and the interaction with others. I wouldn’t necessarily put my life on hold to meet y’all on a trip but if we should, that would be fun!And it would be the plot of an interesting novel if we didn’t even know we met. Oh, I think I have a new plot to write.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. So very true! I spent the first couple of years of my blog stressing about how to get more followers and then I just decided to write for the love of writing. If people like it, great! If they don’t, that’s fine also. It took a lot of the pressure off to view it as an outlet rather than an income. It’s still cost effective, however, since it’s cheaper than therapy!

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Great post! I applaud that girl too, and hope this failure doesn’t stop her from trying another dream! What you wrote is all true, its just numbers, unless you really develop a rapport with your followers. For yes anyone can click a “Like” button, but taking the time to “chat” and share your thoughts with each other, that is something else and that is what I love about blogging. I have made great friends through it, but not just by pushing their “like” button!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. If you closely look at who your followers are (especially if you have a large number) you may notice that many are businesses who are trying to sell something. For them, if they click follow on you (because they see you have 2600 people following) their hope is that if only half of your followers notice them (and also follow them) their stats will increase.

    Some of these ‘business’ followers are not even reading your blog. They’re not interested in content or dialogue. They want a customer. And the more ‘reach’ they have via stats the more they hope their business increases.

    Nothing wrong with starting a business and using blogs and internet stats to help you out. All I’m saying is, if I get a follower who is a business on my blog, I don’t block them, but I know I won’t follow them back. There is no value for me to follow them, I won’t buy anything from their website.

    But. Since it’s unlikely they’re even reading me, it’s no skin off my back for them to hang around.

    My blog isn’t about business. I write for free to get dialogue and enjoyment of typing the words into a screen. Kind of like you and many of our peeps. 🙂

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I have no problem with marketing via social media. It is the easiest way these days to increase business. But you have to have a solid business plan behind you. And yeah, I. D.o.n.t follow them back either

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the “like.” But in keeping with your essay above, I hope you really did like what I wrote, and read my entire post (as I did yours). Although there are a few exceptions, I’ve noticed quantity of WordPress “likes,” “follows,” and comments tend to be more about the blogger’s marketing efforts than the quality of their work.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I read everything I like, but do admit to not concentrating completely on book reviews if there are going to be spoilers or I don’t like the genre. I tend to look at blogs that share a sensibility to my age and place in life because I can relate. I’m comment shy until I get to know a blogger, but that’s my introvert nature…I still harbor that are they going to care thing…but anyway…..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never put like on anything I haven’t read I think that’s unethical but it’s clear to me a lot of people are doing it

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clearly. I think we often skim, as one of my blogger friends says, the first 178 words are all people pay attention to. And I admit I skim reviews and recipes

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I only want a few followers. In the past three years, I’ve cut around 7,000 total. I don’t like lots of attention from lots of people. I just like lost of attention from my friends and small circle. Now go feed me some stars, biches!! Hehe! 🤣🤣🤣🤣😘

    Liked by 5 people

  8. “At some point, function must overtake form” Loved this!! Ans yeah, I’ve never got the word “influencer.” The same person does not influence you every single day. One day it is your boss, next your lift operator, next your cab driver or the lady who sells flowers near the train station. Recently people who blog have joined the list.
    Social media is unpredictable, it is ever changing and no one here is what they seem.
    And this, “But maybe read an accounting book so you understand a balance sheet, and perhaps an actual book on marketing” OMG!! ROFL…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks! People have to sometimes look at the big picture and think about what the goal actually is, then take a step backwards and ask if it’s what you want, and then how do I achieve

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! but when you are obsessed with how many people like you and as you’d written in your blog don’t really bother with the content, they blocking their view of the big picture. Anyway! enjoyed reading your blog LA! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You make some very good points, here. I think that it’s the thought processes of the young who grew up with social media that are the most in peril. They don’t know what “real life” is like without it and may depend too fully on those somewhat artificial support systems. Social media definitely has its place and can be great, but it shouldn’t make an entire life, in my opinion.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re right. It’s the thought that social media is the be all and end all. They think that life starts and ends at their phone….hopefully they’ll realize it’s balance

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Love the last line. 😀 I have seen many bloggers with 2,000 or more followers. But the number of likes on each post is in double digits or max, in 100-200 range. What’s the point of having thousands of followers when only less than 10% appreciate the posts? 🤷 I guess this trend is same with all social media sites. Some follow and then when you follow back, they unfollow – nice trick to gain more followers 😂

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I don’t know where to go with this comment, not because you were not clear in your post, but simply because it brings up so many curiosities I have about social media in general. Is it my age I wonder? Although I see people much older than me who utilize every old and new form of social media available.
    I’m computer savvy enough to not be intimidated by the use of social media, but holy cow-I just don’t often see the point unless as you noted it’s tied into an established, well thought out business or service.
    On a side note: I’m reading a novel right now that portrays our future as completely dependent on social media. There is no more currency-they value everything with points and credits that are exchanged on tablets based on algorithms largely generated by heavy duty influencers whose opinions seem almost god-like. I find it too easy to assume this novel foretells our future…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Did you 3ver read The Circle or The Feed? A few summers ago my daughter needed to read them for school, so as they were hanging around I read them. Boy was it eye opening! I think all ages are susceptible to social media, but young kids really think they can become millionaires by posting photos. They have unrealistic expectations as to what to expect from YouTube, or blogs, or instagram. They think it’s easy money. They also think because they are “liked” that they are actually liked….it’s a whole mess of things

      Liked by 3 people

      1. So completely agree. It’s sad how they base their self esteem on those numbers. I read that some kids delete posts if they don’t get enough likes

        Like

      1. It’s called The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones–Futuristic but unspecified just how far into the future, I would say dystopian in that a natural sort of disaster has brought about multiple changes in society. I’m enjoying it.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. LA,

    Couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how many people I’ve met over the years who speak about wanting to brand themselves. To a person, they all had healthy followings, and somehow this led them to believe they could monetize it. Which is really a whole ‘nother conversation.

    I also, as you do, like the idea of learning something or thinking about something in a different way as per the blogosphere. That is a value.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. My brand is junk food expert, beer lover and the possible onset of arthritis in my middle finger (the irony) from having injured it countless times while playing sports in my younger days.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Good post. I’m not sure when the term “influencer” came into being but I don’t like it. Influencer of who and what? I do know that I am too lazy in regards to social media ever to be an influencer or a blog with a large following.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I just joined Instagram a few months ago because it appears many of my friends are posting pics on that because it’s a kinder gentler outlet. I like some social media, but the way some are fully entrenched? Ridiculous. But, I know if I finish and publish my book I will be a slave to it

      Like

  14. I really hate when I find a blogger I like, but can’t read their content because of all the ads doing crazy things. I understand the desire to monetize, but going too far may drive away followers, not capture them.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. It is tough when you think you are increasing your reach by getting more followers only to find that they are a business. I like to get people thinking and involved in conversation, I will probably never have as many followers as say you do, but I am hoping the majority are doing it because they enjoy reading my content. Influencers-maybe I can get one person to rethink on a subject, then I will feel as if I have influenced in a positive way.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. This is why I refuse to play the “follow me” game on Twitter. I am very much about following and reading who and what I’m interested in and I want the same from the people that follow me. I want them there because they want to be there because of my content, not to boost their numbers. Quality is so important to me. That and I’ve never been much of a follower anyway so the concept of “influencers” kind of blows my mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Well said! I’ve seen some Instagram influencer accounts with 100K or more followers and wondered “why?”…. but then I’m 64 and live in comfy clothes so what do I know lol.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. Well, I would like to be able to sell more of my cards and crafts so I am researching how to do that using Instagram and YouTube, but actually just posting pictures on my own blog and commenting on others has led to two sales to fellow bloggers. Not a huge amount but also without too much of a pushy sales pitch all the time either, just by being friendly – and I only have about 150 “followers.” “Influencer” sounds like someone I would have tried to keep my kids away from when they were in school.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But you’re different. You have an actual product that you want to sell, and you know what your plan is. You didn’t follow two million people and expect that you can build a brand. You’re using social media to enhance

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t want a lot of followers, I am an introvert, even on-line. I never follow someone just because they followed me. I will look at their blog but if it is not something that interests me I don’t follow. I enjoy my real life and don’t want to spend all day reading and commenting on blogs. You should feel special 😉!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Great post. I remember when I first saw the term “thought leaders” then “influencers” came along. I don’t really find much value in these terms and the mind games being played with them. I think your story nails it – 2 million followers – 36 sales.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. It’s very sad and odd that online is and is not ‘real life’, and that especially the young people have a lot of trouble understanding the differences and subtleties, like what matters and will help or harm them and what is of no real value–best wishes to all.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. I learned that with my very first book…likes don’t equal book sales. That’s when I stopped focusing on selling anything and just relating to people. Things have improved and my next book was well received by everyone, not just social media followers.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. it always amazes me when I read how someone who hasn’t been here 6 months has 5,000 followers or something like that. I’ve been here for going on 5 years and I still haven’t cracked 2,000. I can’t fathom keeping up with 2,000,000 followers. I have a hard enough time with those that I do follow.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Yes to all this! Also, a lot of those big number influencer accounts are fake followers or people just following hoping to get followers from the big account. It takes interaction and effort to sell things. People think they can just put stuff online and people will buy it and that’s not the case. Especially these days when they can just be like…I’ll just hop on over to Amazon and get that for cheap lol

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Hmmm. Even the AARP Magazine had an article about seniors with enormous social media followings. I don’t get it. Most seem to be doing it for fun, though. I wonder when the younger generation will come to realize that real friends are way better than stats.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Another good post 🙂

    My mantra growing up (which for some reason my teachers didn’t appreciate) was always ‘if you never fail, you never learn’ I think they saw the failure as not trying…😀

    Liked by 3 people

  27. I’m always amazed at the number of times I get followed by bloggers who are writing about fashion, or tools, or technology, etc. There is no obvious link to anything I am writing about, and so I can only assume they’re just trying to get my attention for commercial reasons. I guess that’s all fine, but it certainly doesn’t mean that I’ll follow through on their wishes.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I don’t get “influencers”. They all look like Kardashians or Jenners or a Real Housewife, which is what a majority of the world apparently believes is classy, chic, and elegant. My idea of classy and elegant is my mom when she calls “bullshit” on my nonsense🤗 and my idea of chic is Fabio Costa’s gender-bending sense of personal style😏

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right there with you. Why would anyone want to be like anyone else? Though I’ve seen so many commercials for the 50cent Frosty at Wendy’s, I was almost influenced to purchase one today when I passed wendys

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Cute (young) female bloggers will always be popular especially if they post photographs photos of themselves, 🙂 nothing wrong in that, it’s just the way of the world 🙂 . However I do wonder whether their content warrants that much attention, incidentally I’m NOT at all jealous just fascinated by this phenomena. Great post btw

    Liked by 3 people

  30. That young woman took a big chance putting herself out there in fashion. For every 10 CoCo Chanel wannabes there is likely as you noted negative return. Whether it’s just timing or a catchy style.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I totally agree.

    …and I’m sorry I haven’t been reading your posts. I used to get them e-mailed and have been wondering where they went. Did you upgrade your WP plan? Another person I follow said that was how he lost his automatic followers. :/

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s