Why Slow and Steady Wins the Race in Social Media

A lot of the times, new business pop up and their owners are so excited about this new venture that they think they need to see quick growth on social media. This mindset may lead them to make some rash decisions such as buying followers or spending too much on ads. And it may look impressive to investors to have gained over 1,000 followers in under a month, but savvy investors know there's more to it than that. And the day-to-day consumer probably won't even pay attention.

Let's get this out of the way right at the front: Do not buy followers. No one knows for sure, but it's estimated that about 15% of social media accounts are bots. That's 15% of about 3 billion. So, if you had every bot on Twitter following you, it would bring your follower count up to about 450 million. Sounds impressive, right? It does right up until you realize that bots aren't buying your products or telling any real people about you. You could make the case that the high number of followers will attract more followers, but you'll eventually get to a point where you want to get rid of the bots and then it'll look like you've had a sharp decrease in followers, or if you get rid of a bot for every real follower that comes along, your growth will seem to have stagnated. There's no good reason to buy fake followers.

Running ads in a follower campaign is a good option for sure. It will get your name out in front of people and you'll see a lot of interested parties click the follow button. But that's definitely not where the interaction should end. If you put just a little bit of money into this kind of campaign, you might see a little bit of growth, but then start jonesing for some more. To get the kind of growth you want here, you may have to spend more than you'd like. And sometimes the people who follow through paid campaigns don't really have a stake in the company. They'd just as soon unfollow you if they see a typo in one of your posts. So you may see quicker followership, but it'll be a bumpy ride.

In order to get and keep the most loyal and trusted followers, there's no better strategy than responsive and knowledgable engagement. And this is going to be slow going. You may feel like you're just spinning your wheels for a while, but it's important to have a good track record of responding to anyone who either talks to you or about you. And a response may even be as simple as a Like. This strategy is good for someone with no budget for paid ads, but, make no mistake, it will definitely boost your followership as a supplement to paid ads.

If you look at any business social media profile that makes the news, it's not usually because of something they posted (unless it was something controversial). Most of the time the meme that gets passed around is some kind of engagement it had with one of its followers. And that engagement was free. (Well, except for the paycheck the social media manager took home.) That's the kind of impression you want to make. Not the quick and silent one, the one that takes the time to slow down and acknowledge and be thankful for the followers they've gained along the way.