Why I don’t care about my number of Instagram followers (and neither should you)

Welcome back to the first blog post on Presque Perfection for 2018!

This year I am all about honesty, growth and being real with you guys, so I thought I would start here. I have been wanting to write this post for a while, and figured there is no time like the present- a little something new and different.

Instagram is weird.

I just got back from living my best life in Australia for two weeks. During this time, I posted relatively consistently to Instagram stories but didn’t post images in my actual feed.

 

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Australia’s incredible 12 Apostles which blew my mind

 

I lost around 50 Instagram followers, give or take a few. But I swear to you guys, I really don’t care and here is why:

Instagram, like other forms of social media, has become a place of business. It’s how we connect with the world, each other and now companies, bloggers, celebrities and brands. I love to find new restaurants, cute cafés, outfit ideas and recipes on Instagram. I’m a full-fledged Insta-addict and I know most of you are too.

So then why don’t I care about my number of followers?

First of all, I was out living my life which, in my opinion, should always be a priority. I was, first and foremost on vacation. No one was paying me to post about Australia, so I wasn’t worried about posting a photo every day, coming up with a caption and hashtags and pushing media. A small social media detox was just what the doctor ordered and it was heavenly.

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Secondly, Instagram followers are overrated. (Not you, obviously, you’re amazing). But, we live in a time where I can go out and spend 50 bucks and magically get THOUSANDS of followers if I wanted to, but what good are those? Did those followers see my blog or my post and think, WOW, I love what she is doing, I want to follow along? No. They didn’t. Odds are they are robots or ghost accounts that are simply there for making it look like I have a larger fan base than I actually do.

This kind of thinking sounds counterintuitive. Surely having the most followers is the end goal, right? AND if I already have a lot of followers, people will see that and think I’m someone they should also be following. Which, yeah, that makes sense BUT when 9k of your 10k followers are fake, they won’t be interacting with your posts and that actually drives your engagement down which *drumroll please* makes you less desirable as a candidate for sponsorship. While companies looking to collaborate often ask for your number of followers, they also ask for your engagement. How invested in YOU and your BRAND are your followers? Do you have 300 followers but constantly have 100 likes per post and 15 comments? Your engagement is better than someone who has 10k followers with 1,000 likes and 5 comments. Make sense?

You should want your Instagram to be full of real people who are out there rooting for you, following along on your crazy adventure, invested in interacting with who you are as a human, blogger, Instagrammer etc. Social Media is about being SOCIAL.

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While I’m up here on my soapbox, let’s talk about bots.

Bots are taking over Instagram and it’s SO EASY to tell when a bot is interacting with you. Bots can auto-like hundreds of posts in 30 seconds and they can leave comments on behalf of an account. You usually know you’re a victim of a bot comment when the comment is just a couple of emojis or a really generic compliment like “great shot” “I like this picture” “your feed is incredible” etc. Do you want to follow an account that wrote the same exact thing on 75 other photos where no human actually even took the time to appreciate your image? I know I don’t.

I know what it’s like to run an Instagram and post pictures that you’re proud of. I know that you filtered the hell out of that snapshot and cropped it and messed with the exposure and the clarity and I want you to know that I saw your picture and I really liked it! My comment about loving your color scheme was genuine! Hi! I left a comment because I want to interact with YOU, not because I want you to come interact with me on my page. Are we getting it now?

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Besides just auto-interactions, people are also using bots to employing an Instagram strategy called “follow-unfollow” which is one of my biggest pet peeves and clearly how I lost 50+ followers. A bot will go through and follow hundreds or thousands of accounts at a time either in a specific niche (you can pay to filter for gender, location, age, etc) or who have interacted with a specific hashtag. After a few days, this same bot or app will go back through and unfollow all of these accounts that they just followed. The idea behind this is that “@frannyfollower” gets a notification that “@botusingblog” has followed them and then “@frannyfollower” follows back out of either courtesy, curiosity or interest and then once the “@botusingblog” has that person as a follower, they no longer need to follow them, so they hit them with the unfollow.

Why would you want to trick people into following you? I personally want to find a tribe of people who are interested in the journey that I’m on. I want 5 genuine comments on my posts where I can interact with and build a relationship with my readers instead of 15 comments of stars and hearts and “wow, I love your feed, I think you’d like mine, come check it out” comments.

Can we please make 2018 a year of genuine interaction, I am so tired of all the fake.

Check out my girl, Kate Bray and her incredibly well written out thoughts on insta-spam here – I’ve been wanting to write this post since I met up with her in Paris and we chatted about it. (Her post is way more logical and spells it out better than my ranting nonsense.)

Am I making sense? Are you falling for or have you seen these Insta-spammers? What do you think? How can we make sure our interaction stays genuine? Let me know how you feel in the comments, my lovelies.

I promise you guys all the Australia posts you can handle once I’m done editing the insane amount of photos I took.

xx

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Published by

Presque Perfection

Hi! I'm Amanda and I'm a 28-year-old American living abroad in Paris, France! When I was 24, I packed my bags and moved to Paris with $200 in my pocket and I immediately fell in love with the city of lights. I now work as an English teacher and a freelance translator and spend my spare time traveling, creating things, and perfecting the art of the "happy hour" with my besties.

15 thoughts on “Why I don’t care about my number of Instagram followers (and neither should you)

  1. YES! Love this! It is so easy to get caught up in that number but at the end of the day, all that matters is that you’re putting out good content that YOU love! Go girl

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    1. It is so easy to just watch those numbers go up and down and take it as a sign of success or failure and who needs that?! We’re out here kicking butt and that’s the real success story, right?! Thanks for reading and commenting, my dear!

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  2. Numbers aren’t everything. Whether it be social followers or the money in your bank account your value and worth shouldn’t be judged by them. There are some who always want the best stats in everything but what good is it?

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  3. EXACTLY! Organic interaction and followers are better than mere numbers. Because at the end of the day it is the numberof true engagement with our posts and what their true reflections and thoughts that we need and want to move us forward.

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  4. I was skeptical about this post when I read the caption, as I’m aiming to make a career out of travel blogging (and Instagram is obviously very much tied to that), but I totally agree with the sentiment after reading it fully. I think Instagram also needs to take a good, hard look at the algorithms they’re putting in place, because in the end they’re encouraging people to partake in things like Bots & buying followers, simply because they aren’t being seen by potential followers.

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    1. Haha thanks for reading it anyway, despite the click-baity title, I was a little worried about that to be honest! I totally hear you, I am hoping to build my blog into something sustainable as well so I often feel like a slave to social media. Let’s hope Instagram hears our pleas! I know they blocked Instagress which was a huge bot platform, let’s hope they keep it up. Good luck my dear, thanks for the comment 😊

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  5. Agreed. “You should want your Instagram to be full of real people who are out there rooting for you, following along on your crazy adventure, invested in interacting with who you are as a human, blogger, Instagrammer etc. Social Media is about being SOCIAL.”

    It’s better to have people follow you who are really interested in what you have to share. That’s the goal! Connecting with real people, not bots…

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    1. Yes! I get so frustrated when I see people employing these tactics and it working out for them because I put in 3-5x more effort to keep it genuine and build real connections. We’ll see how it pans out 😉 thanks for commenting!

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  6. YEP – it’s so tough to break the habit of scrutinizing your numbers, but it’s so freeing when you do. I would MUCH rather have interactions with people in my niche whether it converts or not, for the sake of getting social with someone vs an inauthentic follow/unfollow. Thanks for writing this 🙂

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  7. YES YES YES! This is amazing! The reason I started a blog was to connect with people I may not have had a chance to connect with otherwise. These real relationships I have formed have been so amazing! I love connecting with my readers and fellow bloggers, so having fake accounts follow me always confused me! Thanks for sharing this girl! You now have one more REAL follower! 😉

    XOXO, Nikki
    http://www.casualblonde.com

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    1. Yes girl! Thank you! It’s so amazing to connect with these different people, it’s the coolest thing that has come out of this blog and you’re exactly right – I don’t get the fake accounts?! What’s the point? Thanks for the follow! I followed you right back 🙂

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