Vanity Metrics: Don’t buy followers… seriously!

Are you tempted to take shortcuts to boost your follower numbers on Twitter or Instagram? Is it really worth it? I don’t know but here is what I found out when I started digging…

A certain Twitterer did buy Twitter followers: I’m not sure how many because I only got to sample of 9% of their followers… but the account creation date/times of over 2/3rds were within 30 minutes or so for them. If 2/3rds across his entire account, that’d be around 800 followers.

I can also confirm that an IG photographer also bought IG followers last year. I can’t find any posts around those dates with exceptionally large favoriting going on. With 10000 new followers you’d expect a few posts with hundreds, possibly even thousands of favorites. The weird thing is that his account was growing quickly anyway, it’s quite likely he’d have reached a similar metric anyway if he hadn’t done anything. But the purchases seemed to have cooled the new followers. Perhaps IG has limited the reach of his account now or have noticed the slowly dropping IG follower numbers.

The number of followers is only a vanity metric. If you’re putting out stuff that is good, that should be enough! Right? Engagement provides insight into the amount of involvement your audience have, so it’s important to remember that if you have thousands of followers but only a low number of likes or comments per post/tweet… your engagement is really low. Engagement either supports or undermines the headline numbers!