“Wanna Follow-for-Follow??”

Has anyone ever commented on your post and said “I love this picture/post so much! Would you like to follow-for-follow?”

Yeah, I have too.

This is a representation of one of social media’s biggest issues: accounts seeking inauthentic growth. The attitude that says “I want this-many followers and I don’t care how I get them.”

This problem represents itself in some really obvious ways. Several years ago, EVERYONE was buying followers (and accounts still do this today, even though everyone knows how unadvisable that is). You also have accounts that pay bots to follow a bunch of people in a target market and then unfollow them the next day.

But the desire for growth also manifests itself in some sneakier ways. Buying likes so your posts seem more successful (and to appease your lust for numbers). Following and unfollowing similar accounts to create a semblance of community (when the only account you really care about is your own). Straight up asking for a follow (and making the follow-back the condition). These are all unethical ways to grow your account.

And I use the word “unethical” because I feel so strongly about this. The root of this problem is VANITY. The motivation behind these methods is a lust for numbers that is so intense that it consumes you.

GET THIS: it is not about the numbers.

In fact, it’s about the followers.

But, Lindsay, isn’t that the same thing?

Absolutely not.

I mean that everything you do should be for the benefit of your followers. You should be creating content that your followers want to see. You should be cherishing and engaging with your followers. As soon as you make it about you, you have lost.

That’s why I refer to these methods as “inauthentic” growth. You may get some guilt follows, and your numbers may go up. But those followers are not going care about or engage with your content. And eventually they will unfollow you.

And then what was the point?

Cherish your followers, and your numbers will thank you for it.

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