It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that’s not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. ~ Stephen Colbert
I’ve been thinking a lot about perception and how it affects a growing blog. I guess it doesn’t really matter in the long run, because the cream always rises to the top, so to speak. But in the middle, while you’re still growing and in the midst of a million other blogs, with such an emphasis put on social media, people often perceive the strength of your site based on the number of followers you have.
Clearly this is unfortunate. Maybe at one point judging a blog by its followers was an “okay” thing to do, but not now. Sadly with the numerous sites out there that allow people to buy likes and followers, the playing field has become completely unfair.
I’m not talking about advertising with the actual social media platform, that’s different. For the most part, if a site does that, they’re advertising to get “real people” to follow them. What I’m referring to are the companies who sell “fake” followers. If you don’t know what I mean, simply Google “buy likes” or “buy followers”. You’ll see, it’s really bad!
Image via Glitter Guide
So if a blog wants to “look” like they have a fantastic following to attract advertisers, readers and contributors, all they have to do is shell out a few hundred dollars for thousands or even millions of followers, and presto, they look like they’re the place people want to be.
Obviously this kind of trickery doesn’t work in the long run because you have to back up your claimed following with engagement. And I’m guessing fake followers don’t engage, right?
But for the millions of people out there who don’t look any further than the number of followers a site has, engagement doesn’t matter. Their perception is, “Wow, so-and-so site has thousands or millions of followers, they must be THE place to be!”
It’s a hard pill to swallow that in the minds of our readers, contributors and advertisers, perception is everything. Or is it?
So what does this mean for the rest of us who have worked hard to obtain a tremendous amount traffic, yet the public can’t see that because our followers don’t measure up to sites using smoke and mirrors?
In my opinion, it means nothing. Good sites, just like good people, will always rise to the top no matter what. Just like a ball under water, you can’t keep them down.
So, if you’re a reader or advertiser looking at social media numbers to clue you into a site’s popularity, tread carefully. The truth may not be what you see. And if you’re a site thinking about “buying” fake likes or followers to make yourself look better, don’t do it. Put in the time and effort and you too will rise to the top.
As with the famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come”…keep in mind if YOU build it, THEY will come. That is my mantra and I’m sticking to it.
Thanks for stopping by!