How To Get Followers

likeI started to think about this issue of followership after reading a WordPress blog’s post, on the ‘lack of followers’, which is a common problem for the majority of bloggers.

I haven’t focused on getting followers, as I only spread my words to friends connected to social media channels. I share experiences, which I cannot taylor to anyone’s preferences, as it’s about true thoughts and stories. I reckon though that having decided to go public, I also would like people to read it, and cannot ignore if I don’t get…followers. I am up to a big challenge.

How many blogs exist out there and how many people are reading it? According to WordPress fresh statistics of August 2014, on the blogs they host, users produce about 41.7 million new posts and 60.5 million new comments each month. Over 409 million people view more than 15.5 billion pages each month. Let’s face it, this is mind boggling, as I’m not including the whole internet’s blog traffic.

There are countless suggestions and tips from social media marketing specialists on how to improve reach. It is advisable to have a good layout, style, interesting themes, no-ads, audios and videos. But from all I researched, marketers seem to regard content as the source to maximize reach above any other tool. Written content… is what really matters!

There-go-the-people

But let me come back to fellowship.

It seems that where the old and new world meet, it is in the human interest to be liked, appreciated and followed. Being a ‘leader’ at work, an opinion leader, a friend, or a leader on any social media channels, brings with it a desire to have followers.

As long as studies on leadership exist, definitions vary, but common sense establishes that a leader is someone who, to claim this title..needs followers. But how to reach them?

The motives that drive followership, is a complex discussion. You may have risen to a job level as a manager, and automatically got a team, but that doesn’t mean that fellowship comes attached to it. You merely got a chance to prove yourself. It seems that the fellowship drive on social media works the same way. Yet again, people will decide whether it is worth following you or not, regardless of your invitation.

I just heard a true story from a very dissatisfied lady, whose manager (who thinks he’s a leader) addressed her complaints about excessive working hours and underpayment, reacting furiously and justifying that he didn’t make much money either. He ‘advised’ that it would be up to her to make her job bearable and felt ‘sorry’ that she didn’t seem to have a positive attitude.

Another male executive working in Europe for an American consumer goods company for a few years, has been told that his salary will be cut down together with all his benefits, plus moving to another city, while the job will remain the same, or he could choose to leave the company.

In both cases I wondered if ‘leaders’ who behave and communicate like that have:
1. any idea on how to treat fellow humans with dignity;
2: any knowledge of labor laws;
3. any self awareness of their jerkiness and total absence of leadership qualities.

If I once more bring together the common issue of followership in business or in the social media ecosystem, I sadly realize that the quest for (how many) followers one gets, remains being the main focus, whereas the motive to follow (why), is often neglected and underestimated. That is a gross mistake.

You may have a pompous and impressive job title, or your blog may look impressively beautiful with lots of cool photos and videos, however, you cannot forget that to attain and sustain leadership of any format, it’s going to be up to your followers to define you as a leader. Ultimately it is in their power to follow you or not. Keep writing well and behaving well. Eventually you will be noticed and even followed, by merit and not by default.

For people to believe you and be on your side, online or offline, your deeds still matter more than your words, and your reputation is built as a result of it.

Sources:

WordPress Stats and Info-graphic by digital marketing firm Mainstreethost , reveals 10 surprising facts about social media. http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/17113.aspx).

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate slave, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do, when I want.

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