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Style File, Blogging & Self-Help: Does the follow unfollow method really work?

If you do a Google search on gaining followers, a lot of the things that come up are to do with the unfollow/follow method. There's also the commenting for comments etc, etc. Is this really a good approach to... well... follow, though? Let's discuss, by Rosa Fairfield.

Photographs by Linda Smith




















Why are you following that person in the first place?
I've had a lot of people follow me purely in the hopes that I'll follow them back. Honestly, I just think it's a bit hurtful. It's like the other person is only doing it out of a sense of duty or to get something in return. They're not actually interested in your content. It makes you start to think... oh, people must not get anything out of the things I create, what's the point in doing them?

It makes it all about the numbers 
Isn't the whole thing just a bit redundant then? It starts to create a community where people are doing things for the sake of it. Plus, if everyone is just doing that, then it's completely pointless for anyone to create anything because no one is really getting anything out of it. Lots of people may end up with a nice number but not much out of it, apart from maybe money.

You get more reach
I think this is one of the actual positives about this. The more followers you have, the more people know you exist. That means it gives you slightly more of a chance of finding legitimate fans of your work. The way social media works in the current climate though, you often only get impressions if people are engaged in what you create over how many people click the follow button.

What are you hoping to get out of social media?
People create profiles for different reasons. What you do with it depends on what you want to get out of it. I know people that have purely created, and tried to grow accounts, to see how many followers they can get. It hasn't been about them trying to create a career out of it or the content. They've used it as a bit of a game and challenge for themselves. I mean, great, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. They're clear about their intentions and they're not trying to cover up what they're doing. They might use the follow/unfollow method then. There's no right or wrong way to be using social media (unless you're intentionally trying to hurt someone.)

Does it really get results?
I know a few people that have used this... and it's worked to some extent. Those accounts have grown faster but at some point they've hit a brick wall. Chances are the people the people that are following you are also doing the same... so sometimes you lose as many people as you gain. Then if you don't constantly keep up with it, you end up losing most of your followers because you have to be continuously part of the game.

To be honest, I just don't do it because I start to feel guilty... like I'm not treating people in a fair way. I wouldn't want someone to do that to me so I don't do it to other people. Each to their own though, use social media in the way you want to.

What are your thoughts on the old follow/unfollow method?