The Power of a Follower (and Common Sense) on Instagram
My dad was a salesman for stereo equipment while I was growing up.
And not a sleazy salesman either. He was the real deal. He used his kindness, good sense of humor and common sense to win people over.
He took a high school education and his superior sales techniques and created a happy, middle-class life for me and my family.
When I was 17 my dad landed me a job interview at a local bank. He handed me a copy of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
I REALLY wanted the job. At the time, it paid $8 an hour, two dollars more an hour than all the other minimum-wage jobs (hey, it was the 90’s). So, I decided I would read the book. And, so at 17 I became indoctrinated on how you sell yourself to others—the smart way.
Now, if you think about some of the principles in this iconic book—most of them are common sense. (By the way, if you have not read it yet, it’s the best $10 you can spend on your business.)
However, I once heard Brendon Burchard say that common sense it not always common practice.
Mr. Carnegie teaches several principles in this book. Like how you should use people’s first name. Or be genuinely interested in others and asking about their interests.
This may be a little blunt, but I think common sense is lost sometimes in the age of digital media. Especially on Instagram.
There are so many opportunities in this online world to just be—NICE. To use common sense. To treat others the way we would want to be treated.
The Follow/Unfollow debacle comes to mind first.
What happens if you follow someone, they check you out and decide to follow you back. And then you drop them (unfollow them). What opinion do they hold of you now? You may not think this is a big deal. But according to Mark Schaefer in his new book, Marketing Rebellion, ⅔ of you marketing is happening without you.
What does that mean?
That means ⅔ of everything that is said about your brand is word of mouth, reviews, etc.
This means you should take every chance you have to keep your reputation untainted.
Here is another question I often here:
Should I follow everyone that follows me?
No, you don’t have to. I don’t. BUT, imagine if you took the time to check out the profile of someone THAT HAS ALREADY LIKED YOU. The are already sitting in your follower count. You don’t have to search a new hashtag for them to find you, or engage with a new account. They are already in your audience.
Let’s assume that this new follower is not a bot. Let’s say you took the time to comment on their post, or even send them a DM. Maybe even a voice message or a quick video using their first name (NOT their handle). You thanked them and made a comment about a piece of their content that you liked…
Do you think that new follower is more likely to keep following you? I do. And if they don’t, do you want someone who would drop you after you put forth all that effort anyway? I wouldn’t.
And if they do keep following you, imagine if you simply followed back and seemed genuinely interested in their life and business. What is the potential of that follow?
Last week I received this message in my inbox on Instagram from Rita Rogers with @healthybeatskinny:
Hey Brenna – I was just going through some of my recent follows and found you. THANKS for the follow… I don’t blindly follow back right away because so many of the follows I get are just looking for the follow back then unfollow. (So forgive me for taking my time) but I just wanted to say your content is real, practical and helpful! Read your shadowban blog post. Very helpful! Thanks for the follow and look forward to seeing more from you!
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how it’s done!!! (Do you see me applauding?) I am forever Rita’s fan. I will tell everyone I know who is looking for someone in the nutrition and fitness arena about her. Which spreads her message organically. And it’s all because she used good old fashioned human kindness.
This is the power of a follow.
In the past, there have been times where someone has unfollowed me and I thought we had a genuine connection. It’s hurtful.
I have also tried to become friendly with a person/business, not even trying to gain anything from them. I liked their content and left comments with not reply. Or send them a DM. And they won’t follow me back. And then I think, “Is it so hard to simply follow me?”
Who do you think is going to get more business: The person who replies kindly to comments and DMs, follows another back, or the company who ignores these attempts to connect?
Common sense, right?!
The power of a follow is great in this crazy Instagram world we are in. When you care less about your “following” number, and more about each person behind that number, that is when you see your true following increase.
And that’s the crazy thing about social media (and life!). The more we care about helping and supporting others, following and interacting with them, the more our following grows.
To me, social media is the tool that carries your good name. It piggybacks the efforts of creating your brand message that is being spread by word-of-mouth.
We need to go old school. To use a little more common sense. When we stop hustling for follows, and start using common sense on how other people want to be treated, this beautiful thing happens. Our fans grow our following for us.
Speaking of following, I would love if you came over and followed me on Instagram! Or send me a DM, I would love to connect the old fashioned way!