June 10, 2016

||  A Rant of Realism  ||

It truly boggles my mind to witness the pathetic display of local businesses brutalizing Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc in a way that increases their social media outlets with followers. What's worse? I know at least 50 local businesses that have purchased followers -- followers, mind you, that aren't real accounts -- just bots/ghosts. You know, the accounts that have 40,000 followers/following zero people or the account that has an attractive woman in a bikini at a beach somewhere that has the same amount.

Unfortunately, social media has become a popularity contest -- which business can piss the furthest or better yet, piss away their money. Because the fact of the matter is they're not buying followers. They're buying numbers. Anytime you see an account like this, BEWARE. It's almost similar to false advertising. If I see an account with over 12k followers on Instagram (a retail shop), when I go in person to check out to prove my theory, it shouldn't be empty. I'd expect the establishment to be fairly busy. This is just one example.

Now, I'm not a pessimist. I'm a realist. I see things for what they are and feel that my best interest is to alarm those around me I care about. What businesses are doing isn't necessarily a bad thing -- it's just that they're not getting any of their money back by making these choices. If someone said to you, "I'll give you $10 if you give me $20." Obviously, if you have any common sense, your answer would be "No, that makes zero sense." Well, the same thing applies here. They're giving money away to various companies that get them these "followers," but it comes at a cost with NO REWARD.

If I had to tell any small business how to market/utilize social media outlets the correct way, I would start by telling them to put in the work to attract loyal followers, search for people that are in your area of business (what good is it to follow some dude from Calgary)? Research/study proper hashtags, make up your own unique hashtags, check out your competition. It takes hours and hours. It's a royal pain, but would't you rather have 2k followers that are 5 miles from your business than 10k followers who are ghosts/don't exist? At least you'd be able to run analytics to see exactly if your Instagram account is actually useful and productive and what your overall ROI is. Plain and simple...work hard, get results. Don't cheat the system.