The race for online popularity and approval is everlasting, and there are plenty of methods people use to get it. But in one Russian mall, there’s a pretty unusual method of buying Instagram likes and followers: at a vending machine. And it’s not a joke, it really exists and works. You have to admit, this is the weirdest way so far to get fake online attention.
Last week I took a gamble on the idea of quality over quantity. My Instagram was sitting at 6.6k followers, a number I’ve worked my butt off for.
To my frustration, I realized that my girlfriend was getting double my likes at a third of my following. After some more routing around, friends of mine were all getting 2,3 sometimes even 4 or 5 times my amount of likes with similar followers or less.
It’s not the likes that are important, but the engagement.
Photographers join photo-sharing sites for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s as simple as a need for recognition and the occasional pat-on-the-back. In fact I suspect that’s the reason most people join these sites in the first place; a little bit of recognition is worth big dollars in the feel-good bank. Sometimes they join those sites to promote their work for financial reasons, either to sell prints or services. In the post-Instagram era I suspect that many people join in the hopes of growing a sizeable enough audience to attract sponsors, and trips and cheap booze.
Whatever the reason, the simple fact is that once you started posting, you are in competition with every other photographer on the site. Whether you like it or not, your photograph is judged alongside those of the entire membership, rank amateurs and seasoned pros alike. The aim of the game is to get your photograph in front of as many eyeballs as possible and that means playing the like-you-like-me game, getting involved, interacting, posting comments, replying to discussions – you know the drill.
However, after a recent spike of ghost account followers and image views on my 500px account, I have been trying to quantify an actual real world business value of social media followers.
Does a huge number of fake social media followers have value? Surprisingly, yes I think so.
Does connecting with real people on social media matter? Probably less than you think – depending on your business.