Have you ever seen someone say, “Follow me, I follow back!” I mostly see it on Twitter but it also pops up on blogs (especially in comments on memes that link up). I think this is pointless behaviour.
By telling me you “follow back”, I see that as you basically saying, “I don’t care who I follow. I want to raise my numbers so if you raise mine then I’ll raise yours.” In the end, that might get you bigger numbers, but does it actually get you more FOLLOWERS?
What is a follower?
A follower isn’t just a number. A follower is a person—a person who actually likes reading your blog/updates and checks back regularly to see the new ones. They choose to hit “subscribe” or “follow” not because you asked them to, but because they WANT to see that new content.
And what is a follow back?
A follow back is when we both just want to boost our numbers. You ask me to follow you on GFC and in exchange you follow me via Feedly. That makes us both happy, right?
But in reality, I don’t use GFC to stay up to date with new posts. I only clicked “follow” because you asked me to. I may not actually like your blog or your content and maybe I’ll never ever come back again. But I clicked “follow on GFC” because it cost me nothing other than a few seconds of time.
What’s the point of fake numbers?
That’s what I think follow backs are. Fake numbers. You’ll have tons of people following you who only followed because you asked or bribed. As a result, most of those people probably don’t actually visit your blog at all! They just click “follow” and then leave.
I want followers who WANT to come back. I don’t want to have to ask or bribe them to subscribe.
I think it’s more worth your effort to spend time making your content awesome and irresistible. If your content rocks, people will want to follow you. Isn’t that better than having people follow you only because you scratched their back first?