Amber Skye Forbes

Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes

The Importance of Follower Appreciation

Have an appreciation butterfly!

Have an appreciation butterfly!

I’m nearing the 300 follower mark after two months of blogging, followers I worked hard to get. At the same time, I am learning that it is not the amount of followers you have, in spite of what social media moguls will tell you. I believe it is the relationships you try to establish with each one. So, if you have 100 followers and talk to every one of them, then that is better than 1000 followers you don’t even acknowledge. Those are 100 followers who could potentially support you in your endeavors versus the 1000 followers who feel ignored and may choose not to support your endeavors because you don’t acknowledge them.

So I’m going to get down to the nitty gritty of what this post is about using my experiences so far in the social media world. I’ve only been back in social media for about two months, but I’m learning that it is so important to see your followers as more than just a number–you need to see them as people. You need to devote the time they devote to you, if you can. Even if you can’t go to their blogs, interact with them when they comment on your posts (and I will get to commenting on my last post. I promise). These are people you talk to, people you can form invaluable online relationships with, and not just for book promotions either. It just feels good to know others are taking the time out of their day to appreciate what you wrote. I can’t describe the feeling. I’m sure a lot of you know what I’m talking about. But please, don’t get followers for the sake of followers so you can expand your platform. Take the time to try and get to know who is following you. And even if you don’t want to follow that person back, at least recognize this person read your stuff. READ. YOUR. STUFF. This person could have chosen to read other stuff, but no. YOUR. STUFF.

I say don’t go after a number because you can have 10,000 followers but only 100 are ever commenting on your posts. So where are those 9900 other followers? What are they doing? Why do you even have them? I guess it’s great to have them should they happen to catch what you write, but I’ve always preferred quality over quantity. Quality seems to be working for me thus far.

There is also Twitter where people love to play the number’s game. I have 1,000 followers, most of who followed me. I do not follow for the sake of following. I generally wait until people follow me, and if I like their profile (meaning they’re not spamming), I will follow them back and engage in conversation. However, while I want to interact with all 1000 of my followers, some of them fall into the trap of link spamming. Now I will re-tweet ones I find engaging, but most are just plain irritating and I hate that that follower fell into that trap. They then start neglecting their followers in favor of trying to push their wares on us all. It does no good to have 2000 followers if 2000 of your followers aren’t checking you out because you’re link spamming. Social media is not like my part-time job, which is a number’s game. Social media is about interaction, recognizing people for who they are. At least, that’s what I think.

But I seriously appreciate all of you. Like, you have no idea. It never gets old to find out when someone has liked my post or commented on it. Never. I don’t think it ever will. I’ll admit I love being noticed. But I also love meeting new people and getting to know them and what they write. People are just awesome to me.

 

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22 comments on “The Importance of Follower Appreciation

  1. followtherabbit87
    May 21, 2013

    This was a wonderful post! I, also, believe that if you have followers, you need to pay special attention and actually communicate with them. One of the things I wanted most from my blog was to build relationships with the people who read it. I like having that open communication; not only does it make your followers want to continue on reading your blog, but it helps it grow because you are in touch with the people who will be reading it. I love the ideas and feedback that I get, on a daily basis. I try to take time out, every so often, to send out a big ‘thank you’ to my followers. I like them knowing that I appreciate them, and that I acknowledge that they are there, and that I do want to talk to them. The one thing I don’t like about Twitter is that, like you said, having a ton of followers means nothing. I have almost 800, and I can pretty much guarantee I only talk to a handful of them.

    Evan
    xoxo

    • amberskyef
      May 21, 2013

      I also really think it’s so important to take time out to interact with them because they’re people, and I believe people are very important in general and deserve to be treated as such. I don’t want to turn into some elusive author who only talks to an exclusive group of people. I am not about that at all. In fact, I hate that my favorite authors don’t interact with their readers more often. I suppose they’re not obligated to, but it just removes the human element from them.

  2. Diana Springer
    May 21, 2013

    Good post with very valid points. Twitter is a great tool for platform development but it seems that the majority of the users are only interested in trying to sell their book. I look to look the tweets, if it’s all promotional tweets then I tend not to follow. By the way, 200 followers in 2 months is quite an achievement. Congrats!

    • amberskyef
      May 21, 2013

      Thank you! It took a lot of work, but I’m learning to slow down so I can take the time to know my followers.

      With Twitter, I’m sometimes tempted to unfollow, but every now and then said follower will post a gem of a link that I can’t avoid.

  3. Daniel Budiarto
    May 21, 2013

    I agree. I actually just wrote a post about how comments from other bloggers can even inspire us and spark some serious creativity. Some people boast a huge number of followers, on here or Twitter—some have 20K+ on the former and 100K+ on the latter. But without meaningful interaction and connection, what’s the use?

    Firstly, the number of followers doesn’t say anything about the quality of writing or of the tweets. Secondly, if you see a blog as a writer’s platform—to build a reader base and promote your books—do these people seriously think that 20K+ disengaged, uninvolved followers will all buy your books, as opposed to, say, 1K passionate about your work and what you have to say?

    Maybe I’m just envious because I’m not there yet; maybe I’m just being a hypocrite—I don’t know. Numbers increase your chances, perhaps, but I’m not entirely sure. Maybe only time will tell.

    Thank you for your thoughtful post and passionate acknowledgement of your readers. 😉

    • amberskyef
      May 21, 2013

      You’re pretty much right. I’ve seen book blogs with 1000+ followers but their Amazon rankings are low, low, low. Where are those 1000+ followers to support you? I get that a lot of my followers follow for my blog posts, but I also find they really want to read my book if my book is as good as my blog posts.

      • lindalitebeing
        May 21, 2013

        you nailed it right there! you are showcasing yourself with every vowel, consonant, and exclamation point! for me its the emotion and contemplation evoked by the written word.
        great discussion Amber, so glad you found me. Hope you have had a chance to check out some of my posts, while we are on the subject 🙂

      • amberskyef
        May 21, 2013

        Now that you’re on it–speaking to everyone here–if there is a particular blog post you want me to read, don’t be afraid to point it out to me in your comments. I am always happy to do so!

  4. Kira
    May 21, 2013

    This is a great post! I used to check my stats all the time when I first started blogging. Now I’d rather spend my time interacting with people on our blogs 🙂

    • amberskyef
      May 21, 2013

      Exactly! It’s such a rewarding experience for me.

  5. Christopher Lee Deards
    May 21, 2013

    Nurturing relationships with those who follow you is important, I agree, but what if you do end up with 1000’s of followers? Maybe your book hit a bestseller’s list? Suddenly you have 1000’s of followers. There is no way you can nurture all of those relationships.

    Even if you limit your nurturing to those who comment on your posts, if you develop a following, those comments could number in the 100’s per post.

    Ultimately you do what you can and what makes you feel right about yourself.

    • amberskyef
      May 21, 2013

      Pretty much. I will do what I can, but my readers will always be a priority to me, which is why I do book giveaways. It isn’t about building a following anymore with those giveaways. It’s about showing appreciation to the people who appreciate me.

  6. Jayde-Ashe
    May 21, 2013

    Excellent post. I definitely make much more of an effort with my followers who make an effort with me, and it is their opinions and comments that I value most highly on my posts. That is not to say that I don’t appreciate each and every one of my followers, the fact that they have even bothered to follow me I find extremely flattering! I have not yet jumped aboard the Twitter train, mainly because I seem to associate it with celebrities bitching and whining at each other. I am sure there is much more to it than that but at this stage it stays in the scary, unfamiliar social media box.

    • amberskyef
      May 21, 2013

      Now that I’ve been trained on Twitter, I love it. I appreciate it more. My favorite part of Twitter are the scheduled chats, like #blogchat and #yalitchat. You engage in amazing conversations and meet some awesome people…and in only 140 words.

      • Jayde-Ashe
        May 21, 2013

        Yes no doubt I will jump on board soon, once I have fully wrapped my head around this blogging business 🙂

  7. fictionalien
    May 21, 2013

    Most of the friends I have now are from social networking sites. 🙂 This is so true on so many levels.

  8. erickeys
    May 22, 2013

    I always wonder about the people who “follow me” or “like” my posts 5 seconds after they come out. Do they really read? Or do they just hit “like” or “follow” to whatever comes up, hoping that I will follow them back so they can get me into their get-rich-quick scheme…. Anyway, we appreciate you, too!

  9. Adina Solomon
    May 22, 2013

    True. When people comment on or like my posts, I respond and visit their blog, if they have one. It’s only polite; it’s no fun being ignored.

  10. ghostbusterbev
    May 22, 2013

    Another great post! Thanks for the follow on my blog…I’ll be back to read more of yours!

  11. safia
    May 23, 2013

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve only been blogging for two weeks and made a promise to myself not to use ‘old’ contacts or promote my blog on a peer review site which I’ve frequented for two years almost. I want to reach out to and be reached by new and fresh acquaintances. So, yes, I agree – quality not quantity is what matters. BTW is 22 followers good for 2 weeks – just kidding!?

  12. Pingback: The Dancing Writer’s Pointe Shoe, Volume II |

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