The need to be followed. For all aficionados of the social egocentric media eco-system, there is this unambiguous need to get noticed and to be followed. By anybody. Just for the sake of cherishing your stats. If you’re investigating about hashtags or other social tricks that can be used, you’ll find thousands of key-words and marketing tools to get others embrace all the great things you have to say (Twitter), all the pictures of your exciting life (Instagram), all the situations you are living to the full (Facebook) and more…There is this desperate need to be followed by the unknown, by the socialite, by the despicable…like in the FIFA, one nation is one vote. Everybody is important. And you’re ready to ‘bribe’ to get noticed in this chaotic environment. But, actually, those followers may just become a halo of lies, just a number without any foundation, just an information to treat yourself. You get followed by people you don’t really care about – and you accept the fact that they were eventually bought by Facebook in Indonesia for the purpose of growing your KPIs. Because the real question or the real need is not to get followed by somebody…but to be followed by somebody who cares and gets interested. A part of the equation might be missing here.
Well, my friend Murad had the talent and the decency to say #followmeto, which brings the wish to get further and propose some content that makes a difference. At least, he wants to bring us somewhere.
We might switch to brand marketing. Because, we live exactly the same obsession coming from the clients. There is that difficulty to any marketer that tries to make a bit of sense to this pursuit for followers and, what we usually describe as ‘fans’. Each brand will ask you for a maximum of those followers, this is in 99% of the briefs that would be dedicated to digital and social advertising campaigns (and involving other touch points like banners, videos…). You repeat candidly a pop culture quote from (over-estimated) Jared Leto to give you strength – ‘I’d rather have 10 followers that actually give a shit than a million who don’t’ (Fast Company interview 2014). But it does not really work. A quote from Steve Jobs was always plainly more efficient than a quote from an entertainer in a business meeting. So, we have to keep tight. Our effort is to give numbers a reason to exist and not just a digit to reach. That is our aim to make brands sharing something valuable than just look for one vote more. Anyway, each brand should give a very personal and engaging reason to be followed.
And we understand that this obsession for fame-building fast path is creating some backfire. Many threats are waiting round the corner. Bots threat is one of them and the figures result impressive. More than 6 billions dollars will be wasted to fictional accounts in 2015, all paid by worldwide to local advertisers, in the way to get noticed. It sounds pretty lame, isn’t it? Have an interesting read with this study ‘The Bot Baseline. Fraud in Digital Advertising’ engineered by White Ops Inc. This is clearly the ransom of the glory. By dreaming fame whatever it costs, well, you pay for a tech mirage that will make you feel good until it does not.
So, fame on Internet is a burning and dangerous topic. You have to care about it in a proper way, you should be grounding it on solid foundations (it did not change from Hollywood entourage and fad passion for movie stars). You have to understand what your brand brings to the people because you may understand the importance of the context, not the power of the quantitative effect. I don’t only talk about bots, I talk about people without souls, purpose or interest.
Well, I forgot to tell you, #followme, anyway.