Is Social Media Popularity Really That Important?

The company reached out to me on instagram, which is my preferred social media, I use it the most to drive traffic to my blog. They claimed to be a service to help bloggers organically grow their following. I figured I could use the help, with our wedding coming up, and too many ideas running through my head, the thought of someone else running my twitter account was a relief. I replied to their comment, and a few days later I received an e-mail from them.

Whenever I get an e-mail from a real person I always get excited, and checking my blog’s e-mail account is sort of an addiction. So when I received the company’s message, I quickly clicked over to read more about their approach. I read all about their ‘authenticity’ and ‘organic methods’. They even disclosed their pricing, which I have to say was very fair. I would easily spend $50 a month to grow my Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram ‘organically’ without ever having to log in. Then I read, “we make sure to unfollow more users than we follow every day, so your ratio will constantly increase.”

That’s when I had to stop myself and ask, “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING CHLOE!?”

I couldn’t believe I had considered paying someone to make me socially ‘important’.

For what? The ego boost? Free stuff? I quickly had to remind myself, “why are you blogging?” Oh yeah, because it’s what drives me to get out of bed in the morning. It all goes back to comparison. I think we’ve all been there, looking up to someone more successful than us, and it’s so easy to opt to take the elevator rather than the stairs, but truth be told, if we don’t take the stairs, if don’t fight for our story, if we don’t put in that hard work, we won’t ever be satisfied.

I never replied to the e-mail, I felt guilty for even considering using the company. About a week later, the company’s founder reached out again, asking if I was interested. I felt powerful and in charge when I replied, “I don’t think the model is a good fit for my brand.” As simple as that, I had turned them down, and kept my dignity in tact.

I recently read an article about catalyzing a blog’s growth, the author wrote, “If you opt not to pay to grow your blog, never compare yourself to someone who did.” This was great advice, not only for blogging, but also in real life. I think it’s safe to say, that if you put in the hard work, you should never compare yourself to someone who was given their prize without the effort.

Have you ever watched someone’s numbers start growing exponentially, meanwhile you’re feeling stuck? Maybe a little spark of jealousy is ignited at that point. Or perhaps it’s a thought that pops into your head, “why isn’t that me?” Maybe they’ve paid for their growth, maybe they haven’t, but the thought still sticks in the back of your mind.

Well, let’s stop and think about what those numbers truly mean, and why we seem to care so much about them. Why does that K next to our follower count seem to be so important? When I stop to think about why it would feel important to me, it’s because the K is a quantitative way to measure success; however, isn’t being creative all about being qualitative instead of quantitative?

I think it’s important for us creatives out there to remember that our success and sense of accomplishment can be achieved in many ways besides having a little blue checkmark next to our twitter account. When I think about my most accomplishing moments so far, it’s when I connected with someone great through social media, or when a company noticed a project I shared. Neither of those things have to do with social media importance. So the next time you’re feeling stuck or have a pang of jealousy over your popular peer, take a minute to appreciate the successes you’ve had thus far, and remember, you’d still be doing this even if your mom was your only fan.