When It Comes to Follower Count on Instagram

TheSpritzProject Anna Forte Blog Instagram Follower Count a Month in Review

Hi friends,

This post didn’t start out as a post. It was supposed to be a paragraph in my Month-in-Review post… and then I got carried away. Whoops.

Here are my truest thoughts when it comes to the obsession over followers:

I can’t stand people’s fixation on the follower count. Yes, followers are obviously essential. They consume our content and some would argue they legitimize our efforts to a certain extent. But that argument only goes so far.

When The Spritz Project’s Instagram account launched I had no idea what to expect in terms of how many followers I would get and how quickly I would see growth. Without any pre-established references I looked to other accounts that were as new as mine to gauge how I was doing. Let me tell you, my numbers seemed so low. And I’ll be honest, for a couple of hours I felt pretty discouraged and insignificant when I really dwelled on how minuscule my 50ish followers looked next to their 250-400 followers. How is getting that many followers in the span of seven days even possible if you’re starting out from scratch? If it’s all organic, please enlighten me; I’d love to know!

But at the same time I’m very fortunate that at my core I know that the success of The Spritz Project doesn’t depend on follower count. Yes, of course I would love to have hundreds and at some point thousands of followers, but ultimately I really just want followers that are passionate about what I have to share.

Speaking of passion and what I hope to see from my followers, let me go off on a little tangent here… Can we all just agree to cut it out with the follow-for-follow shenanigans? Please!? Truly, I think it is the single most conceited thing you can do on Instagram. It’s also INCREDIBLY short-sighted. Let me explain both thoughts:

  1. Yes, I’ll say it again. Implementing a follow-for-follow strategy essentially implies, I’ll inflate your numbers, so you can inflate mine, therefore making me look better.

  2. While a follow-for-follow strategy can work, typically it doesn’t yield particularly desirable ROIs (return on investment) especially in the long run. Think about it, if you’re a brand following hundreds of accounts hoping they’ll follow you back, you’re spending valuable time and compromising your brand’s reputation simply in the hopes that they’ll return the follow. And my guess, even if they follow you back, they likely won’t be as invested in you as you want them to be.

*End of tangent*

The Spritz Project recently hit 100 followers on Instagram. It felt like a milestone, but the more I dwelled on the number, the more I judged myself. I’ve listened to so many influencers, bloggers, and industry disruptors talk about how insignificant follower count should be in the grand scheme of things. Believe me, I don’t want to waste my energy caring about useless metrics. I’d so much rather spend that energy on creating content, engaging with all of you, and strategizing for the long run.

I’ve tried to grapple with why we place so much value on follower count. I have some thoughts, but nothing quite concrete yet. That’ll be for a future post :)

Until next time!

Anna xo