I’m probably going to get unfollowed just for posting this, but that is a-ok with me. Being unfollowed has a valuable side to it. I’ve been there. I’ve had all the thoughts. “They don’t like me.” “I’m doing something wrong.” “OMG I’m a fraud.” “My mom is the only one reading anything I have to say.” But fret not, dear. The beauty of the unfollow is a powerful thing and here is why.
A Brief History Of An Internet Journey
Let me give you some history of my endeavors online.
I had a Myspace. It was my first introduction to social media and it was also one of my first introductions to graphic design. I had a Myspace that was beautiful and edgy and wild like I thought I was back then, but I had like no friends. I only had people on my Myspace that I knew or wanted to get to know.
I also dabbled in LiveJournal. I’ve never been especially good about posting regularly until this blog and used it as a platform to bitch and whine. 16 can be so ugly.
Oh and I played an online Harry Potter themed RPG all through high school and after. That was where I wrote the most. It was on an Invisionfree board. It was a forum. It was a blast.
Fast forward and I’ve got a Facebook. That’s all the personal social media I’ve got. And I know every single one of my friends personally.
But for business, it’s different. I’ve got accounts for all sorts of platforms but the ones I really use are this blog, Pinterest, and Instagram. And I’ve found that I actually enjoy them all.
Why I Love Being Unfollowed
I look around and see these people with thousands of followers and I know that thousands of people are not engaging every single day all the time. And that’s ok. But I’ve said before, and hold to this fiercely, that five engaged followers are better than 50 disengaged followers. And this is why I love being unfollowed. The people who unfollow are more likely than not, not my people to begin with. When starting this kind of endeavor, one really must decide the priorities.
Do I want my content to be liked by everyone or do I want my content to be loved by a few?
When we get into the internet space, there are a few things that we need to remember above all else.
Trolls live under all the bridges.
Anonymity gives everyone a voice and sometimes it’s not nice.
You can elect to not participate.
Number 3 is a very powerful thing. You can choose to not follow someone in the first place. And if you find that you no longer jive with the content that that person is creating or do not agree with what they are standing for or don’t like the fact that they went blonde, you can elect to not participate. That is your power on the internet.
If you find that you are disengaged with someone, do them the kindness of un-ing them. Unsubscribe, unfollow, do whatever un is required to no longer receive their information. But if you are still interested and haven’t been engaging, ask yourself why.
If I were to get an email today about why one of my Instagram followers wasn’t engaging with my content and provided sincere, honest, helpful feedback, I would be over the moon. I encourage you. Fill my inbox with suggestions. Fill it with constructive criticism. Fill it with good intentioned advice, even if it is unsolicited.
The Power Is Yours
If you are on social media with your business, you are probably following people. Engaging or not.
Being unfollowed can be a blessing rather than a curse. So unfollow as needed, engage as needed. Show people that they are doing something right in one way shape or form. And as a business owner, try not to see an unfollow as a kick in the shin. See it instead as the opportunity it is.
With every unfollow, you are given the opportunity to forge genuine relationships with the people that stay. Your people.
Well that got ranty. Sorry. But I hope it makes sense. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If not, unfollow me. ; )