The Follower Count

There is no doubt that social media has a huge influence on modern day life. From keeping in touch with friends to strategic marketing, it has a variety of uses, but what happens when you become engrossed in the numbers that 'follow' you?

I guess you could say I have a few jobs in the social media industry. I work part-time for the ME Association, running their social media accounts, where my job is to provide engaging and informative content. Growing a following through those feeds is vital for bringing in things like donation, sharing important information and simply supporting as many people as we possibly can. 

On a personal level, some people would class me as a low level 'influencer'. I model, dance, blog & I'm a keen activist. I use my channels to update people on my life and connect with my audience. I use my blog and instagram the most, but have facebook, twitter and even TikTok.

As a dance teacher, particularly who teaches young people who are just starting on social media, I've  had an incredible amount of talks in the past month about follower counts. Young people are becoming obsessive about how many people 'like' their content, whether they are featured on certain pages and who 'follows' them. Of course, there are always concerns about online safety (which I'll save for another blog) but I always feel very hypocritical telling them that your follower count doesn't matter. 

The truth is, as a self-employed, part-time, freelancer who constantly is looking for work - it does in this sector. To get a blog featured, you often will need to share you stats, which largely reflects your following and engagement. To get brands on board, it's exactly the same. Even with modelling now, your social influence can hugely affect your job prospects and I've seen plenty of jobs which specify a certain amount of followers before you can even apply.

Will a follower count ever be added to your CV? No. I don't think it's realistic and is a true reflection on a person. But I do think social media can be used really wisely these days to enhance your public presence. My fear is that vulnerable (young) people are doing all sorts to get 'Instafamous' and I can see why. I'm honest with my students about my accounts and I think that's the best way forward. And even though it's part of my job, I'm trying not to get fixated on the figures. 


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