‘Getting it off my chest’ would have been too long a title.
I’m not fabulous at keeping up with these series but one thing is for sure: I’ve always got something to get off my chest. So for you lucky people who are curious, here’s your first instalment. It concerns…
This little number that’s been spread around Instagram today.
Now if you don’t use Instagram, or do but don’t follow any small businesses and/or Disney fanatics, you probably won’t be familiar with what’s termed a ‘Follow Loop’. Bare with me whilst I explain. A group of individuals decide they want ‘in’ on this loop. They’ll all upload the same photo (usually a pineapple or cartoon sunshine), linking to one another’s Instagram pages in a loop process. I.e., follow me then click his profile, follow me then click her profile, and so on.
Let me mention, for a second, how beneficial ‘followers’ – in the same light as here on WordPress – are, particularly in the case of small businesses. 1. A high number of followers may invite people (not part of loops, trains (because they’re also a thing), etc.) to think, ‘Oh, they’ve got 12k followers – their products must be amazing!’ 2. Algorithms aside, generally the more followers, the more likes, the more your product will be seen. (As I said, algorithms aside. Those pesky things tend to alter the logic.) 3. Silent followers that haven’t direct messaged a business regarding their wooden plaques or hair bows, may very well be silently watching until something they fancy pops up. OR their best friend is due to have a baby girl in a few months. They could be biding their time for that bow.
Back to the loops. I’ve witnessed the same small business post 4/5 of these Follow Loops over a week’s period. The general rule is that you follow me, I follow you. Cool, so the likes of fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food, parenting, literature, bloggers will jump on the wagon too. Again because of the benefits of followers. We allll want followers and that’s great: we’ve set a purpose, for whatever reason, and we’re using the realms of the web to achieve these purposes.
So why all day have I been seeing the same post over and over again on my feed? Is it the new 7k limit? Is it because these Follow Loops haven’t made small businesses millionaires overnight?
Whatever it is – even if I don’t want to buy a bloody hair bow in the next month – I’m not just unfollowing because all of a sudden my support isn’t wanted. Sure, I’d be supportive by giving you my money. I’m also supportive when I ‘like’ the photo of the matching Peter Rabbit bows, however. I’m supportive of small businesses regardless. The other day I made my first purchase from an Instagram shop and you know why? I’d been watching and waiting until they advertised something I was interested in. It was a custom order and do you think I was charged more for it? Absolutely not! The owner was lovely and not one to spread the above message around because she values her followers.
You think I have time to buy something in every shop in the Bullring? Or even browse? That doesn’t mean I should be told not to go in if I’m not interested. This isn’t a case of standing in the newsagents and reading a magazine from front to back then deciding not to pay for it. This is bloody Instagram, and if I bloody well want to give you a follow, I shall!