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As a marketer, the number one question I get is “How can I get popular?” This translates in people’s minds into two things:
- Growing a large following
- Having your posts get a large number of views and likes
This goal is understandable. Being popular means more eyes on your work, increased credibility, and a wider reach to your audience, right? That should hopefully translate into more sales.
If done the right way, you win the gold. Your social reputation goes up and this translates into more clients, more influence, and paid opportunities.
But if done the wrong way, you’ll regret it. In fact, if you grab attention by the wrong means, you can even permanently damage your reputation.
People will go to great lengths for fame.
Between 2012 and 2018, there were online dares about ingesting Tide Pods laundry detergent. Hundreds of kids participated in the Tide Pod challenge, especially on YouTube, which reached its peak in 2018. Since Tide Pods are poisonous, many of these jokes ended with a visit to the hospital for poisoning. You’d wonder if the moment of fame was worth it.
If that weren’t bad enough, the Fire Challenge was when people doused themselves with a flammable liquid and set themselves ablaze, causing cases of death. The Choking Game, Pass-Out Challenge, and the very worst, The Blue Whale Challenge (aka a suicide dare).
In 2019, YouTube updated its policies to ban dangerous prank or challenge videos on its platform that could “cause death”.
But the ridiculous attention-seeking behavior isn’t limited to YouTube. In 2020, a teen created the Coronavirus challenge on Tiktok where she repeatedly licked an airplane toilet and posted that she would not possibly get the virus. She got Covid-19. Along with a ton of hate. I think she even got banned from Tiktok.
People injure themselves regularly in the quest for the perfect selfie. Some selfies are even deadly like cliff hangers, base jumpers, train hoppers, and dangerous encounters with wild animals.
Another type of posts that are terrible involves harming themselves or other human beings and filming or streaming it for social media viewing. Stuff that gets filmed are gang members shooting a rival gang member or suicides. It’s morbid and sick. This type of content is forbidden of course but it doesn’t stop people from posting it. In fact, all social media platforms have special teams assigned to monitor and remove harmful content around the clock. What a stressful job!
A less extreme example are viral posts. People post content they know will gain views. It’s usually one of the following:
- Very cute babies, kids, or animals
- Breathtaking views or a beautiful location
- Very attractive people in sexy images or videos
- Funny videos or memes
The rush of getting likes can be addictive but I highly discourage this approach to grow your audience.
You Attract The Wrong People
When you post ‘viral’ content, you are selling cheap thrills. These people are looking for a quick distraction. They don’t care about you nor your business.
Your Miss the Right People
There are many people looking for experts who can solve their problems. That is you. But they don’t know it because your posts aren’t communicating that. To attract and target the right people, you need the right type of content. The goal should be for your ideal client to see your post and say “Yes, this looks interesting.” Entertaining them alone won’t lead them to buying from you.
You Waste Your Time
Building a following requires strategy, routine, and patience. Why waste a single moment posting stuff that isn’t in-line with your brand and won’t attract your target audience? Any time talking to people who don’t care about you is wasted time. If you try with them to switch to sharing the content to attract your target audience, they will almost be guaranteed to unfollow you immediately. Because they are only following you for laughs. Unless laughs are your brand, don’t do it.
At this point, you may still be skeptical. “But Krista, I get views and likes.” Unless you are building a profile entirely around buzz that you want to run ads on, you will not monetize and certainly not your personal brand.
“Likes” don’t make you rich. Thought leadership does.
Conclusion: There is a better way! Follow me to learn a strategy for content growth that anyone can succeed at.