How do you use the follower contract?
Why do people follow your brand on social media?
There’s an invisible contract between a brand and its social following. This contract can be described as a total sum of whatever reasons a person has for following a specific brand.
However, many brands find it difficult to engage their audience continuously. One might argue that passive followers, ghost followers, wouldn’t be the end of the world as long as they convert into customers reasonably.
I mean, at least the numbers look good. No?
The Case For Consistency in Social Media
There’s a big issue with ghost followers, which has to do with reach.
Through their lack of engagement and authority, ghost social followers will severely damage your brand’s algorithmic momentum. And no algorithmic momentum means lower reach for your content.
Social network algorithms will typically look for engagement relative to the existing followers. What does this mean for a brand?
It means that long-term inconsistency will inevitably result in ghost followers. And there’s a reason why inconsistency is kryptonite for engagement. In every single act of following, there’s a critical time displacement:
They follow (present) on faith (future) from trust (past).
Inconsistency is a breach of trust. And trust is a valuable commodity that takes a long time to establish. Now, if such a “follower contract” were an actual document, then what would it say?
The Follower Contract: A Policy for Growing a Coherent Community
Well, maybe a follower contract would read something like this:
The Follower Contract
Many brands must rethink their approach to having followers, fans, and subscribers. Having a brand community is your privilege, not theirs. How can you honour their engagement?
Think of every single follower, fan, and subscriber having this agreement with your brand:
Your New Follower
Read also: The Follower Contract
Examples of Failed Follower Contracts
When it comes to respecting the follower contract in social media, let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes:
Example A: A brand quickly increases its Facebook audience, focusing on paid ads for free giveaways and sweepstakes. This strategy attracts a critical mass of people expecting free stuff.
The result? When the brand suddenly starts asking these followers to spend their money, their followers lash out.
Example B: A brand decides to focus on growing its reach on social media platforms, so they allocate its entire budget to acquiring new followers.
The result? When all these followers discover that the brand has allocated exactly 0% budget to existing fans, they’ll ignore the brand.
Example C: A brand decides to apply a variety of digital campaigns where each initiative attracts different types of followers. The brand “succeeds” in building a community of people all expecting different things.
The result? When the brand asks their community for specific actions applicable to a small fraction of their following — crickets.
How To Honor Your Follower Contract
So, how can a brand steer clear of breaching its follower contracts?