No one wants to be lonely, especially on social media. The following to follow ratio is one users’ obsess over. The golden rule state 10.0 is a pretty good place to be- every 10 you follow you have 100 followers. But how much is a good ratio worth and how important is it?

The 19th of December 2014 was dubbed the Instagram Rapture. This was the night that many have dreaded their whole online existence for. Instagram wiped millions of followers that left a lot of users red faced as it exposed their genuine amount of followers. The biggest hit of them all was to a young man who goes by the name Chiragchirag78 who lost 99.99% of his follower which is about 3.6 million. Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Akon lost over 3 million each too and companies were hit hard too. Nike lost 256 549, Natural Geographic lost 228 966 and Forever 21 lost 245 210. I’m not implying all of these companies or people paid for followers but were accused of doing so after the rapture. Companies like Pepsi and Mercedes Benz have also been in the spotlight recently when some social media analyst questioned their online following.

But why?

Enormous amounts of followers scream popularity. It gives you an edge of competitors, increases visibility and can launch careers.
Dominating in the follower’s category makes you appear stronger over competitors. Pepsi were accused of buying followers after a 71, 686 follower increase in one day, which helped them surpass Coca-Cola’s following on Twitter. Having a large quantity of Twitter and Instagram followers also can boost your visibility. This can place you on the most popular pages of both websites and also increase your google-ability, boosting you to the top of the search engine. For smaller businesses or people trying to market themself, especially in the world of fashion blogging, followers are essential. I have a good friend who has hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, which leads to companies approaching her to wear their clothes or advertise for them. She is interested in fitness so accepts offers from sport based companies meaning she hasn’t bought running gear in months and never will have to pay for personal training as long as she has that high number of followers. As I said before, people marketing themselves particularly in the area of bloggers, the more companies are willing to support them the more successful they will be. But that is highly dependent on how popular you are. Antionette Marie aka Sydney Fashion Blogger is short of a million followers and never has to buy another outfit in her life. Designers are basically begging her to wear their clothes with fashion designer Alex Perry calling her a blessing saying, “she wears it, it flies off the rack!” Antionette is now at the peak of her career, but for someone aspiring to do that how does one gain thousands of followers overnight?

With 10,000 followers price tagged at $60 for Instagram and $20 for Twitter, it’s a small price to pay to appear popular. But really, is your business worth the embarrassment when it all comes crumbling down?

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