Sunday, December 10, 2023

Colorado Plays

Playing in Colorado in all forms.


How Much Does a Follower Count Really Matter?

Social media plays a massive role when trying to get yourself out there as a content creator. But, how much does having a high follower count really matter in the grand scheme of things? It really depends on who is creating what.

In reality, the number next to your subscribers and followers really doesn’t mean much. Sure, some brands will use this number for contacting you about deals and sponsorships. But it’s the consumer interaction they are mostly looking for.

A Follower Count Doesn’t Mean Active Followers

I’ve seen many people buy “followers” from businesses to artificially inflate the count. This way, the creator looks more impressive at first glance. Unfortunately, many platforms are cracking down on this practice.

For example, there are plenty of YouTube channels that have thousands of subscribers. However, they also often complain about not having the watch time to get into the YouTube Partnership Program.

Which is 4,000 hours within a 12-month time frame, by the way.

In this instance, YouTube puts far more emphasis on engagement than subscriber count. It’s all about keeping as many people watching content on the platform as possible.

So, if you have 13,000 subscribers and only net about 20 to 30 views per video, it looks horrible to YouTube. Especially to a brand looking to add sponsorships to your videos.

Sub-4-Sub and Follow-4-Follow Doesn’t Work

The only thing that sub-4-sub and follow-4-follow does is inflate your ego. Yes, the numbers can look pretty amazing, until you realize that no one is actually watching or interacting with your content.

Take a look at how lurking works on Twitch. The system now employs a method to “know” when a viewer is actually watching the stream or if the tab is in the background.

I’ve verified this a few times on my own channel. Even though I would have 10+ lurkers during the stream, Twitch would only show that I had 3 viewers. This also impacts the amount of watch time you have during the stream.

The bottom line is the just because someone is following you because you followed them doesn’t mean he or she will watch your videos.

In fact, it’s more likely that they will not.

When it comes to video content, most platforms are focused on engagement. If no one is watching or interacting, it doesn’t bode well.

CP YouTube Banner v1.0

Create for Your Audience to Grow a Follower Count

If you’re creating content people want to consume, the follower count will go up naturally. Especially if you produce what they want on a routine basis.

Uploading a video once every one or two months isn’t going to work. Neither is occasionally live streaming at random intervals.

Having a Set Schedule Helps

For the most part, people like when a creator is predictable when content is going to come out. Think about it; why do you think television shows maintained a specific schedule throughout the season?

Well, nowadays most people stream so it doesn’t really matter. But back in the day, viewers were excited when a new episode would come out at a specific time.

A lot of us grew up with Friday Lineups and what-not during prime time television.

The same principle works today on Twitch and YouTube. You’ll even find people clearing their schedules just so they can watch your content.

If they can rely on when you publish, upload, or go live, they’re more likely to follow or subscribe to your social accounts.

Deliver What They Want

As I said earlier, focus on creating content you want to make and your audience wants to consume. If you’re playing a game that no one cares about, don’t expect an influx of viewers.

Now, there is something to be said about setting trends. But unless you have a strong dedicated following, that’s incredibly difficult.

Discover what people want more of and center around that. If viewers think you’re funny while playing GTA: Online and interact during a live stream, start cranking out more of those videos.

The bottom line is that you need to know your audience and provide what they desire if you want the follower count to go up.

Be Active and Interactive

The accounts that seem to grow the fastest are the ones that are active and interactive. Not only do they post content often, but they also engage the audience directly.

For instance, chat with the live audience during a live stream. Or, reply to a comment in a quick video on Twitter or Tik Tok.

If you want to grow the follower count, you gotta give people a reason to consume your content.

You need to use social platforms as they were intended: to be social. Otherwise, viewers will get bored and move on.

I’m not saying that every viewer is this way. I have quite a few who simply watch the live streams for WriterSanctuary without leaving a single comment. But, those people are often engaged with the conversations I’m having with those who do.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New

Part of growing as a creator is finding newer and better things to do with your time. Sometimes this means trying out a new game. Other times, it means shifting your focus from one type of video content to another.

As long as you stay within your relevant niche, you won’t lose too many of that follower count.

When you try something new, there’s no doubt that you’ll lose a few. But if your fans are there for the content you create, the ones who left aren’t your target audience anyway.

The reason why the target audience matters is because they are the ones who are most likely to buy merch, click on ads, buy from sponsors, and otherwise propel your creator career forward.

People who unsubscribed to your channel because you changed games were less likely to help you make money in the long run.

For the most part, people follow accounts because they like the creator’s personality. It shouldn’t matter if they want to try something new or not.

Don’t Worry About the Follower Count

Too many people put way too much emphasis on follower and subscriber counts. As long as you’re producing great content people want to consume, that’s all that really matters.

Stressing out over the numbers will do nothing for you except increase the chances of getting an ulcer.

Focus on your audience and deliver the content they want to consume. The count will rise on its own.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop, to name a few.