You don’t have to be a blogger to feel a little chuffed when someone takes the time to ♥ your posts online.
It’s just a product of the time that we live in, isn’t it? You take the time to put out content worth seeing and when you get that double tap you just feel like, yeah, nailed it.
The problem is, just when you thought you had gotten the hang of it, Facebook and Instagram went and stuffed it all up. Instead of seeing every piece of content that the people you follow put out there, you see a select amount (if anything at all). We can blame this all on those little algorithms that they’ve put in place. Suddenly everyone has become savvy with what these algorithms actually do and so you’ll have noticed a few changes in some of the communication online. Basically it works like this:
I should probably just clarify that I have gleaned all of this information from clever people that do this for a living. I have never actually taken any time to figure out how it all works, but I trust the people I have spoken to, so I’m pretty sure this is mostly accurate.
Step 1: You follow a new account because you like the things that they’re putting out there.
Step 2: FB show you content from that new account a couple of times and if you don’t engage with that content (by liking, commenting, sharing or clicking the link to read the post) then the chances that you will see content from that page again, are like the chance that my kids will all be in bed and asleep at 6pm tonight – pretty much impossible. FB want to keep you sucked into their web as long as they can, so they want to make sure that they’re showing you things that you want to see – if you’re not engaging with it, that means that you obviously don’t want to see it.
Step 3: Everyone and their cat realises this and freaks the hell out because now you’re not going to see their posts about their lunch anymore. They basically beg you to switch on notifications so you will ALWAYS know what they are doing with their cat.
Step 4: People turn on notifications and get ANOTHER beep on their cellphone every time they do something “fun” like drink a coffee with a heart on it. Not to mention the beeps from all the other 361 accounts they’ve turned on notifications for – so many stylishly placed beauty products, so little time between beeps.
Step 5: The World goes crazy. Every time their phone beeps, which is every 0.364 seconds, their eye twitches – there are accidents, phones are thrown from the tops of buildings, people being murdered with artisan bread sticks and eventually the whole planet actually explodes.
A little dramatic? Uh. I guess.
But really, think about it, do we need to add more demand to our lives by turning on notifications? No, we don’t. So we resort to the next best thing (which I am totes guilty of): Begging people to engage with us online.
Now, I’m making light of this whole thing, but I too had a moment when I realised that I’m not going to ask everyone to get notifications from me, but how am I going to get them to read all of my very well thought out posts about wanting to stab out my ears with a pencil during another tantrum? The answer? Guilt them into engaging with me.
I’m not proud of it. BUT I did learn a valuable lesson and here it is.
Here’s Why No One Is Liking/Commenting On Your Posts
Being a blogger, I think like a blogger. OK, duh, what does that even mean? It means that I am totally cool with taking pieces of my life, editing them or leaving them glaringly unedited and sharing them with people online. Not just people I know on social media, but anyone. And no matter how much we’ve become OK with sharing these things so openly, it’s a kind of unique thing to be OK with.
This was pointed out to me by, well, everyone that reads my blog that is not a blogger themselves.
Not only does liking or commenting on a picture put them in a situation where they are exposing themselves to all the readers/followers of the blogger, but it means that they are about to put themselves into a weird situation. They’re about to comment on someone’s content that they don’t actually know at all, yes they follow the blogger and might even feel like they know them quite intimately, but it’s usually a one sided relationship isn’t it? The blogger probably doesn’t even know they exist.
To then double tap that picture or actually comment means breaking that barrier and it’s putting them at the risk of being scorned (by the blogger not replying) or thinking that the blogger will feel like they’re a bit of a stalker.
Honestly, I have NEVER thought about it like that at all. Because sharing is so easy for me, so is liking and commenting on other peoples content – even if I don’t know them. Although it also comes with the advantage of knowing that bloggers LOVE likes and comments and may well view the lurkers in the background as more of a stalker than the ones that take the time to connect. 😉
Now that I’ve taken the time to understand this perspective, it seem almost ludicrous to ask people to engage when it will be putting them in an uncomfortable situation.
So next time you’re wondering why your following is going up but your engagement is going down, it’s not because people are hate following you or thinking that you’re a lame weirdo. It’s because although your followers are enjoying your content, they’re just a little bit too shy to say so.