We are always trying to learn how to get more followers— but what if our goal was actually to get people to unfollow you?
1. More unfollows, more success.
To me, I actually think in terms of social media, you should measure your success via how many people unfollow you— rather than follow you.
The reason is this: when you start saying or doing stuff that causes people to unfollow you — it means you are staying true to yourself. You are not censoring yourself. You are saying what is really on your mind. And that pisses people off. But the only way to be true to yourself — is to not fear people to unfollow you.
2. Flow like water
If you want people to unfollow you, you need to post a lot.
We are trained on social media to not post a lot. Because it will be ‘spammy’, and then people won’t like that.
Not only that, but we only post once a day (exactly at noon) because that is the ‘optimal’ time to get maximum ‘engagements’ and maximum likes/comments/followers/etc.
Frankly speaking, that is all bullshit. Just post however much (or little) as you want.
For me, I treat social media like water. I will publish a lot when I am inspired or have ideas I want to share. Then when I don’t want to share anything, I go quiet– sometimes for a few days, or even a few weeks or months.
So for example, on Instagram sometimes I post 10 photos in a row (in the course of 1 minute), and maybe I will go 10 days without posting a single image.
Lesson: either let your social media stream flow like water, or stop it completely.
3. Talk about politics
Social media is supposed to be a ‘safe place’. We are told to shut up, and not be political. We are told to be nice to everyone. We cannot talk about race, culture, nations, politics, economics, religion, spirituality, or anything that might divide people.
However the only way we can make social change in the world is to be political. To talk about ‘sensitive’ issues.
We need to be opinionated. My buddy Nassim Taleb says:
If you see fraud and you don’t scream fraud, you are a fraud.
It is simple ethics. If you see something that pisses you off– and you actually want to see a real change in society, scream at the top of your lungs (either in real life, or on social media).
This will cause people to unfollow you. But do you want those people with false beliefs to follow you anyways? If anything, it is good that you have people unfollowing you (either strangers on the internet, or your ‘friends’) — because it means you are saying what is true in your heart, which might ‘offend’ others.
Homework assignment: If you feel strongly about something politically, socially, or economically– go to social media and share why you are pissed off. Better yet, write a blog post on medium.com and make a rational argument why you are for or against a social/political/economic idea.
The sad reality is that social media is censored. Because social media is not ‘free speech.’ Companies like Facebook which owns Instagram, will censor ‘unfavorable’ news, or censor images which do not ‘meet community guidelines’.
For example, I uploaded a photo that was very racially and socially-controversial — it was a photo of a costume of a KKK member in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.
What I did was I changed the emblem on the chest of the KKK member into a Nazi Swatstika (to make the political statement that America should be careful not to become like NAZI’s). It got removed from Instagram with the message:
We removed your image because it did not follow community guidelines.
So either the algorithm of Facebook removed the image, or because it got reported/flagged.
If Instagram is getting politically censored because Facebook wants it to be a happy place (it doesn’t want to ‘offend’ users so they will stay on the platform to click on more ads, and Facebook to make more money) — shouldn’t we be worried about how reality is getting filtered? That we are just being given white-washed, pleasant cappuccino and cat photos– when the world is going to shit?
It is like the dystopic world of Aldous Huxley in his book ‘Brave New World.’ We still technically have ‘political freedom’ — but we don’t care, because we are all high and drugged on ‘soma’ (a drug, imagine like ecstacy and weed and alcohol, with no downsides). In today’s world, our ‘soma’ (drug) is social media– Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.
Empower yourself through social media/blogging:
- 50 Blogging Tips For Beginners
- The Social Media Blackbook for Photographers
- How to Start Your Own Photography Blog
- A Photographer’s Guide to SEO, Blogging, and Social Media
- How to Brand Yourself as a Photographer
- Advice for Aspiring Full-Time Photographers
- 1,000 True Fans
- The “10x Principle”: The Only Difference Between “Success” and “Failure”
- How to Become a Photography Teacher
- How to Teach a Street Photography Class
- Why I Teach Street Photography Workshops
- Trust: The Most Important Thing You Need to Succeed as a Photographer
- Why Do You Need More Likes or Followers?
- Don’t Go Into Debt For Your Photography
- Instagram is Going to Be the Next Facebook
- Don’t Trust “Free” Photography Social Networks