The Trend of Vanity Metrics & Why You Don't Want To Follow It

We shared an article over on our Twitter a few weeks ago that first appeared on Harper’s Bazaar. The article talked about Danielle Bernstein, the 22 year old blogger at WeWoreWhat, and her $15,000 contracts for Instagram sponsorship. This got us thinking about the attraction of follower counts and the difficulties posed when brands see such numbers equivalenting as no-brainer influencers.

High follower counts are attractive, bloggers and other online influencers know that they’re one of the first things brands look at – it’s unfortunate that the trend of hundreds and thousands didn’t just settle with Griffins x Whittakers. With popularity being based on a number, companies have been established in the business of ‘selling’ followers. A quick Google search of ‘buy followers’ brings up a myriad of suggested searches, and a whopping 428,000,000 results.

“Buy Instagram Followers from $2.95 only!”, “Buy Twitter followers – 1000 for $5 20000 for $10” or “Buy Twitter Followers Cheap As From $1 – 18,000 For $15”, the one thing they have in common is the awareness of buzz words. But with the offer of ~ $15,000 contracts, who cares if you play with your follower account a little?

Us. And other brands, agencies and bloggers. It’s an upsetting mentality when We Are Anthology knows paid-for content should emphasise less on reach and more on engagement, 20,000 spam bots aren’t likely to pop out to the local department store and pick up that new lipstick they’ve not seen on their Instagram feed. Your 3,000 human followers might. The trend is called ‘vanity metrics’ and it aims to increase the perceived value of the account at hand, but when you’ve 50,000 followers yet getting 50 likes per post, the vanity quality becomes a little redundant.

We Are Anthology is an influencer marketing agency, so we’re often reached out to by brands basing their entire outreach strategy on these vanity statistics. The world of buying followers isn’t totally unmoderated, but We Are Anthology expresses thoughtful consideration on the topic. With a number of cases of follower buying in New Zealand, we have learned to pay serious, quality attention to which influencers we work with.

It is important that this industry understands the complexity that has birthed from the endless advances of technology, and with new social platforms surfacing with a whole new generation of online celebrities, We Are Anthology is issuing a public service announcement:

Don’t buy followers, grow organically, work with trusted people, expand & differentiate, and most of all, STAY TRUE TO YOU.