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This is very short sighted for two related reasons.

  1. In order to appeal to the masses, you have to think ‘lowest common denominator’…which in turn means watering down your content. If you read all the posts about “how I got 20K followers on Medium” and read deeply, the answer is to write more crap — empty calories, extended memes. And do it a lot. More importantly you need ‘compelling’ headlines, which means you either a. Make bold outlandish statements to drive ‘engagement’ — which may just be complaints — or b. deliver false promises that take the form if a very simple if/then paradigm e.g. do these 8 things before 8 am and you’ll be successful. Yes, the lowest common denominator craves more content that offers exceptional returns for minimal investment in energy. They really do. But this is who you are writing to if your objective is to stack up your numbers. Might as well go into the business of selling ab machines while you’re at it. Great companion business.
  2. Because there is so much noise out there from many sources, the world is starting to show signs of what they call ‘feed fatigue’. What you can expect is that the bar is going to be raised for what useful content is..and if you start disrespecting people in exchange for their attention they will start tuning you out. One of Twitter’s problems is that people like me are sick of the crap in their feeds and muting/unfollowing people. The content is all sounding the same, only with more desperate tactics to get my attention with the headlines. Soon, less will be more and impact will be king, as people demand high ROI on their time. Millennials are leading this charge of no longer being tricked into engaging because it’s now they roll. Marketers are already starting to care less about marketing to social media profiles that have a lot of followers. Fewer, more engaged followers is becoming the metric, and we are learning to better understand what quality engagement looks like. We’re moving past likes, shares and comments and looking more for signals of influence. Authenticity is what matters. When this mentality starts to sweep society at large, it’ll happen in a blink.

So there’s not necessarily a right or wrong strategy since there are other factors that affect any of our distinct situations in terms of what outcomes we wish to cause. I would just say that what works today may not work tomorrow. Literally, tomorrow. I would caution you though to think about focusing more on serving a defined consumer base well than building a business around a numerical objective. Will get you consistently further in the long run, if that matters to you at all.

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