I received a lot of questions in regards to the, “Don’t follow for follow”, recommendation. I realized that the reason behind it isn’t known by most people.
What do you want most after you post something? I suspect that most of us want comments, echoes, and likes. In other words, we all want engagement. Let’s assume for a second that you F4F’d your way to 30k followers and 30k people that you yourself are following. I have seen people leave Parler because they weren’t getting the engagement they wanted, even though they had a large number of followers.
There are two main problems with F4F:
1. The people that follow you only care that you follow them back. They usually don’t care about your content and they will often unfollow you if they see that you didn’t follow them back.
2. People that are following more than 2k people, Give or take, will most likely never engage with you. Their feed is moving very quickly and there is a very small chance that they will see your post in their feed.
Many users came from Twitter where F4F is widely practiced. You likely experienced the same thing on Twitter, but they also curate your main feed. Twitter will often boost posts that do well and put those at the top of your feed. This is based on their algorithm, which is part of the reason why you probably left Twitter. Parler only organizes posts based off of when they were posted. In other words, the most recent posts show up at the top of your feed. As a result, the more people you follow, the faster your feed will update. John Matze called F4F, “Parler suicide”. If everyone does this, all of our feeds will move too quickly and most posts will never be seen. What would you rather have, 30k followers with 1% engagement or 1k followers with every single one of them commenting, echoing, and voting for your posts?
In conclusion, if you have 30k followers and those followers are all following 2k+ people, what you end up with is very low engagement. In this scenario, posts will have to get echoed repeatedly over a short period of time in order to be seen. If it doesn’t get echoed quickly, the post will fail to be seen by most of your followers.
I recommend that you follow people you are actually interested in, because they will likely follow you back if they like your content. Over time, you’ll be able to build your own following and you’ll know that people followed you, for you.