Longtime followers of my blog know that I’ve been struggling with social media for a very long time. I’m more of a content creator than a marketer, and I would much rather spend my time creating great content than staying social and promoting my work on the interwebs. I know – I’ve got it all wrong. Any good marketer will tell you that to be successful you need to do the opposite – spend less time creating content and more time promoting. It seems ass-backwards but it works.
I’ve tinkered with the idea of hiring a social media manager to take over my social media accounts do all my promotion for me, but I’m not generating enough income yet to be able to afford something like that. Therefore, I’ve got to do this myself – and yet somehow try to fit it in to to my already busy schedule. That’s how I discovered Crowdfire.
I was desperate for help, short on cash, and looking for that turn-key social media management solution that would save my life. Crowdfire, sitting at the top of the most-downloaded list under the social media category in the App Store, was too tempting and impossible to resist.
I’ve been using Crowdfire for nearly three months now, and I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it’s all about. Long story short, there’s more about it that I don’t like then what I do like. So, in the same spirit as my Evernote pros and cons list, let’s get right into the pros and cons of Crowdfire and discuss what I can and can’t do for you when it comes to managing your social media accounts.
The pros and cons of using Crowdfire to build your brand
- It’s completely free 4 up to two accounts of the same network. For example, two Twitter accounts, two Instagram, two Pinterest Etc. If you want more than that you have to pay the annual subscription fee.
- You will get followers. What they promise is exactly true, and over time your social media accounts are guaranteed to grow.
- The daily reminders to take action and do the things they suggest are nice. Every day the app will remind you at the dedicated time to check the suggestions and recommendations it has for you in terms of growing your social media accounts (such as liking specific posts, following specific people, etc).
- Crowdfire works by getting everyone who subscribed to Crowdfire to help each other out. That means it will only recommend articles and images to share that have been posted by other Crowdfire members. I found that to be very limiting in terms of good content to share, and I never really could find exactly the right piece of content to share for one of my blogs that is a very small niche. Specific references to that particular niche didn’t exist it all on crowdfire, making it useless for that account.
- Over time, I learned that the only new followers that I was getting through Crowdfire were the kind of people who were following tens or even hundreds of thousands of other people. Basically, the kind of people who subscribe to the idea of “follow4follow” and have no intention of ever seeing anything that you post to your social media accounts.
- Nearly everybody on Crowdfire has the same goal: getting more followers. In the three months that I’ve been using Crowdfire, I only met one person who genuinely enjoyed my content and we eventually became internet friends. The rest simply followed me because I followed them, and if I unfollowed them they unfollowed me as well.
- While it is very easy to connect to your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts (among others), Crowdfire does not have the ability to help you promote your blog if it is of the self-hosted variety. You must be on wordpress.com or blogger for the blog promotion tool to work. If you have a self-hosted WordPress site there’s simply no way to connect it to crowdfire. This is a big problem for me as blogging is my thing and all of my blogs are self-hosted WordPress sites. Therefore, I’m limited to promoting just my Twitter and Instagram accounts with Crowdfire which is very disappointing.
As much as I want to like Crowdfire, it has done absolutely nothing for me in 3 months of use other than to build my social media following with “followers” who don’t care about me or anything that I post. As such, the only way I could get these people to follow me in the first place was to follow them, which wasn’t a very good idea anyway because I honestly didn’t care about most of them and the content they were creating either. See how that works?
Don’t waste your time with Crowdfire – it’s not worth it
The only thing Crowdfire is generally good at is basic social media padding. By that, I mean it’s a great tool to boost your follower numbers on social media but you aren’t likely to get get any customers or die-hard followers from it. I know a lot of people who are focused on follower numbers only, and I’m not against that – I do understand the appeal of trying to get as many followers as you can get. However, you’ll eventually realize that when it comes to social media followers, quality is always better than quantity. Who cares if you have 50,000 followers if they don’t engage with any of your posts and purchase your products? I’d rather have 100 real followers on Twitter and Instagram who can’t wait for every single thing that I post rather than 50,000 who don’t care about me or anything that I do.
The only effective way to grow your social media accounts with raging (and engaging) followers is to do it slowly and manually, taking the time to personally interact with people and build real relationships. Crowdfire simply cannot help you with that.