The observant and thinking reader and the writer may, from time to time, wonder where the saying comes from. From time to time, in conversation and in literary circles – this could be Avant Gard or it could be quite contemporary – mention is made of the mushrooming effect. It is quite a curious metaphor. What could it mean when there is the talk of substantial growth, in this case, when the talk revolves around more followers for Instagram marketing or promotional purposes.

Impatient, and yet, ambitious and adventurous readers may also be wondering; why to start life as an Instagram activist with four followers when you can have so many more. Why not, indeed. But when you think about it; why not four then. Look at it this way. For your own promotional purposes, whether you are marketing your business online or off to raise awareness on something very close to your heart, would it not be better to start your marketing and advertising, or promotional campaign with four quality, star performers than be saddled with a long listing that could surely confuse you and overwhelm you.

Confuse you in the sense that you are left wondering, just who are these people. Overwhelm you in the sense that you are left wondering, just how are you going to cope. How are you going to be able to respond to all the comments, and that is only if, a big if, they comment at all. And are any of these comments relevant to the news and information you are posting on your Instagram platform. You are left with additional and unnecessary work, sifting the wheat from the chaff.

And how long will that take you? Do you have that kind of timewasting at your disposal? Hardly not when you are this serious about your business, commercial or personal. Yes, lets. Let’s rather start out with four followers. Let’s look at the typical characteristics of such followers. They are relevant to your platform’s theme or subject criteria. This could mean that they are rivals or so-called frenemies.

‘Frenemies’ are your fellow competitors, but you end up helping each other out. You all follow the basic and ethical rules of social media (self)promotion. Whether you have asked the question directly or hinted at it in your posts, you are appealing to visitors and potential followers for their support. This does not necessarily mean that they will be buying goods and services from you. But what they will be doing is this.

On your behalf, and on your request, they will be promoting your work. This is usually done by ticking off likes against your regular posts and forwarding them on to online areas that may not be under your radar currently. And like the ethical activist that you are, you reciprocate the support by doing likewise. Also, you are, in turn, following known leaders. Known well and popularly supported, and your active participation on their platforms gets you noticed.