If you have 10,000 followers, but no one is buying from you, then who cares if you have 10,000 followers? If you have 100 followers and 100 people are buying from you, doesn’t that seem better? It’s time for businesses to start prioritizing engagement over follower count when it comes to social media. Follower count is a vanity metric that really doesn’t do much to drive your business unless it is paired with high engagement.
We have to retrain our brains to think differently when it comes to social media. Here are four things to focus on instead of follower count.
#1: Quality of followers
High quality followers are highly engaged and even loyal customers. They will be the first to act as brand ambassadors because they know you and they believe in what you have to say. This will help to increase brand awareness so you are top of mind. Overall, focusing on building a community of high quality followers will lead to more meaningful and relevant interactions.
#2: Engagement metrics
Increased engagement usually means higher visibility and a more interactive social experience within your community. It is also indicative of how much your audience likes your content. A few of the engagement metrics you can track are likes, comments, shares/retweets, and saves. Certain platforms favour different metrics over others. For example, Instagram algorithms favour saves and shares. The key to tracking engagement is that you should identify your overall social media goals first so you can choose which metrics you want to focus on most. Your content strategy may vary based on different metrics.
#3: Content value
Everything you do should be centered around the needs of your audience. If you focus on providing value for your audience you will find that your connection becomes stronger. It will also increase overall engagement. You can provide value through various different content strategies. A few to try are:
- Long captions: More information sharing, and encourages people to save/bookmark your posts
- High impact visuals: This will increase sharing and help to draw people to your content
- Giving away almost too much information for free: Especially good for professional services, it showcases your expertise and separates those that want to do DIY from those that would prefer to pay for a professional.
- Video: Your audience is consuming more and more video online because it is easy to digest information.
Test what content resonates best with your audience or, better yet, ask them what they want to see. If you’re really listening, you will get some great insight into the types of content you should create.
Timing is everything on social media. While many social media platforms have built in analytics to show you when your audience is online or when they are most active, it takes a bit a trial and error to find what works best for you. Plan ahead and track when you are posting so you can see what works best.
Stop looking at social media as a popularity contest and start getting more social with your strategy. The more emphasis you put on your relationship with your followers, the more successful your strategy will be.
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.