Followers vs. engagement: What’s more important?

When I first visit my clients, what they initially say is they want more followers on social media. While this is a fair objective, it’s also vital to understand that your follower count isn’t the most significant indicator of social media success. ‘Engagement’ is a much more effective measure.

Want more followers?

Forget the numbers for just a second and focus more on creating beautiful, shareable, relevant content.¬†Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have complex algorithms that serve your posts up to consumers depending on how it’s resonated. For example, if a photo you’ve posted doesn’t get any likes, then it’s less likely to appear in people’s newsfeeds.

Size doesn’t matter

The size of your audience is irrelevant if none of them are paying attention! While it’s important to have followers to prove that your business is legitimate and well-established, it’s more important that those followers actually engage with your content. Having 1,000 followers who don’t like or comment on your posts is actually not better than having 100 followers who like, share, and have conversations around the content you work so hard to publish. Also, having 1,000 fans who are unlikely to buy from you is not going to work as well as having 100 loyal fans who do.

Relevance, relevance, relevance

Have a think about the kind of followers you actually want in order for your business to grow? More than likely you’d want them to be local to your area, and to fit within your target demographic; so design your content accordingly. There’s no point posting fun memes and content to resonate with a younger audience if your target demographic are older people. Your target audience should dictate the ‘voice’ of your brand, and appeal to them in order to boost engagement.

How to build engaging posts

Building a community of engaged users takes time and effort. Have a think about the content you’re posting. Are you inviting people to engage, or are you simply ‘broadcasting’? Ensure you’re including a call-to-action with each post, for example, asking your fans to tag a friend who may be interested in your post. The bottom line is that the content you share has to be relevant and interesting enough for people to share it with others. If you want more followers then this will organically happen if you’re posting the right kind of content.

Use analytics to your advantage

All social media platforms have some level of insights or analytics that will show you in detail how well your content is resonating with your audience, so use this information to constantly assess your efforts and tweak accordingly. Have a think about whether the time of day you’re publishing has a positive or negative effect on engagement. Similarly, did a particular call-to-action work well previously? Did a photo gain traction? Get to know your audience and use this information to improve your content.

Want more followers? Forget it. Remember that it’s not the size of your audience that matters: it’s the content you’re serving them, and whether it’s encouraging engagement. Give us a shout if you’d like more guidance on how to boost engagement.