Follower Count Vs Engagement: Which Should You Pay More Attention To?
If someone were to ask you, “How do you know when you’re doing well on social media?”, what would your answer be?
When people first think of social media success, chances are they think of getting as many followers as they can. In the past, a high follower count was the ultimate element of social proof online. It’s an easy way to compare brands against their competitors, choose influencers to work with, and measure supposed social media success. After all, the more followers, the better, right? It only makes sense that the higher a brand’s follower count, the more credible they are.
But in more recent times, the opportunities made readily available to buy followers and likes have grown exponentially and for a relatively cheap price too. With this in mind, the number of followers that you have on social media isn’t always the best indication of how well your posts are actually performing.
So, what is?
Engagement. This element of social media analytics refers to the behaviour and actions of users towards content – the likes, comments, shares, video views.
Now, why should you place more importance on your social media engagement, rather than how high your follower count is?
Engagement has an effect on the visibility of your posts
We’re sure that, by now, you’ve heard the terms ‘Instagram Algorithm’, ‘Facebook Algorithm’ and ‘YouTube Algorithm’. Every social media platform has an algorithm; a specific way of showing your posts to other people, whether they’re your followers or not.
More recently, the algorithms have been designed to show posts that the platform thinks you and your audience will most likely engage with. Gone are the days of chronological order on social media. These days, the more engagement your post has within the first hour, the better your chances are at having your content reach more people. Why? Because the platform wants people to stay for as long as possible. If it believes that your content is what people want to see, then the platform will show your content more often and to a wider range of people.
You can build relationships and earn trust
If you’re engaged with your audience as they are with you, you can truly build a community on social media. Having an active community means that your posts will gain constant engagement over time. It’s also a great opportunity for you to encourage User Generated Content, which can often perform quite well as people enjoy knowing that their favourite brands see their content too.
Establishing a sense of trust and community between you and your customers is a way to not only keep them engaged with you as a company, but can ultimately convert them from audience members to paying customers.
You know your audience consists of real people
What feels better than seeing your follower count skyrocket? Knowing that your posts are being engaged with by real people, not bots!
Having real people following you means that your quality of followers is actually much higher than accounts that rely on bots to boost their numbers.
Additionally, remember that your audience has an audience of their own. When your posts are being engaged with by your audience, their audience will see it too – especially if your audience regularly shares your content on their own accounts.
It’s no secret that a large follower count is something many brands and businesses have aimed for in the past, but now, think about this: What would you rather have? 10,000 followers, only 100 of whom engage with your posts, or 5,000 followers, 2,000 of whom regularly like, comment and click on your posts?
Carmela is a Social Media Coordinator at Milkbar Digital. With a love of design and writing, she enjoys bringing creative and copy together to create a meaningful connection between clients and their customers.
In her spare time, you’ll likely find her with her nose in a book, getting lost on Pinterest, or trying her hand at creating her own YouTube videos.
Looking for a way to up your social media, but not sure what needs doing? Milkbar Digital is a Melbourne social media and digital marketing agency here to help business small and large. If you need help with your social media or don’t know where to begin, get in touch!