Why audience engagement is more important than your follower count
Fixated on your social media follower numbers? Not sure how to build your audience? Then read on!
Richard Miranda, Head of Marketing at Digital Mums is here to give us the low down on why audience engagement is more important than your follower count, and to share his top tips for building engagement.
Audience engagement is key
Initially most businesses didn’t get how to use social media. It was once seen as a frivolous add-on; something to give the intern. Establishing any sort of return on investment was difficult and follower numbers seemed the most obvious way of quantifying this. The more followers the better, right?
This has slowly changed over time as bigger brands realised that large follower numbers were having no impact on their bottom line. Unfortunately, many small businesses with limited social media experience still suffer from an obsession with follower numbers. But actually, when it comes to social media, engagement is much more important than follower numbers.
Depth is more important than breadth
If you’re a business using social media, you’re looking to sell your product or service. Social media has a whole host of other benefits, but that’s what it comes down to in the end. In this context, a smaller, more engaged audience who you build real relationships with is more valuable than a larger audience that isn’t engaged. That’s because, to paraphrase social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk, having three people follow you on social media and buy your stuff is better than one hundred following you and only one buying.
3 tips for building audience engagement
- Don’t just broadcast at them: By broadcast I mean just posting on your own social media pages rather than jumping into conversations; talking rather than listening. Curating and creating content is all well and good, but to get results on social media you have to get out there, proactively join conversations and interact with your audience. Doing this goes a long way to building an engaged audience. It’s much easier to schedule a few tweets every day, but this won’t drive results.
- Add value rather than sell: Nothing is more boring than a business constantly hawking its wares on social media. People are on social media to be entertained and educated. Understand your audience, provide them lots of value and they won’t mind you selling to them occasionally.
- Put in the work: There’s no getting around this. Engagement can’t be hacked. People know when they’re being automated to. Like anything, you need to actually put the time into social media to make it work. Schedule social media into your week and actually stick to it.
Prioritise engaging with your audience
It’s true that a high follower count can go some way to establishing you with some credibility with clients. But if you focus on this at the expense of engagement (like many small businesses do), you won’t build a relevant audience that likes what you do.
An audience that likes what you do is more likely to talk about you, recommend you to others and buy things from you. That means learning how to engage your audience on social media should be very high up your list of priorities.
We’ll be sharing top social media tips from Digital Mums via the blog over the coming months so stay tuned.