Do social media numbers matter?
Many people believe the more followers and “likes” they have the better their social media success is. In fact, the opposite is true. We place too much value on sheer numbers than on the actual types of followers and content that may or may not benefit our business.
Why all the hype when it comes to numbers? It’s true there are more things to worry about but many of us take this very seriously. The reality is that we have gotten used to the “like” button. It’s been around for a while – since it was introduced by Facebook – and ever since then we can like pretty much everything that is posted on all sorts of apps. It’s become a staple. Many see it as a way to measure if anyone has read what we post. The “like” button also stops that unwanted silence or “cricket sound” we try to avoid after we post something we feel passionate about or something we have worked hard on.
We want a response and that need has become a habit for many of us. We fall into this online trap very easily – especially when we see accounts that have high follow numbers and thousands of “likes”. But is it really that important? Of course, but it all comes down to what your audience is liking and why. We are social creatures after all. Even if you have 20 followers or 20,000, we should be grateful to have them and we should never lose site of the audience we have. These numbers have a strange way of making us feel good or bad about our online presence. It’s an instant gratification hit that can become addicting very quickly.
If you are a business and use social media regularly its good to stop and look at who is your audience is. This is not a popularity contest but we don’t want to be ignored either. Instead of chasing numbers try focussing on those who really like what you are doing. Even if it’s only 20 followers, that means these 20 people are the ones reading what you post, like what your post, comment on it and share it with their networks. This is your audience.
As social media grows, there are more people using it and posting whatever they want online without much care. Social media is used by teenagers to senior citizens for social reasons only. The rest of us are there to promote our services and businesses making that a lot of posting noise to push through. The one thing we do not want to do is sacrifice quality over quantity. You can post content all day but that des not mean anyone is actually paying attention.
Instead, we need to focus on making these posts help our brand. It comes down to a connection. When you focus highly on connecting to your audience you will then see the results you are looking for. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are consistent it will all fall into place with these tips:
Online reach does not always mean people are reading and looking at what you post. To gain more viewership is not about posting more often but, instead at the right times. Facebook is around 3:00 pm and Instagram is around 2:00 pm for example. This is not set in stone so pay attention when your page gets engagement the most and schedule your posts for that time. Another thing to focus on is content that gets the attention like videos and photos. They will help your reach more than just written text.
Types of followers
Try to encourage your followers to engage with your brand by asking questions, encouraging comments, and offering incentives to share your content. The best tried and true way to get the right followers is to constantly post high-quality content and by being strict with your high standards for the posts you share. Set the tone early on and stick with it. People will share content they find valuable, useful, fun, entertaining and informative so it’s no surprise that your content should be treated like a proverbial welcome mat to come on in and enjoy the online goods.
Develop a social media strategy. This strategy should incorporate elements of quality content, consistency, appropriate timing, and relevant engagement. What we need to focus on is how to bring in our audience. Genuine engagement should always be the focus. Remember, high numbers mean nothing if there isn’t any engagement or if you are not getting anything out of it. If these followers are not clients or buying your services then they will remain just numbers. Good ideas for content are:
- blog posts
- product photos showcasing their benefits
- Behind-the-scenes photos
- relevant hashtags
If you always focus on building a high-quality network comprised of users that will help you meet your business objectives, you will start seeing better results from your social media efforts. To create quality, focus on professional looking images always. Spell check everything you post and make sure all links lead viewers to the right place. Bad links are a turn off to many. Another good tip is to write in a friendly, down-to-earth way that brings in your audience. Avoid big words and too much jargon. Being yourself online has a way of drawing people in because it’s friendly and familiar.
We could post all over the place but that takes a lot of effort and time. Unless you have hired help to create content for you then try utilizing the ones that work best for your business. Take note that you can no longer reach your entire network organically. Due to algorithms, paid content and Facebook ads seem to be pushed ahead of the line. Which apps have the best organic reach? Right now Intstagram wins hands-down as far as reaching a wide audience because your audience will see more of what you post than Facebook or Twitter. Because Twitter is a 24/7 conversation it’s hard to always be on when the good stuff is happening. The amount of engagement will eventually tell you what apps will be your best business asset.
Never miss an opportunity to respond to your audience either by thanking them or answering questions. Certain companies are known for mingling well with their audiences such as Starbucks and Umbra. Take note of how they talk to their followers and what gets their attention.
Lastly, if you buy followers, not only are you spending money that will produce no return on investment, but you also run the risk of having your accounts suspended. The message is simple: never buy fake followers. It’s not worth it. Remember to focus on those who give you valuable engagement and always treat them like they are best online friends to your business.