Social Media: It’s About Engagement, Not The Number Of Followers
Likes, followers, comments – which of these are most important when it comes to social media?
Truthfully, it’s not about getting the most of any of these. In social media, like in many other things in digital marketing, what matters most is quality. And the best quality determinant in the social media world is engagement.
What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement includes all of the ways in which people interact with brands: from likes to comments to shares on the brand’s posts. Ideally, you want all of your followers to consistently provide you with feedback on your social media posts, whether they ‘like’ them, leave a comment, or share it with their own audience. Doing so not only indicates that what you are sharing is of good quality, but also feeds into various social media algorithms that determine which posts will actually show up on a person’s feed. For example, Facebook and Instagram posts are not shown chronologically, or entirely: instead, these platforms give priority to posts from accounts which you have a history of engaging with (or posts that are sponsored, i.e. paid to be displayed in front of more people). It’s actually pretty brilliant if you think about it, because you end up seeing more of the content that you’ve indicated interest in.
You can see how important this is for businesses and brands who want their social media posts to reach a wider audience. If your followers are not engaging with your content, they likely aren’t seeing your content show up in their feeds – and if they’re not seeing your posts, then they’re going to continue to not engage. It becomes this vicious circle.
How do you get out of the engagement rut? By slowly growing your following so that it’s comprised of people who liked your account because they enjoy your content. You then need to focus on continually sharing awesome content that’s worth engaging with. Engagement is a “function of trust and knowledge,” both of which take time to build with your audience.
31k+ followers and only one like on a post? This Facebook page has very low engagement.
How Engaged Are Your Followers?
Here’s the thing: it’s not about how many followers you have. You can have thousands of people “like” your Facebook page or follow your Instagram account, with hardly any of them engaging with your posts. Sometimes when this is the case, you can tell when a brand or business has “bought” followers just to inflate their audience numbers. Because these purchased followers have not organically and naturally liked the account, they are less inclined to proactively engage with it. So while the account may look to be popular and followed by thousands, the reality is that they’re not posting content that inspires their audience to interact.
Instead, it’s better to look at engagement relative to audience size. How many likes, comments, and shares are you bringing in compared to the number of followers and fans of your social media account? Small accounts with more interaction have a much higher engagement rate than larger accounts with less interaction. High engagement indicates so many positive things about your brand: that you’re posting useful content, you’re trustworthy, helpful, entertaining, and above all: that you are connecting with your audience. What does a high number of followers show? That a whole lot of people clicked the ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button – it’s not necessarily an indicator of quality and worth.
If you’re new(-ish) to the social media game, focus on sharing quality content that inspires engagement ather than on rapidly growing your following. Your audience will naturally grow over time the more you establish your expertise and authenticity. If you don’t have the time to consistently post great content, consider hiring a digital marketing agency in Melbourne to manage your social media accounts, or hiring an agency that provides copywriting services in Melbourne to create awesome posts that inspire social media engagement.