Quality trumps quantity in social media followers

Friday, August 12, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 33

How many times have you found yourself staring at your company’s social media page wondering why you are struggling to get your followers to engage?

It’s easy to wonder how so many people could have so little to say.

Many of us have gotten caught in the wormhole of chasing followers, expecting a predictable correlation between the number of followers you have and the engagement that will reflect on your page.

Having more followers is not the answer to social media world domination; quality is. Quality followers share your content, comment and like your posts. The value of one truly engaged follower is worth any number of “placeholder” followers.

How do you build a higher quality and loyal following? Start by gaining a better understanding of how well your followers align with your target market by assessing the follower demographic information provided by social media sites.

If you target local customers and 50 percent of your followers are international, then you know there is a gap between your current and ideal follower profile.

Your followers are on your pages either because of their existing brand loyalty, because they’re considering buying from your brand or because they are seeking a resource for industry news and information.

Keep these likely followers’ motives in mind when developing content that will inspire your ideal followers to engage, and always ask yourself if you’d be inclined to share or comment on the content you’re about to post.

Spend time reaching out to your target audience. Participate in conversations online around the subjects that are relevant to your brand by joining groups or searching hashtags. Social media relationships are beginning to mimic our offline relationships, which means you have to open up and be visible so people know you are there.

Figure out who the online influencers are in your industry.

Follow what they are doing, engage them and invite them to comment on the things you are doing as well.

Nothing spells engagement like a well-planned giveaway. Periodic contests for your loyal base of followers will help them stay engaged, help you attract new followers, and just keep the activity up on your pages. Be sure that the prizes align with the type of gifts that your followers would be interested in.

Continued variety in these contests is key to engagement.

Review contest results periodically to determine which are proving most effective for your brand.

Social media success boils down to understanding the makeup of your followers, creating a space where they feel appreciated, and offering quality, relevant content that inspires them to take action.

After all, the end game is to attract quality, engaged followers that stay with you as your brand grows.

Rhonnie Brewer, Account Strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing, can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.