The Truth Is…
On social media, follower numbers aren’t everything.
It might seem like a contradictory statement. After all, what is a social media presence without a corresponding community to validate it? Many clients that I’ve worked with have cited followers as a trusted KPI. While this may have been acceptable in the early days of social, it isn’t as reliable now. Growth is important, yes, but does that growth support your business’ overall goals?
1000 followers isn’t infallible. Neither is 100. The true measure of effectiveness isn’t the number, but the characteristics and behavior of the audience itself.
In other words, it’s about quality, not quantity.
Followers can be paid for, and bots are pervasive across all social media platforms. Racking up such vanity metrics is no more difficult than an everyday Google search. The true quest for social media efficacy lies in who your business is targeting, and building a community around those demographics.
In a recent meeting with one of our clients, my colleague presented the above graph. It depicts the number of likes for two competitors (green and blue) and our client’s (red) Facebook pages. It’s an imposing visualization and one that spawned many questions regarding how numbers define us. The next graph, showing each page’s engagement rate over a period of months, answered that question in full:
There are endless companies and brands who are guilty of the above disparity. Focusing on the wrong metric can lead to confusion as to the potential of social media. In building our client’s community, we were adamant in a slow and steady approach. Our priority was creating a true reflection of current and potential customers who would bring value to the Facebook page. We gave precedence to humanization and facilitating two way-communication. Said value is now an ever-burgeoning engagement with the brand that has extended into the offline space.
As with any medium, there is no shortcut to success. Social media requires a level of understanding, testing, tweaking, and refining overtime. The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it too. Finding that balance between followers and engagement will be indispensable in the long-run. All it requires is that you give your audience the time of day.
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