As the owner of a digital marketing agency it seems like every other day I hear someone complain about their social media because they don’t have enough followers. Whenever I hear this I cringe because I know that person has been wasting valuable time and maybe even money trying to follow everyone on Instagram hoping they’ll follow them back. Even worse, some people go to eBay and actually buy followers! That makes me want to cry.
The fact of the matter is engagement is much more important than how many followers you have. Don’t get me wrong, whenever we help a client reach a milestone like 10,000 followers we celebrate, but that’s because those followers are hard earned and it took us a while to get there because we used the proper methods. Proper methods means we didn’t follow 20,000 people in hopes to get 10,000 to follow us back and we certainly didn’t buy them. We’ll cover what these methods are in a separate post, but what’s most important is that your followers are actually engaging with your posts.
There have been countless studies done on what an average engagement percentage looks like and they all seem to land around 4%. This means that if you have 1,000 followers you should be getting at least 40 engagements from them when you post. This means likes, comments and video views. An easy way to spot an account with fake followers is to look at how many likes their recent posts have gotten. If you see an account with 15,000+ followers but they’re only getting 200 or so likes, they have 10,000+ fake followers. Now, fake doesn’t necessarily mean bought, but it means useless nonetheless. If you got a follow just for following someone chances are they don’t really care about your content.
What this all boils down to is VALUE! You need to offer something of value to your followers when you post. This doesn’t mean 10% off your services, it means great photos on Instagram, interesting posts on Facebook/Twitter, and entertaining / useful content on Snapchat. We have plenty of data on this and can prove that it works. We’ve managed Instagram accounts that were just a few weeks old and through posting content that people care about and using hashtags that people actually search we were able to get 50% engagement from our followers. Wouldn’t you rather have 200 followers, 100 of which actively engage with your posts rather than 100,000 followers who couldn’t care less about what you have to say? Give me a room of 100 attentive people any day!