Don’t Get Too Hung Up on Follower Counts on Social Media

Follower counts are a common mark of pride on social media, and a small follower count can be worrying for any brand trying to stay competitive in the digital market. But when it comes to your overall business strategy, these numbers alone can be deceiving.


What is the Value of Social Media Engagement?


It can be frustrating to feel that your posts aren’t getting attention when you post on social media, especially when you’re using the technology to promote your business. From low follower counts to posts that seem to fall on deaf ears, these stats can make a brand feel invisible online.


However, there are two reasons why these low numbers aren’t necessarily a big deal. First of all, it takes small and medium business brands time to position themselves online and gain recognition. It doesn’t make sense for businesses on this scale to compare themselves to a major international brand with a long history and instant recognition. In many ways, social media marketing is a long game, not a short sprint. The fact that you don’t have the engagement you want now doesn’t mean you’ll never get it. If you’re patient and use a good strategy, your engagement numbers will start to turn around.


The second and perhaps more important reason small follower counts and low engagement isn’t necessarily a bad thing is that interaction in the social media space doesn’t necessarily translate to higher sales and more success in the business realm. Social media is ultimately a popularity contest, and even social networks themselves can struggle to monetize the activity on their platforms. Being popular on social media isn’t an end goal in itself for most businesses, and it’s important to remember that.


“Going Viral” Isn’t the Only Way to Succeed


It’s important to remember, too, that even the big brands often struggle both to find their voice and to provide content that draws the right kind of attention. The truth is that the things that get the most attention online, the things that go viral, are often a surprise even to the brands and behind-the-scenes creators responsible for that content. It can be hard to tell what the right approach to viral success is until the content is out there in the digital world and is (or isn’t) drawing reactions.


If you’re a small to medium business, chances are that you don’t have the resources to spend on research and development—and celebrity involvement—for a viral campaign. Instead, you can take a slow and steady approach while hoping that some of your content will be good enough to draw large-scale shares and attention. Scale is an important consideration on social media. Having 50 super engaged followers who respond to the questions you post, share photos of your products and tag your business in glowing reviews is better than having 50,000 followers who share and like everything you post but never actually buy what you’re selling.

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