Often a Small-but-Engaged Audience is More Valuable than a Large-but-Passive Audience

Time and time again I hear business owners say, “I need more followers”, for either their Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter page.

The question is, is it really a “need” or is it more of a “want”? You want more followers, but are they the right followers for your business?

I know what you’re thinking.

“If you get someone to follow you, then maybe their friends and family will follow too”, or, “The amount of followers is important, people tend to follow accounts who have a lot of followers already”.

True, the amount of followers is great performance indicator to track but it should not be your main KPI (key performance indicator), your engagement should. What is the point of having 10,000 followers when your Facebook posts only get 1-2 likes or your Instagram post gets 30 likes? You want to gain followers who are interested in you and your product. People will follow and engage with you if they feel the content being provided is relevant to them.

Social Media Isn’t Just About Likes

It is about growing a community who is interested in and brings value to your brand. It is about getting your community to interact with you, to comment, to react, to share and to buy. Likes do not tell the whole story, which is why you have to dig deeper into your feed.

For example, let’s look at these two big brands on Facebook who are competitors: LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders.

The LA Galaxy have 1.8M followers and the Sounders have 732K followers, while there is a significant difference in the amount of followers (even though both are very high), the engagement between their posts tend to be drastically different.

Look at the difference between not only video views, but post reactions, comments and shares! The Seattle Sounders have engaged their followers far more than LA Galaxy, even with them having fewer followers. They have established a strong community who is passionate about their product and have been able to get reactions from their followers on a consistent basis.

These are the metrics that count more than the amount of followers you have. It is your connection to your audience, how they interact with your business and value they provide. Because at the end of the day you are running a business and your goal should be to keep the followers you already have coming back to support and purchase your product or service time and time again.

Gary Vaynerchuk said it best:

Let’s say you have 20,000 followers on Instagram and 12,000 of them buy ten copies of your book because you posted about it. That type of conversion means you have an engaged audience consuming your content. That’s valuable.

On the other hand, let’s say you have 200,000 purchased fans. When you post something and it gets zero engagement, those followers have zero value because (1) they either don’t care about your content or (2) they’re not real. Either way, your follower count does not represent their real value to you.

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But They’re Big Brands with Big Budgets

You are correct, companies with bigger marketing budgets have an upper hand in creating compelling content at a more frequent rate that is going to resonate with people and get them to engage, but that shouldn’t stop you.

We work with dental practices and when it comes to their social media, we always say “show you and your team doing what you do best”. Let people in behind the scenes, this is what is going to connect better with your audience. Trust us, it works – just look at Beaufils Dental below:

Because in reality, who really wants to follow a dental practice? Unless you’re truly a fanatic of the dental field, an employee of the practice (even then) or a friend/family member of the owner, the first instinct wouldn’t be to find a practice on social media and follow them.

So when you do gain a follower, whether it’s 1, 100, or 1,000 a month, your mentality shouldn’t be “I still don’t have as many followers as my competitor”, – it should be, “how do I keep my followers and engage them with our business? How can I get them to share our content and influence others to follow us as well”, and “how can I get as much value from them as possible?”.

Once you have a follower (or a fan), make it your goal to keep them as one. Getting them to follow you is not the only step nor is it the last. It’s the first of many. Which is why we recommend you share a combination of:

  • Behind-the-scenes images or videos of you and your staff
  • Professional FAQ and Live videos
  • Informational images about your industry
  • Blog posts and tips

Having a great mix of entertaining and informative content will help keep your followers coming back to your page – make that your goal.

We will leave you with this great short video by Damien Fullerton:

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