Whether you are a brand or an influencer, you have most likely found yourself caught up in the crazy race to grow your social media audience and constantly striving to hit the next big milestone. But what you really need to focus on is building an engaged community of advocates who genuinely love your brand and content, rather than a large audience that don't really care about what you post.
Here are 5 reasons why your engagement rate is more important than your follower count.
1: You know your audience is real
These days, it's common for social media account owners to go ahead and buy followers out of desperation, lack of patience and lack of knowledge. Yes, the bought followers boost your numbers and allow you to appear popular, these paid followers will never actually engage with your content and usually, they are bot accounts anyway! These accounts don't drive engagement because they aren't managed by humans.
So, it's always better to take the time to grow your audience organically so that you can have genuine engagement from your community, the rest of the world will know they genuinely love your brand and that they are real people, endorsing your product or service.
2: User-generated content is created
If your audience is engaged, chances are they will want to create content about your brand and be an active member of the community. As a result, user-generated content is created, which promotes your brand to an extended network.
Once you notice your audience advocating for you more, you should consider creating a special hashtag for your brand and encourage your community to tag your brand in their posts. This gives you additional content for your stories and feed while also reaching out to a wider audience.
3: Increased conversion rate
Conversions in the form of sales or clicks (or whatever your KPI is) are ultimately what most influencers, brands and businesses should be hoping to achieve from their social media strategy rather than just for vanity purposes. Large numbers don't necessarily mean a high conversion rate. Focus on the fact that having a highly engaged community of customers is much better (and scalable) than a large community of consumers who won't convert to a paying customer. If they are not engaged and interested in your brand, why would they make a purchase?
4: You earn trust
Having a large following looks good and means your content is likely receiving a lot of impressions, but that doesn't mean much if there is no interaction between the account owner and the follower. This is a big one in the influencer marketing space, as influencers with high engagement often drive the best ROI because consumers value their recommendations. Brands and consumers are more likely to do business with you if they notice high, organic engagement. These days, it's pretty easy to measure engagement with engagement rate calculators online, so if you think your low engagement will go unnoticed, it wont!
5: Engaged followers build relationships
Lastly, it is important to shift your focus from the numbers to the engagement because it ultimately helps build relationships that last. If you are a business to consumer business, you will have first hand experience of the fact that building a relationship with your customers and consumers is critical to the success of your sales funnel, so the best place to start this is on your top performing social media platforms.
So next time you feel pressure to grow your social media numbers, consider these 5 points and shift your focus to engagement instead. And if you want to know a secret, high engagement actually leads to rapid audience growth!