When we think about the success of a social media account we often look straight at the followers and make our decisions. This often means that we consider an account whose followers don’t grow quickly as being unsuccessful and that there must be something wrong with their social media plan. However, have you ever taken the time to look at how much engagement an account with hundreds of thousands of followers actually gets? Some accounts with large followings only receive a smattering of likes in comparison to how many people follow them. This shows that though people are following them, they aren’t engaging and might not even be seeing the account on their timeline (thanks, algorithms!). So, what does this mean?
The Algorithm Is Against You
Instagram and Facebook algorithms are changing all the time, but it seems to be the case that the more your audience engages with your posts, the higher the chance that they will keep seeing your posts on their feed. Have you ever noticed that your Instagram stories almost always start with the influencers, friends, and brands that you check out the most? Have you also noticed that if you keep watching those stories, you will keep seeing those same accounts and not much else? That’s the algorithm at work! Therefore, if you want your brand to be seen as much as you’re seeing that one influencer with really great fashion taste or who has that adorable baby, then you are going to need to get people to seek out your account and see it as much as possible. But this can be hard to achieve.
Organic Reach Hates You
Unfortunately, over the last few years organic reach on platforms like Facebook has dropped massively, so building from the ground up takes a lot of work. In order to get a boost you either need to invest in a lot of promoted posts or you need to build engagement naturally. Either way, getting page likes and follows won’t get you that far. You need people to be liking, commenting, and sharing your post – which is why you will often see Instagram competitions that ask you to tag friends, leave a comment, or share the post itself – it is a great way to build up engagement. Social media is, after all, social – people communicate on it all the time, you just need to get your consumers to communicate with you, on your page. Ask them questions, host polls, get them involved in branding choices – all of these encourage interaction and investment in your brand.
Big Isn’t Always Better
Don’t worry if your followers don’t grow by thousands in the first few months, or don’t show the same upwards trajectory if you take a break and lose your place in the algorithm – focus on the interactions and engagement first. After all, if you are trying to sell something, it is much more beneficial to have 100 followers who all comment, like, share, and click through to your website from a social media post than 100,000 followers, but only get a handful of likes ever so often. Big followings don’t equal big purchases. People make purchases, so befriend them, get to know them, and get them involved with your brand. The followers will come later.
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