Social Media Advent Calendar Day 19 – Followers are Just Numbers

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A successful social media strategy is not measured by the number of followers it collects, but rather the quality of those social connections. To attract quality connections you need relevant and useful content.

Followers on social media are a dime a dozen, and they’re not very useful unless they’re acting on the content you share or sharing your content with other potential clients. Don’t let numbers like Twitter followers, Facebook likes, or newsletter subscriptions jade your social media success – such metrics are irrelevant.

Today’s social media tip is: Think past vanity metrics like followers.*

In Social Media, Numbers Can Be Deceptive

uberVU Social Media Marketing & Community Manager Elisabeth Michud put it in simple terms in a recent blog post:

“Justin Bieber might have almost 30 million Twitter followers, but 30 million teenage girls aren’t going to hop online and buy your project management software or register for your ‘Yoga After 60’ workshop.”

What Elisabeth is talking about is the power of influencers with millions of followers, like Justin Bieber. An influencer is someone who has a lot of “Internet cred” – when they tweet/blog/post, people listen. The catch is, THEIR followers listen, and unless their followers are relevant to your particular business, industry, purpose or interest, they’re not very useful for your own social media growth.

This holds true for your social media reach, too. Unless your followers are on the same page with you – they need your services or goods, they support your cause, they like what you like – they’re irrelevant to your content marketing.

Why Followers are a Fallacy

Followers are only worth the interaction they contribute to your content. Let’s say you have 100 followers on your Twitter account. You tweet a link to your latest press release and 10 people retweet it. That’s a much better retweet ratio than businesses with 10,000 followers, only 2-3 of whom retweet their latest message.

That being said, the message here is that gathering a handful of quality followers is a better goal to pursue than gathering thousands of followers that only came to your social network following due to a quick follower-grab like a contest or promotion.

There ARE Metrics that Matter

Facebook is a prime example of where some metrics such as the “like” system don’t matter, but other metrics do, such as “impressions” and “reach”. The official definitions from Facebook are as follows:

Impressions measure the number of times a post from your Page is displayed, whether the post is clicked on or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post.

Reach measures the number of people who received impressions of a Page post. The reach number might be less than the impressions number since one person can see multiple impressions.

Number of impressions should be larger than the reach tally if your followers are sharing your content. The number of impressions increases every time a current follower sees your content post, and then again when they share it with a friend or on their own page.

Extend Your Social Media Reach

If your website, blog, newsletter, and social networking profiles provide unique and relevant content you don’t need to use gimmicks to create a large following of loyal clients. At We Do Web Content we generate the kind of content that’s made to impress potential clients and increase your relevant following.

To get started, have your current content reviewed by our sales team by contacting us on our website. After our consultation, we’ll help you attract the kind of clients you want through quality, relevant content. 888-594-5442.

* Blog adapted from Fast Company’s ’36 Rules of Social Media’ infographic.