Social Media Engagement vs. Followers

crop businesswoman using smartphone in cafe

Social media analytics are more than just a quick peek at your follower count on the insta profile. That big (or small) number is super visual, but it is way less important than your engagement.

Why should I care about social media engagement?

Followers are great because they help with visibility and it means your other strategies are working (hashtags, follow, engagement, etc) but if your followers aren’t engaging with your content, aren’t clicking your profile link, aren’t buying your products, or signing up for your services or email list, then it’s all for naught.

Your follower count is just a number. Ultimately a meaningless number at that.

At Social for Good, we believe in QUALITY over quantity. If you only look at one metric, make it the engagement rate. Look to increase that % each month to be sure that the followers you do have are enjoying your content. Build a relationship with them in the comments and DMs and this is how your business will grow.

How do I track my engagement on social media?

Most social media apps have insights or analytics built in. On Instagram for example, creator and business profiles have lots of analysis available under Insights. Engagement is considered interactions other accounts have taken on your content including likes, comments, shares, and saves.

You can compare week to week or month to month how your engagement rate has improved. If you use an automated scheduler like Later you might also get a deeper look at how your posts have performed and how you can apply that information for future content.

How do I improve my social media engagement?

Typically we need to be pretty direct on social media if we want our followers to take action on something. If you want them to comment or share, you’ll need to ask them politely and directly. Beating around the bush or trying to pretty up the language doesn’t work (trust us — we tried!) and might even make things more confusing.

Another way to improve your social media engagement is by engaging yourself. Of course you already know that you should reply to every comment and DM of yours, but engaging with other people’s content is also important. Find colleagues in your niche, potential new clients, and other relevant interests and discover people to follow. Start commenting on and sharing their posts and they’ll be more likely to do the same for you. Furthermore, engagement on your part favors the algorithm.

Conclusion: Stop obsessing over your follower count

We all do this. That follower number is just too visible to ignore. However, now you know how important engagement is. To boost your return on investment on social media, focus on improving your engagement rate and watch your bookings, sales, and referrals improve. You might even gain a follower or two while you’re at it. 😉

Published by Kara Hoholik

Kara Hoholik is an impact entrepreneur and writer living on a farm outside Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband and 3 children. When she isn't washing muddy feet, you can find her reading, with a cold cup of coffee still sitting in the microwave.

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