Why engagement is more important than follower count

The size of your audience on social media doesn’t matter if no one is paying attention. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say that how many followers you have doesn’t really matter at all. So it’s time to stop paying attention to your follower counts on social media and instead, spend your time focusing what really matters – social media engagement.

Depending on your goals, there are lots of different kinds of engagement you can monitor across social media – clicks, likes, shares, comments, replies, etc… The specific type of engagement you’re measuring will vary over time. But what won’t vary is how you get engagement on social media. It’s not simply due to how many followers you have. Here are a few ways to think about generating engagement beyond your follower count.

The quality of your followers

Consider who your followers are. Wouldn’t you rather have a small but real and relevant audience than a large one composed of bots and random people? You want to be followed by people who are interested in your posts, engaged in the community you’re trying to reach, and share compelling content of their own. Engagement from these people means a lot more than a bot account auto-retweeting your every post. The more relevant and real your followers are, the better the engagement from them will be.

The reach of your audience

Similarly, the reach of your audience is more important than how many people comprise that audience. If you have a few followers who themselves are very influential, that connects you to a larger group than you could on your own. This kind of indirect influence is very important on social media and can lead to significant amplification of your content.

The content of your posts

If you have enough followers, everything you post will generate some engagement. But if you’re trying to learn how to improve your content and post things that are more engaging to the audience you really want to reach, you need to better understand what posts get a real response. What are people responding to? What content gets true amplification? Higher quality content – anything that adds value to a conversation through relevance, interest or novelty – will perform better than low-quality content.

The timing of your posts

On social media, things can move fast. When you post new content can have a big impact on how it’s received. This will depend on your audience – who and where are they? – as well as some features of the social media platform you’re on. Some are more active during the business day, like Twitter, but others see more action in the evenings, like Instagram. So spend some time getting to know the times that work best for your content and your audience to find the times you’re likely to get the biggest response.

So stop worrying about how many followers you have and start thinking about what really matters. How can you generate more engagement with your social posts? It takes more than a lot of followers.