I’m going through one of those Twitter phases where I’m losing followers by the dozens. It’s probably one of Twitter’s regular sweeps to rid the social media space of bots and trolls, fake accounts and scammers. Still, it’s pretty discouraging to check my stats and find that no matter how much effort I put into engagement, how many people I follow, and what I do to get more followers, they’re leaving like I just put Spam on the party buffet.
Should I worry? Should I change my strategy? Is the number of followers even all that important?
No, says Gary Vaynerchuk.
“You can have 10, 10,000, or 1,000,000 followers and all it takes is for one post to be noticed by one person to cause a social media chain reaction. The absolute number does not matter. One retweet, one repost, one link in an email is enough to get the ball rolling,” he says.
What’s important is the quality of your followers. Are they engaged with your posts? If they are spurred to action because of one of your posts, how will that action benefit you?
Okay, so we should take the time we used to spend trying to increase the number of our followers and spend it on quality of followers.
Getting even a small number of quality followers takes some time and effort. Social media planners at Planoly suggest that instead of obsessing over numbers, focus on four things:
- Encourage conversation with content. When curating content, looks for ways to engage with your audience and encourage their participation. Ask questions. Invite comments. If someone shares your post, comment on that post and start a discussion there.
- Tap into relatable content that is relevant to your key audience. Always keep your key audience in mind when choosing content. Put yourself in their shoes. Is this something they’ll like and for which they’ll follow you?
- Engage! It’s somewhat of a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” situation. And it’s not just about going on liking sprees. A ‘great photo!’ or ‘love this!’ doesn’t cut it anymore, as commenting bots have coined these phrases for themselves and made them feel disingenuous. You need to go to your intended audience’s content and genuinely engaging with their content based on what they’re posting. See how your audience returns the favor by staying loyal to you.
- Track your most successful content and see what indicators made it perform so well. “Take note, and then continue creating content based on those key indicators and see if you can apply it to new content that you’re creating to make sure your engagement stays consistent.”
Number 4 is important. If you must track stats, track the success of individual posts. Those are numbers with real meaning and results.