2016 has seen social media channels, blogs, and websites placing huge importance gaining more fans, followers and subscribers, to keep up with a swiftly moving market. Understandably, this might be cause for anxiety for an entrepreneur or social media marketer, but don’t rush to your stats pages prematurely. It comes back to the debate of quality vs quantity. While both these options have positive attributes, at Reckless we excel at building meaningful relationships with our clients, and one area where we do especially well is harnessing the strategic power of social media. For us, there is a clear winner.
It’s natural to think likes and followers are important
As human beings, we naturally fall into the trap of thinking that more is better, and this can prove correct when it comes to your social media marketing. After all, a brand that has a million followers definitely creates the illusion of success and authority. Why an illusion? Well, will these followers be sharing and engaging with your content? Will they be responsive to you? Is it likely you’ll be able to convert them into customers or brand advocates?
More attracts more
A brand that has a high number of followers will find it easier to attract more for two reasons:
1) New followers want to be part of the ‘in’ crowd to see what the hype is all about, and
2) Higher numbers of followers gives a perception that there is a beneficial reason to follow or subscribe.
The method to your social media madness
If you’re consistently creating high-quality content that is engaging, educational and memorable, then naturally you will attract more followers and subscribers. This will also lead to users sharing and engaging with your content and the click-through rate to your site will flourish.
‘Fake following‘ is the evil counterpart of the hard-working, content-creating entrepreneur. Designed to enable users to buy large numbers of followers and likes, and often used by start-up companies looking for overnight success, ‘fake following’ is now a multi-million-pound-a-year business. But of course, the followers earned by ‘fake following’ aren’t even real people, and therefore vested interest is just not there.
To give an example, Kim Kardashian’s twitter account boasts over 48 million followers. Twitter Audit. however, suggests that fewer than half of these followers are real accounts. This really shows when you look at the engagement levels her tweets receive, averaging around 3,000 likes and 500 shares per post, low given the incredible amount of followers. With a greater quantity of active, human accounts, this would result in a far greater engagement rate per follower.
Google has spent over a decade improving the algorithms that weed out ‘spammy’, low-quality accounts, whilst Twitter and Facebook are following suit, making it a dangerous move for brands to gain followers through shady means.
Quality + distribution = followers
Buying followers is like inviting 100 people to your birthday party and only having two people talk to each other. The key to a successful social media strategy is engagement, and ultimately, it’s high-quality content that will be the driving force in attaining more followers. Any social media plan also needs to be balanced with social advertising, which will lead to greater engagement with your content.
Measuring your impact
Digital marketing activities like PPC, search, content marketing and SEO are reasonably simple ways to monitor and measure your ROI.
Social media marketing, however, can be a little more difficult. Ultimately, it’s all about engagement – likes, follows, shares and comments. Providing you’re consistently creating authentic content and engaging with your audience, you’ll see your business go from strength to strength, increasing traffic, brand awareness and ultimately conversions, which is the objective behind most, if not all, digital marketing activities.
- Your social media strategy should focus on creating quality content that is engaging and distributed at the most effective time in the day to earn the highest possible level of engagement.
- Interact with your followers by creating a dialogue, being responsive to their questions and think about offering incentives to share your content.
- Invest in paid advertising to complement and enhance your social media marketing strategy
- It’s not a race! Building an effective social media following takes time, but a strong strategy will always pay off if the right methods and ideas are implemented
- Steer away from vanity metrics – bigger is not always better!
…and last but by certainly no means least, the most important takeaway to remember in terms of the end goal is to focus on quality; give your customers, subscribers and followers the content they deserve.