Followers vs. Engaged Community: The vanity struggle is real
As a small business owner you understand the importance of being present on social media and what it can do for your business, such as keeping you connected with your customers and furthering your brand awareness. However, there tends to be a misconception around the amount of followers one must achieve in order to be successful on social media. The more followers the better, right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case.
We know, it’s hard not to focus on the amount of followers your social platforms have, but when it comes down to it, followers are typically known as a “vanity metric”. You may have hundreds, or even thousands of followers on your social platforms but if they’re not an engaged audience that genuinely care about your product or service, then your social media efforts may be falling upon deaf ears.
Building an engaged community can be a slower process, but we promise it’s well worth the wait. When you gain genuine followers, not only are you growing your social presence and furthering your brand awareness but you’re also building an army of Brand Advocates.
User Generated Content
One of the many benefits of having an engaged audience (Brand Advocates) is collecting and using user generated content. UGC is content created by your engaged followers, your biggest fans! What’s better than having your brand advocates tell your story for you? There’s no better recommendation than word of mouth, and it’s safe to say that social media is the modern day word of mouth.
When you’re able to take advantage of this content, your posts become more valuable and trustworthy in the eyes of your followers, therefore resulting in higher engagement and post reach. “User-generated content is 35% more memorable and 50% more trusted than other types of media and information” – Ipsos MediaCT.
If you have the opportunity to use UGC, it’s best practice to ask your customer for consent prior to using their images, and always give credit to your customer within your posts. Not only will this surprise and delight them, but there’s a chance they’ll fall more in love with your brand when they see their images on your page.
When you have an engaged community, you will see likes, comments and shares on your content rise, increasing reach and resulting in higher brand awareness. Unengaged followers don’t necessarily have the intent to interact with your brand on social, and with Facebook’s ever changing algorithm, it’s increasingly difficult to push your organic content in front of your follower’s eyes without putting dollars behind it. As mentioned earlier, you may have a large following but if they aren’t truly inspired by your brand your hard work may be going to waste.
At the end of the day when it comes to posting on social channels and building a social following, just remember one thing, quality over quantity.