What makes a quality follower on social media?
We hear a lot about the importance of analytics on social media. This data tells the story of how well your content is performing. One of these analytics that may come to mind when you think about social media is your follower count. This number shows how many accounts have chosen to follow yours, meaning all of your new content should show up on their homepage.
But what’s the importance behind this number? That depends on what your engagement rate looks like. Having a high amount of followers sounds like it would mean your content is resonating with a lot of people, but that’s not necessarily true. You could have all of the followers in the world, but if only 10 people are actively engaging with your content, it’s not reaching a wide enough audience for you to meet your social goals. This is because you only have a very few amount of quality followers out of your total follower count. In order for you to build a successful digital presence, you’ll want to learn how to build more quality followers and increase your overall engagement rate.
What is a quality follower, and how can you identify them?
A quality follower is someone who actively engages with your content. Simply put, they’re interested in your account and what you are creating. Quality followers are measured in a few different ways. Liking or commenting on your posts is a basic way a follower can show they’re engaging with your content. However, a highly engaged follower will take interactions a step further and purchase your products and services or share your brand with people they know. This makes all the difference between someone who just follows you without actively boosting your business in any way.
This isn’t to say your actual follower count doesn’t matter at all. On Instagram, for example, having over 10,000 followers unlocks the capability to “swipe up” on your stories, directing your audience to certain websites more easily. Brands may also be more willing to collaborate with accounts that have more followers, and users who come across your page might find a higher follower account to be proof of why they should click follow, too. But from a business standpoint, you should focus more on what your engagement rate looks like — that is, what percentage of your followers interact with your contact. For example, if 100 people follow you but you only average about 20 likes and comments, your engagement rate is around 2%. Though you might not think that’s very high, a good engagement rate on social media is actually considered to be between 1-5%, depending on the platform.
Depending on the size of your following, it’s feasible to manually seek out who is mostly engaging with your account by seeing which users regularly comment on or like your posts. However, this can be difficult if you have a larger following. Luckily, there are apps that can help. Programs such as Reports for Followers can analyze your followers and tell you who is engaging the most — and least — with your content.
“Quality” engagement changes between platforms
Since every social media platform has a different algorithm and prioritizes different kinds of engagement, you have to adapt your social strategy from one platform to the next. The same is true for identifying quality followers. What one app might consider high engagement might not translate to the same results for another. That’s why you should consider different engagement strategies for each platform.
- Instagram. Instagram values engagement that shows your content is actually meaningful to the user. For example, saving your post shows that a user finds it valuable to refer to in the future, and posts with a lot of saves will end up performing better. The same goes for sharing your content. You should adapt your strategy to encourage your followers to send your posts to a friend or repost it on their own stories.
- Twitter. Quality followers on Twitter might like and retweet your posts often, exposing your page to those who follow them. Since it is a more simplistic platform, aiming to get a high proportion of retweets on your posts would be a good strategy for Twitter.
- Facebook. Similar to Instagram, you can like, comment, and share Facebook posts. The key to increasing your reach on Facebook is by having people comment on your page. For this reason, you should encourage your top quality followers to comment on your posts by posing questions in the caption so it pops up on their friends’ timelines.
- TikTok. TikTok’s innovative algorithm means your posts can rack up hundreds of thousands of views very quickly if you’re targeting your content to a specific niche. Adding trending hashtags to your posts can help give them a boost to getting there.
- LinkedIn. It’s fairly easy to get your post to reach far audiences on LinkedIn. If one of your connections interacts in any way with your post, whether it be a like, comment, or share, their connections will see it. Because of this, you should connect with a lot of similar brands or people in your target demographic and make sure you’re posting content users are motivated to engage with.
How to attract quality followers
Even if you understand why having quality followers is important, actually attracting them might seem like a daunting task. Don’t worry — there are a few ways you can go about revamping your social media strategy to receive more of these followers who are actively engaging with what you put out.
The first thing you should do is decide on your goals for your social media. Though there are certain broad goals that might come to mind — more likes, more comments, etc. — you should think strategically about what this will in turn do for your brand. Do you want likes to turn into conversions? See how many of your followers are actively swiping up on your stories, clicking on your links, etc. Is it building brand awareness? Take note of who is resharing your content or sending it to people they know.
Now that you have these goals in mind, you should identify who your audience is. What kinds of people will be more likely to engage with your content in order for you to meet your goals? If your goal is to have people click on your website to purchase a luxury fashion magazine, your audience might be 24- to 35-year-old women with disposable income. With this in mind, you can tailor your content to better appeal to this demographic. Once you’re targeting the appropriate group of people, your followers — and those who find your content through following their favorite hashtags or viewing their explore page — should naturally be more interested in your content, thus boosting your engagement from quality followers.
You can also specifically seek out users who are active on accounts that are similar to yours. Take a look at who is constantly commenting on or tagging posts of some of your competitors. Since they are proven to already be quality followers, it takes less effort on your end to connect with users who are interested in your product or service. Following them or liking a few of their posts is a good way to get their attention and encourage them to check out your content. Make sure the content you’re posting is varied enough so they have a reason to follow another account in the same niche.
Posting consistently and at peak times is also very important when it comes to attracting and maintaining quality followers. The algorithm rewards this kind of consistency, and your following will know they can expect you to continuously post content they’re interested in.
One way to get more engagement from the audience you already have is to create more interactive content. On Instagram, for example, you can pose questions in your comments that encourage people to respond. When the algorithm notices your posts getting more activity, it’s incentivized to show your account to more people, and that widens your reach. You can also ask people to tag their friends or save your posts. This will not only expose your account to new users, but it will also boost your standing with your current followers, and your posts will show up more often on their feed.
Another action you can take to help boost your engagement rate is removing the followers who never interact with your posts. Called ghost followers, these users might not even know they follow you, meaning they’re not helping your brand or digital presence in any way, aside from being an extra number on your follower account. However, as we mentioned earlier, a smaller follower count with mostly active followers is better for your brand than a high follower count with few people who actually engage with your content.
While you’re at it, remember to be a quality follower yourself! Take some time to like the posts on your feed, answer questions other accounts are posing, and be sure you’re following relevant accounts that you’re actually interested in. This can help you build genuine connections with other brands and followers, which is the heart of what it means to be a quality follower.
Need help building your social media accounts and developing a strategy to attract quality followers? We’ve got you covered. Reach out to us here at Creative Juice for help coming up with engaging and authentic social media content. 🍑