Social Media: Why Engagement Matters More Than a Big FollowingAnyone who has started their own business knows that evaluating the success of that business is a numbers’ game. Many people believe this is true of a company’s social media campaigns as well. How well they work can be measured by how many people view it, right? Wrong. The true measure of a social media campaign should be calculated based on the level of each customer’s involvement, not necessarily just by the total number of customers who are involved.
Because the real focus of your social network presences should not be just to gain a huge number of followers, but to connect personally with those followers. Businesses are finding that social networks help them engage with and retain past customers much more than they find and bring in new customers. Sure, someone may see a tweet from one of their friends about the great new sunglasses they bought from your company and go to your store to buy their own sunglasses, but that new customer arrived as a result of a connection made with an existing customer.
An extensive following of unengaged fans is almost as bad as having no following at all. Sure, the numbers may look good. It may look good to have a half a million Facebook fans, but if those fans are not posting about your products, they might as well not even exist. They are neither promoting your business, nor showing their appreciation for it, and those are the two main reasons to have a social media presence.
A small group of dedicated supporters are going to be more effective for your business overall than a large group of unengaged followers. This more involved group are going to use your social media outlets to ask questions, lodge and resolve complaints, and promote their favorite products to their own friends and followers.
Consider trying to run a promotion in each of these two situations. With the small but engaged group, you are going to see growth and profits as a result. Their enthusiasm will bring more people to your brand. The other group, however, those unwilling to be involved, will ignore your promotion, and will neither express their brand loyalty, nor expand your circle of influence.
This all stems, of course, from how involved and engaged you as a company are on your social networks. If you do not respond to queries and shows of affection, those customers will feel less loyalty to your brand and will be less likely to return to it in the future. However, if every question is answered, if you show your appreciation for tweets and Facebook comments and likes, you are going to hold on to those customers. Why? Because you have become more than a corporation to them. You are willing to engage with them on a human level, which humanizes your business. And people still prefer to do business with companies that they like, even if another company offers a slightly better product or deal.
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