Social media is not just a numbers game.
It’s also not about a robot finding followers or even going viral. In the end, every company big or small has to learn the basic principles behind why people even pay attention to a brand in the first place and what it takes to succeed long-term.
One reason it’s just not about numbers is that numbers can lie. Inflated follower counts are just the beginning. It’s widely known that robots are responsible for clicking like and even making comments on posts.
Politicians and celebrities routinely purchase followers, but those followers are not actively engaged, interested, or in some cases even human.
What works instead is a simple motto. It is consistent quality.
The phrase trumps the belief that social media is about numbers and instead focuses on engagement. When any brand (or person) posts quality content over a consistent period of time for months and years, then people will engage with that brand (or person). Then there will be a noticeable impact.
Let’s say you have 20,000 or 30,000 followers for a small business. That’s certainly a good number, but if only 500 engage with the posts and make comments, and share your story with others, it won’t matter. The 20,000 number is deceiving.
However, apart from the math involved, what matters is that the content is professional, scheduled in advance, tracked, meaningful, impactful — in other words, it has to be worth something. A mass number of eyeballs won’t matter.
Another way of addressing quality on social is to think of each individual person not as a number but as a person. Is the content engaging enough for your customer base or followers? If it is, and it’s specific enough and geared for that base, then it won’t matter if you use a firehose to spray 20,000 people or 200,000 people. Maybe you only really need to engage consistently with a few hundred people, over and over again, until they purchase your product or service or until they engage with your brand over a long period of time (say, for years or decades).
What this really means is that people need to discover that your social media platforms (all of them, including Instagram) are intended for deep customer engagement, not mass numbers. They will learn to trust you are serious about social media and you intend to inform and possibly even provide practical help and support, that you have a specific target market in mind and not just anyone.
This change in how you see social media can impact your online marketing efforts in dramatic ways. Here’s why. Communication that is specific, direct, relevant, and actionable tends to be way more valuable than simply content that exists and is available. That’s the temptation. It’s often easy to spray a high number of posts to a high number of people in hopes that something catches on. It won’t.
What catches on is something worth catching.
To really make an impact on social, it’s critical to take the consistent quality mantra seriously, to let it define everything you do on social and radically transform your entire approach. The alternative is spray and pray.
In the end, that’s a recipe for disaster.