Most of us realize by now that a big number of followers doesn’t immediately equal ENGAGED, RELEVANT or INFLUENTIAL followers, but after a recent conversation, I found this bared repeating.

“A big number of followers doesn’t immediately equal ENGAGED, RELEVANT or INFLUENTIAL followers…”

We had a client mention wanting to have many more Twitter followers and Facebook fans then they do presently. When pressed as to why, there wasn’t a clear answer.

Social media can’t be thought of as a way to create “instant sales” but, instead, as a communication tool to truly build your brand. Companies and businesses never had direct access to customers in the past as they do today. This is a way to provide instant customer service support, relate, inform and offers inexpensive market research for your company.

Put a dollar price on that.

To get back to the clients question, social media MARKETING is not about the number of followers or fans you have. It is about providing value and trust to those that have CHOSEN to be your BRAND ADVOCATES. The best way to build trust is by showing the real people behind the brand (Transparency). This could mean mentioning your passions, such as a love of a certain sport.

No, not everyone will share your likes but they will relate to you as a person, making the relational connection between them and your brand all the more comfortable when the time to close the sale happens.

Make a connection with people. If you have thousands of followers and fans but the engagement and connection is not there the value of these followers decreases as does your brand value (to them). Suddenly, they are social media passive and not social media influential. Social media is and continues to be quality over quantity.

I happened to run across this article today, which supports our very point.

Eminem has 41.5 million fans on Facebook but only 575 are actively engaged. In our evaluation of the social media engagement, we think that’s pretty bad.

It doesn’t need to be that difficult. All you need is a process for social media engagement and evaluation to GROW an engagement level that you can be proud of. Andrew and I came up with a short five step process for Social Media Engagement.

5-Step process for Creating a “WOW” social media engagement base:

  1. Define: Set up accounts based on your TRUE brand and stick with it. Talk about what you like and know, transparency.
  2. Target: Engage those that you want to be part of your target audience.
  3. Support: Engage with your current audience to maintain an open conversation.
  4. Refine: Evaluate followers and requests.
    1. Do they add value to your network?
    2. Can you add value to theirs?
  5. REPEAT: take the process seriously and repeat these steps until you reach social media engagement gold!

If you don’t think your business is getting the real back-and-forth ENGAGEMENT you want from your followers check out some of the tips above. On the other hand, you could just remind yourself Eminem has only .0014% engagement, and be okay with it.

-Haley Meckstroth