Followers vs engagement – Hugh

Rightly or wrongly, the most prominent metric used to judge the success of a social media channel is the follower count.

As a social media manager I know that the real value is found in the engagement rate, or the unique impressions, but that doesn’t mean I’m not absolutely thrilled when a new follower milestone is reached for one of my clients.

Bear in mind that each platform uses its own unique, slightly cryptic, and ever-changing algorithms, so these are more general tips that can be applied to whichever platform you are hoping to grow follower numbers.

1) Follow Similar Accounts
This one’s self-explanatory; when you pop-up as a new follower of an account in a similar industry to you, the chances are they will return the favour.

2) Interacting with Relevant Accounts
Using hashtags and keywords you can quite easily find you content from brands in the same sector as you, with a similar ethos to you, or just in your local area.
By giving them a follow and ‘playing nicely’ with them on social media, again, they are very likely to return the favour.

Also, both point 1 and 2 have the added benefit of a snowball effect – the more you interact with accounts that are relevant to your business, the more relevant accounts you will see, and the more relevant accounts will see you.

3) Strong Brand
We all know how great of an impact good branding can have on our perception of a business, and social media is no different.
If your profile imagery is misaligned, poorly cropped, or doesn’t match, then how can you expect someone to see you as a worthwhile follow or credible partner?
Canva has some great tools to design well-branded social media pages.

4) Jump on trends
From day one social media has revolved around trending topics and conversations, and this has never been more true.
This is easiest on Twitter, with their constantly updated trending section, but it’s a useful tactic on all other platforms.
By joining trending conversations you are more likely to put your brand in front of similar businesses, potential customers which is guaranteed to improve your rate of follower growth.
Take a look at this list of National Days to get you started.

5) Video is King
All the major social platforms have adopted video by now, and with the recent dominance of TikTok it comes as no surprise.
Videos are more engaging, more customisable, and are held in higher esteem by the algorithm of every major platform.
The ‘TikTokification’ of Instagram has been happening for a while now, and at this point if you are not using Reels or IGTV then you will struggle to grow your brand’s following on the platform.

In summary, there’s no magic wand when it comes to growing a follower base, and some of the tasks you set yourself may become tedious, but when you see the all-important follower count increase day by day you will be thankful you put the graft in.