Do I Really Need 1 Million Social Media Followers?

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Social Media Apps” by Jason Howie via Flickr

The race is on and accumulating social media fans and followers is a top priority among social media marketers. There are services that promise to build your network of followers and the platforms themselves offer paid campaigns to help you grow your base. Is all this popularity really necessary? Will having 1 million Facebook Fans really help propel your small business to the next level? 

Quantity vs. Quality

So you hire a social media marketing expert or drop a hundred bucks on a Facebook ad campaign designed to pick up more Likes for your page. In a matter of weeks, your number of followers has jumped from a few dozen or a few hundred to several thousand. Great! Now you have tons of people to put your messages in front of every day and the number of leads you get will start to soar, right? Well, maybe not.

Who Cares?

This is the question. Suppose you now have 3,000 followers instead of 300. Out of those 3,000 people, how many of them actually care about your messages? How many of them chose to click Like or add you to their feeds because they got the message that you could solve their problems, give them information, or otherwise make their lives better or easier? In other words, how many of them will actually engage with your content? Probably very few.

For one thing, if your likes and follows came from mobile users, there’s a good chance that they clicked on your buttons by accident. A study by Trademob found that 40% of mobile ad clicks are either fraudulent or accidental. Although the types of ads in the study were different from the ads used to get Likes, you can be sure that some of yours are accidental.

Of the people left, how many of them are truly interested in you, your company, your brand, and your products and services? It’s hard to say, but you’ll get an idea after a while when you take a look at your engagement numbers with all these new followers. Are more people clicking your links? Sharing your content? Watching your videos? Probably a few more, but probably NOT 2,700 more.

Social Media Marketing That Works

New businesses may benefit from a few paid ways to get Likes, Follows, and shares. When you only have two or three people (that are probably your mom, your partner, and your sister), it can be hard to gain momentum. And, when new people stumble across your social media account, they might not think you’re legit without the votes of confidence from others. Plus, Facebook only makes advanced tools available to those who have a certain number of Likes.

So, a few targeted promotions may be in order in the very beginning, however, these can usually be done for less than $100. No major spending is involved. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ll want each and every Like, Follow, and Share to come organically because those are worth ten times what a paid vote is worth. Your overall engagement rates will go up and qualified leads will start to come in.

Quality Always Wins with Content Marketing

You’re always going to be better off with quality when it comes to your content marketing plans, and this is even more true for small businesses than it is for large corporations like Coke or Nike. Why? Because small businesses need people – like actual individuals – who will engage with their messages and choose to spend their money with that business. If you’re a house painter in the suburbs of Chicago, having 200 Facebook followers that are homeowners in the Chicagoland area is priceless. Having 1 million worldwide followers is probably useless. Stay local, focus on what you know, and give your people what they want and you’ll find success.

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