How Best To Identify And Engage With Your Followers
A couple of years ago your follower count was the most important aspect of your social media profile. The clear-cut number of followers, subscribers, or fans told the world how relevant you were and how much clout you had online. But… things have changed.
Today, the sign of a creator who’s killing it isn’t their follower count, but their engagement. You could look at engagement rates from a mathematical lens - there’s an array of calculators which can help you find out your engagement rate. Or, you can look at engagement more generally as a qualitative dimension to your growing social media presence - what kinds of comments are people leaving, how often do they send your post to others and so on.
Instagram as a platform enjoys a much higher rate of engagement than its peers. In fact, at 4.21%, Instagram’s rate is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. Engagement covers a bunch of different things any influencer looks for - likes, comments, shares, views, reposts, etc. It’s the only way to tell whether followers actually like your content, or merely scroll past it.
Brands love influencers with high levels of engagement because it means their ROI is high. If your engagement is promising, it signals to brands that your audience is paying attention to what content you put out. This means they’re more likely to go ahead and buy the product you’ve linked in your bio, or check out the video you reposted to your story. This is great news for you, as a creator, trying to build a social media empire.
But how does one engage best with their followers?
Know Your Audience!
Analytics are your best friend. Study the demographics of your audience to get a handle on who they are, where they come from, and what niche they comprise. Survey your past posts to determine what works for them, and what doesn’t.
Accordingly, you can tailor your content to post trends or formats your audience likes. They’ll be more inclined to share or like said posts, and your engagement will skyrocket.
Insights and Scheduling
Statistics and insights into your followers can help give you tangible plans for your content - for example, if you know what time your followers are most active, you can give yourself a boost in the algorithm by posting at peak engagement hours and driving traffic to your page.
Encourage Comments and Saves
Including a CTA (Call To Action) in your captions can look something like this:
“These are my top 5 skincare products, what are yours? Drop a comment below!”
Or, even as simple as asking questions to get to know your followers better - like asking them where they are from, or who their favourite influencer is. These not only increase your engagement, but foster a community that is talking to each other and not just passively consuming your posts.
Additionally, saving posts is a great way to push your content up in your followers’ feeds according to the way the algorithm works. So, by adding genuine value to your posts - either in the form of hacks or tips they’d want to save for later, or maybe a beautiful quote that inspired you - your followers will save your post and drive up your engagement rate.
Beyond these hacks, the thumb rule to encourage meaningful engagement is to stay devoted to a certain quality of content. If your followers are no longer interested or genuinely moved by your posts, they are unlikely to like or share it - even if they do not take the extra step and unfollow you completely.
So, stay true to the content your audience loves and you enjoy making. That is the only sustainable way to keep your followers tuned in, the brands interested, and your engagement rate high.