Do people care if you only have a small number of followers? Let’s face it, if a business has only a handful of followers, you’re going to assume either they’re brand new or they don’t actively use their social media page (or they’re a total scam). I’d be keen to know your thoughts on this, but conversely, whenever I see (what I know to be) a very small business, with thousands of followers and almost no engagement, it just screams dodgy to me.
The 2016 Sensis Social Media Report found that 30% of people put more trust in a brand because it has a large number on followers on social media. They also found that 49% of people DON’T put more trust in brands because of the number of followers they have.
I think really, we all know the answer here and that is that a brand does have to have a decent number of followers—depending on the brand—to be considered seriously on social media. Beyond that minimum figure (maybe it’s a few hundred), my guess is that it probably doesn’t impact people’s trust in the brand much.
Nobody wants to be on social media to have 24 followers, but it may well be the case that obsessing over getting huge numbers is pointless. A better way to look at it is—am I really honing in on, and targeting my audience and followers? 500 engaged and well-targeted followers are better than 5,000 who couldn’t care less.
In the Sensis survey, 11% of people had stopped following one or more brands on social media in the three months leading up to the survey.
Why? Over half of them left because the brand was posting irrelevant or unappealing content. Basically, they’re being annoying. That’s a huge lesson and it’s kind of a fine line. For businesses, posting all business related content is too dry, so they try to post content related to the lifestyle of their target audience. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. I follow a bunch of equestrian brands and some of them just loovveeee posting pictures of half-naked men riding horses. Is it my bag? Nup. Do I want that popping up on my screen at work/in public? Nup. UNFOLLOW!
Interestingly, around a third of people unfollowed brands because they were posting ‘too much content’. WOAH. That hurts, doesn’t it! Most small businesses would love having the problem of people seeing their content too much, it seems so unlikely. Perception is a powerful thing and it could be that people feel they see content too much, when actually it’s that they’re seeing the same amount of content as they do any other brand, but this content is bugging them.
I know that seeing people leave your page is crap. But what I’ve found, from looking after various corporate and small business social media pages, is that it happens to everyone—regularly. Forget about it and focus on the followers who are sticking around.
I mean REALLY, you can’t be surprised at this. Over three quarters of Australians own smartphones, and 72% of people use their phones to access social media.
Facebook and the rest are very mobile friendly. Yay for them.
But what about driving traffic to your site and building your list? Let’s keep our eye on the prize here—your social media followers are way more valuable on your email list than just sitting on facebook.
If your site isn’t responsive (mobile-friendly)—GASP—you’re really annoying all those followers who do what you ask and click through to your blog or whatever. It’s just not acceptable anymore.
There’s a bunch more interesting info if you want to read the report in full, but overall no big surprises, just some little reminders for how businesses should be building smart social media strategies.
What do you think, does anyone care (other than you) about the number of followers your brand has on social media? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.