I wanted to talk about something that has been bothering me recently - and that’s ‘unfollowers’ (a.k.a people unfollowing me on social media). I’m sure they have bothered you at some point too, no?
On social media, we’re under (what I like to call) the ‘statistics spell’. We’re under the impression that numbers are everything and that’s what we use to measure success. We’ve been conditioned to think this. The number of likes, comments, and shares can make or break your day - but it’s really the follower stats that rule the roost.
When you hit a certain target or benchmark, it feels great. Everything you’ve worked hard for has finally paid off and you’re starting to see real results. Then, someone decides to hit that pesky button and unfollow you. Then another one does it. And another. And soon you’re back where you started, reaching your goal and losing followers again every day.
I know how it feels - I’ve been there. Heck. I AM there and it’s really frustrating.
So, I’m gonna do you a favour and tell you that numbers aren’t everything. And I’m going to let you into a little secret - unfollowers are actually a GOOD thing!
Quality over quantity
The quality of your followers is much more important than the number of followers you have.
Imagine you own an online shop that sells eco-friendly baby clothes and you have a great Instagram account to showcase your products and promote your brand. What would you rather have?
A) 1,000 general Instagram followers who have followed you because they like your theme or you followed them first
B) 150 young + environmentally aware mums who followed you because they have a baby to clothe
Well, I know which option I’d pick. (B - duh!)
You’re much more likely to actually make sales through Instagram if your followers are your target customers. This works for your blog too - if you write a book blog, you want to focus on reaching book lovers and blog readers. The more focused you are, the more successful you will be (unless you are Amazon 😉 ).
So, if someone unfollows your accounts, they probably weren’t going to buy your super cute baby clothes anyway. Good riddance to them!
Action: Use websites like StatusBrew to see who is unfollowing you. Take a look at their accounts - were they your target audience?
Count the impressed, not the impressions
I basically LIVE by this saying.
When I worked in social media marketing, my clients would be obsessed with the stats: they’d want to work with the biggest influencers to get reach the most possible people. They would sacrifice quality for quantity. Yes, they might have had tones of views on a YouTube video but was that YouTuber’s audience the right fit for their product? Sometimes yes, sometimes not at all!
It doesn’t matter how many people saw what you posted - what matters is how many people care about what you posted.
How can you start doing this?
Instead of looking at views, impressions and reach, take a good look at your engagement rates. These are pretty easy to measure.
On Instagram, for example, your engagement rate is your engagement (likes + comments) divided by your follower count. So, on this post, I’ve got an engagement rate of 6.6%. 6% is a good average to aim for on Instagram.
Action: Go back through your last 10 posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and see which posts had the best engagement rate. This will tell you what content performs the best for your audience!
If you have a lot of dead weight followers that aren’t actually interested in your content, your engagement rates could be a lot lower.
Focus on building content for your niche
Stop trying to please to crowd and focus on your peeps! What do they gain from following you on social media? Do you want to be a source of information? A friend? An entertainer?
Decide your purpose and stick to it - be consistent across social media or you could get some unfollows from people within your target audience. People like to know what they are signing up for.