WHY YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWER COUNT DOESN’T MATTER + WHAT DOES
Your social media follower count – this idea that the more social media followers an account has, the better. This is so ingrained that there is an entire underground industry around this concept; from buying social media follower counts, to automated engagement tools, to the selling of loaded social media accounts that come with tens of thousands of fake followers.
I mean, if you think about it, more followers should mean more engagement, more reach, and more street cred – all leading to your Cannabis Brand’s authority and, ultimately sales, right?
What if the reality is that even the largest social media follower count doesn’t mean anything, unless there is one (not-so-secret) ingredient in the mix?
Why Social Media Follower Count Doesn’t Matter
The basics of effective content marketing is quite simple: You want to get the right message out to the right people, hitting that sweet spot where you are building brand authority and trust with your target audience. But in order to do this, you need to define exactly who that audience is, what they like and how to reach them at the right place and time.
There is absolutely no point in diligently creating amazing content with all the bells and whistles and keywords, just for it to be completely ignored because it’s not relevant of interesting to the people that are seeing it.
And this is what happens with large, but irrelevant and engaged followers. In the end, the largest amount of followers cannot make up for the wrong type of followers.
So, what does?
When you take everything down to the basics, the fundamental thing that does count is your social media follower ENGAGEMENT and brand AUTHENTICITY.
What matters is not your social media follower count, but instead an engaged, carefully curated, and interested group of people that follow you because they identify with you, your brand and what you do. In other words, group of followers that will engage with your content and advocate for your Cannabis Brand because they find value in what you post.
But, what matters even more is the depth of those business interactions. All the hits, likes and the generic comments left by other accounts hoping for engagement, still mean nothing if you don’t see conversions. All those thousands of followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook might as well not be there at all unless they interact with your business.
For prospective customers and clients to get excited enough about something you posted to the extent that they engage with you and your business, they need to consume it. And for that to happen you need to be authentic and true to your brand while caring enough about your audience to give them what they want.
What you really need in order to be successful in social media, is to define your audience, target those people, plan your content around their needs and desires, and then deliver it to them on the right platform, at the right time in a way that is true to you, your brand and your message.
That’s the game. There is no way around it. And there are no shortcuts.
How To Build The Right Kind Of Social Media Following
To build a loyal group of prospective customers, brand advocates and business references that share your posts and tell their friends about you, you can use the following tips and pointers to help get you started.
#1. Make an effort to identify those accounts, people + other Cannabis brands...
… that resonate with you, and then engage with them. Think of your interactions as a form of content. It is worth the time and effort it takes to craft a thoughtful response to even the simplest comments or questions – these carry at least as much value and weight to your brand’s authority and trustworthiness as any other type of content you might post.
#2. Apply the 80/20 rule...
… when posting social media content. Spend 80% of your time on engagement (reposting, commenting, behind-the-scenes, blog posts etc.), and 20% of your time on promoting your own stuff.
#3. Take the time + effort...
… to make sure you respond to each engagement in a way that is consistent with your brand voice, image and mission | vision. And craft a detailed and thoughtful response that invites conversation where appropriate.
… in every situation where someone has done you a solid, be it a share, a nice comment, or a favour – do the same for them
#5. Audit your follower list...
… every so often, do an and find out
- who your top engagers and followers are
- who you wish you interacted with more
- who you think might be good leads and then engage with them individually. Invite them to join your mailing list, and start nurturing those potential leads.
#6. Do the same with the followers lists of your competitors...
… and other places on social media where people interact with each other (i.e. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, business page comments, etc.)
#7. Never buy followers, likes, or comments...
… even though it might be tempting at times. All it will do is skew your analytics. It’s also quite simply, disingenuous and will ruin your brand when your real followers find out – especially in the CBD | Cannabis industry that demands transparency, and honesty.
take home message
Stop worrying about a stupid number on a social media account. And stop worrying about how your social media follower count compares to those of other medical Cannabis | CBD brands – it might come as a surprise but not everything as it seems in social media (shocking! I know! ?). Many companies are taking the easy route and trying to build their perceived legitimacy and authority by buying followers or using bot to increase their following.
Show people your brand personality, talk about your values, and show them who you are. Commit to creating high quality, beautiful and consistent social media content that reflects your Cannabis Brand’s vision, mission and values. In the end it’s quite simple. The way to be successful on Social Media in the ways that matter, is to build a solid, and loyal community of people that are relevant to you and your business. Even if that means having fewer followers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lieze Boshoff (B.Psych, M.Sc (HCN)) is the founder of LBC3 Marketing + LBC3 Academy a leading Cannabis Marketing agency + training academy for the CBD | Cannabis Industry. Additional work experience includes working as an account manager and then a corporate training and development manager in London, and a university lecturer + researcher in Germany and The Netherlands.
Her areas of expertise encompass all aspects of Cannabis Marketing, including Content Creation, Copywriting, Email Marketing, and Lead Generation. As a specialist in her field, she helps small to medium sized CBD | Cannabis businesses with her work as Cannabis Marketing professional, educator and mentor.