Whenever I talk to people about their current business activity on social media, they often complain about the number of people who follow them. It doesn’t matter if it’s Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook – the number of followers or fans always seems to equate to success as far as they’re concerned.
Big is better, and biggest is best. Apparently.
The problem seems to be even worse when they start to compare the size of their following with those of their competitors.
“Well, John has 500 followers, and we only have 390. No wonder he’s doing better than us.”
I confess in this instance I’m always keen to discover how they know John is doing better. Because he says so? Well, he’s hardly going to admit sales are down and he’s not sure how he’s going to pay the bills next month is he?
We always assume others have got it together and we don’t, but that’s rarely the reality.
However, let’s make one thing perfectly clear – a larger following does not necessarily mean more business.
Forget online and social media. Let’s look at the real world.
Imagine you have a shop in a dingy back street with very little passing trade. Your competitor, on the other hand is located in the middle of the High Street, and has over 1,000 people pass by their door every day.
Who is doing better in terms of trade?
In all honesty, you have no idea.
More people have the potential to see their shop than yours, but does that equate to more business? It all means nothing if no one is actually going in and buying anything.
For all you know the five customers you have who actually pop in and purchase exceeds the one he has who window shops. Plus, your rent is probably lower.
Who’s doing better now?
Social media works in exactly the same way. Having more followers simply means there is more opportunity for your posts to be seen by people, it doesn’t mean you’re going to do any better from it. In fact, if you have a smaller community of fans who do engage and interact with your content you are most definitely going to do better than someone who is receiving no contact from their audience.
This is the precise reason why I find it so frustrating when people “buy” followers. Yes, for a mere £20 (or less) you can bump your audience by 20,000. You may think that looks impressive, you might even assume it gives you a certain amount of credibility – but does it?
There is no “search pages with large followers” option when it comes to Facebook. The only way a complete random person is going to stumble across your page is if you pay for an ad, or one of your genuine followers interacts with your content. A paid for, made up profile is not going to do that, and therefore there is simply no benefit to going down this route.
Instead of looking for quick fixes that you think make you look good, take the time to build genuine relationships with your target audience and existing clients. Reach out to them, ask them questions, thank then when they do respond and most importantly, stop just trying to sell to them.
If you’re not sure how to build relationships online, get in touch with Lu at Time Saving Heroes today – we are always happy to offer some advice. Call 0161 883 2024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org