It’s often one of the most sought-after measures from a social media campaign, but in reality the size of your following matters less than the quality of your engagement. Would you rather have 50 fans genuinely interested in your business, who read and engage with your content on a regular basis, or 1,000 who simply are not interested?

I appreciate that’s a fairly rhetorical question, but so many business owners seem intent on ‘looking’ popular that realistically they end up losing sight of what matters. Spending a few moments each day interacting with others in your industry on Twitter, or posting an engaging update on your Facebook or Google+ page, can do wonders. Instead of simply tweeting links, why not search for others discussing products similar to those you sell, join in the conversation and show you’re interested in the topic? This may seem basic, but actually taking the time to show you’re interested in what others around you are saying is what social media is all about. Unless you are a well known brand, you’ll likely not receive any benefit from your social media campaign unless you actively engage your audience. Post a question or poll to Facebook, ask your audience what they think of your service, don’t just assume that because they like your page all is rosy.

So there’s nothing earth shattering about what I’ve just said is there? No, and that’s the point. Social media is not meant to be a super-complex activity that frustrates you and makes you worry about why your competitors have more fans on their Facebook page. It’s not important, really it’s not. Next time you visit one of you competitors pages or accounts ask your self 3 simple questions.

  • Are they engaging with their fans better than you/your business?
  • If so, can you learn anything from what they are implement?
  • If not, is there anything to learn from what they are not doing?

Again, we’re not talking rocket science, we’re simply looking for ways to get the edge. Most businesses will assume they need to simply talk about themselves and their product/service. Whilst we’d all agree that it’s important (after all; it’s the reason you created the account in the first place!) there are many ways you can interact with others without directly selling to your following. Here’s a few simple tips to do this.

  • Retweet interesting articles that may be of interest to your followers.
  • Search for those looking for help in your industry (particularly on Twitter) and get involved, giving advice or pointing to a useful article.
  • Discuss industry news and views, make it relevant and engaging.
  • Share content from other sites in your industry, images on Pinterest, content on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

So all in all, nothing ground-breaking but a reminder of what matters. It really isn’t size that matters, no matter how good it looks.

I would really love to get some thoughts, am I right? Do you believe otherwise? What are your experiences folks?