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Does Size Matter? The Constant Confusion About The Importance of Your Social Media Following

No matter the level of sophistication of your social media strategies, you’ll likely fall back on two of the most common metrics of social media marketing. And that’s followers or size and engagement. Like many other businesses, you’ll probably be faced with multiple opinions, specifically on the meaning and level of significance of these two terms. While there are positive opinions, negative opinions also have their place. You’ll begin to listen to opinions like followers are too simplistic, engagement, on the other hand, also looks vague and so forth like that.

At some point, you’ll have come across some posts that directly hits the right combination of audiences in terms of relevance and controversy. While these posts or contents generate lots of engagement, it may also lead to a loss of followers. Then, you’ll be left to make a decision on which matters most. If you noticed that a social media user unfollowed you probably based on a post you made, do you really want them to follow you alone? Indeed, there is nothing like bad publicity, but you need to shift your focus to the things that are more relevant to your brand or business.

So, you’ll be left in a state of despair. Will you go for followers or engagements? Will you consider size than engagement? Let’s take a brief look at each of these terms. And then, you’ll be able to come into a conclusion on the one that matters most to your business.


Usually, the count of followers of a brand or business is more or less like a vanity metric. However, it is easily comparable across other channels and competitors. With the number of followers of your competitors, you can easily measure the size of your prospective audience on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

Let’s face the real truth. A simple count of followers only reveals a part of the story. How many of those online followers are real? How many of those followers are really paying absolute attention to that particular brand or business? How many of those followers are relevant or interested in that specific brand? How many of those followers are current customers or potential customers? These and more and some of the questions that should cut across your mind whenever you think about followers or size in social media marketing.

One of the most effective ways to thinks about followers is to consider a diverse concept of audience. Even those who read or see your content are an essential part of your audience. In some cases, these can also be larger than those who follow you directly. Your audience comprises of a wide range of people who could be reached with your content either through online search or amplification. The size of your real audience and that of your activated audience should be your main focus when trying to increase your brand awareness. And this leads to engagement.

What Does Engagement Means?

Engagement has numerous meanings on its own. When it comes to social media marketing, engagement cuts across everything from likes, clicks, responses, and so forth. In fact, some prospective customers may decide to read a post for the purpose of engagement alone.

As a social media marketer, you’ll probably be more interested in engagement. For instance, you’ll want a reaction-type engagement where prospective customers will be reading your posts and making comments.

More so, you’ll want amplification-type engagement where your posts or contents are spread or targeted at people that are not even your followers. Apart from these two, there is another form of engagement known as direct response engagement. With this, you’ll probably be more interested in getting more visits to your website or signup for your webinar or newsletters.

However, one of the biggest challenges of social media marketing is how to prioritize those types of engagement and encourage the ones you want, and when you want them. So, your primary focus should be on engagement per posts.

In conclusion, you may not even need to worry about focusing on either followers or engagement. Do more research on how to measure the intersection of engagement and followers. Who are the audiences you want to reach? What are these audiences doing? Once you successfully understand that, you should focus more on expanding your reach to a larger and more relevant audience. This will, in turn, increase your reach on social media and your revenue.

written by: alausa azeez

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