Do You Know Who is Following You on Social Media?

by / Tuesday, 26 August 2014 / Published in Small Business Advice

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When it comes to social media followings, a lot of the time the prevailing attitude is “more is better” in terms of followers. While this concept may or may not hold water, depending on the quality of said followers and the ability of social updates to appear in feeds, as opposed to getting beat out by paid messages, it pays to know who is actually deciding to follow your business and personal accounts. Followers can accumulate over time, trickling in until you are not sure who exactly is following you. Just having followers is only half the battle, however. Getting the full value out of them for your business means you need to pay attention to who they are, what they are interested in, and where they fall in your market segmentation.

Who is following your personal accounts also deserves attention. It may be the case that followers ignore your business page in favor of following you directly. Think about what this means in terms of your content strategy. It could be that your customers are craving your insight directly while you are crating content for your business page that is too impersonal with not enough draw to hold their attention. Engage with people who choose to follow you directly in order to learn more from them about what it is that they are looking for, their motivations for following you, and in order to demonstrate your willingness to engage via social.

There are a number of tools business owners can use to get a more in depth view of their social following. The social media management game is one that has been highly catered to, and there are plenty of tools that allow you to look at who is sharing your content, who is following you and their level of influence in their circles as well as who is following you who is simply a robot. On certain social networks, bot saturation is a problem that can seriously inflate the number of  “people” who are following you, yet another case for using engagement rather than size as a measure of the strength of your following.

If you haven’t already, be sure to work on segmenting your market. Social media followings can serve as helpful snapshots for doing this. Who is your typical customer? Using social media, you can get a very clear answer to this question, breaking up the demographics behind your following into subgroups that will aid you in creating targeted messages and calls to action. Remember, market research can stand between wasting large amounts of money very quickly on digital ads, or quickly recouping your investment. The old adage “look before you leap” certainly has relevance when marketing online, and your social followers are one way for you to do that looking.

Photo Credit to Ariel Leuenberger on Flickr

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