The number of social media followers your business has is becoming increasingly meaningless as the way platforms promote and push your content to users evolves.
Platforms care less about making your content available to your followers and subscribers and more about giving users the content that will keep them engaged, scrolling and consuming content.
This means that to keep your brand relevant on social media you will need to focus on what your audience loves and wants to engage with, rather than growing your follower or subscriber count.
Impact Of The TikTok Content Revolution
Whether you use TikTok or not, its impact is being felt across the entire industry.
Short, snackable video content has come to dominate social media.
Reels now accounts for 20% of the time spent on Instagram and combined with Facebook Reels and Short Video highlights the importance this style of content is having.
Instagram Reels Weakens The Link Between You and Your Followers
The big trend transported from TikTok is that on Instagram reels the content you are being shown is more driven by the algorithm and trends rather than who you follow.
Across social media platforms it is likely that as time goes on the content you consume will be less and less from people within your network or that you follow.
Your content will have to speak for itself to stay relevant.
Further contributing to the decline in the ability to rely on your follower count and historic brand strength for social media reach and engagement.
A challenge for those who established their network in the old world, but a huge opportunity for those looking ahead to the new.
Social Media Followers Are Worthless?
The number of followers you have on any social media platform has been on the decline for nearly a decade as platforms move their focus away from attracting business users and toward monetising their user base.
The trajectory has been different for every platform, but eventually, organic reach and engagement starts to fall and the value of a follower diminishes.
Follower Count Social Proof
Follower counts are no longer a predictor of social media success.
The primary role of followers on social media is now to provide social proof.
If someone is thinking of buying from you and during their research they see you are inactive on social media and only have a thimble full of followers then it can harm your credibility.
Once a certain threshold, that will depend on your size, industry and location is met, typically 100 to 1,000 for a small business then the number of followers after that becomes vanity.
An example of when this can matter is Lloyds TSB. When the bank split in two, one of the new entities had to start from scratch on social media.
Which led to TSB running ads with a follower objective on Twitter the moment they launched. As an international bank the harm to their reputation of having just 50 followers would be too much (they now have more than 50,000.
The Solution To The Death Of Follower Counts – Engagement
The measure of success of your organic social media is the genuine engagement and sense of belonging you can inspire from your audience.
A community of engaged fans are essential when it comes to engagement. Their engagement and enthusiasm boosts your visibility, credibility and bottom line as they generate interest and action that you cannot achieve simply by broadcasting into the void.