Don’t Go Chasing Followers: Organically Finding Success on Social Media

Social media isn’t all about the numbers. Maintaining quality interactions with your followers can be more beneficial than simply trying to increase your follower count.

A high follower count may seem impressive, but focusing on gathering followers may not be your best strategy. Josh Spector proposed an interesting thought in his recent blog post: “What would you do differently if you only needed 10 true fans to succeed?” While having thousands of followers is certainly an accomplishment, chasing followers rather than good content can leave you with an empty account. Here are some tips on how to focus on what really matters.

  • Find a target audience
  • Work hard
  • Communicate

Who is Following You?

Knowing your target audience is the key to online success. While playing it safe and catering to the undefined masses may seem like a good technique, spending time finding a specific audience may be more beneficial in the long run.

This is the difference between having followers who tolerate you and those who value you. By defining your audience, you can begin to focus your content more. This means that the chance of you becoming an important account in a specific community increases.

It is really hard to have it all, and trying to seem appealing to an unfocused group of people will only waste your time. If you want your account to have value, spend time building a personality and letting your audience know who you are and why you’re important.

While celebrities could get away with just existing on social media, influencer and business accounts need to build an organic following, usually without a lot of outside influence.

If you do not have a target audience, it could be hurting you more than you know. Your account becomes dispensable because it is not defined. Some questions you can ask while trying to find your audience:

  • Who is following you now?
  • Do you feel like you are expressing yourself fully?
  • What kind of demographic would appreciate what you are passionate about?

Trying to cater to everyone is a recipe for getting yourself into a rut. Find your own voice and find your audience accordingly. It is better to have a smaller base of loyal followers than thousands of followers who cannot remember why they followed you in the first place.

You Better Work

Finding your audience is only the first step to social media success. Once you find definition, the work begins.

Since you know who your followers are and why they follow you, this step involves a lot of content creation. As you put out new content, use analytics tools to gauge what content is garnering the most attention.

Hopefully, all your content is something you are proud of, so any engagement can help you feel connected to your followers. Learn what they like and why; this can help you create even more engaging content.

The kind of content differs by the type of account. For businesses, posts centered around products and company values can help you grow your following. Individual influencers can benefit from slowly defining their specialty, such as fashion, interior design, or makeup. Bloggers and writers could be vocal about their values and even repost their content from other mediums.

All of this constitutes as work, but if you are passionate about it, your followers will know. Posting frequently, consistently, and meaningfully will only help you. Simply having an account with a lot of followers will not guarantee success.

Social Media is a Two-Way Street

As your follower count begins to grow, it can seem overwhelming to communicate with your followers. It might seem like avoiding communication after a certain point will not hurt you, but communicating with followers is actually the best way to grow your presence.

If you scroll through any post on Instagram, you’ll see that the poster often likes and replies to comments on a post. If you have a small base, doing this will make followers feel valued and they will value you in return. You become more than a post, and that will benefit you.

Even if you cannot reply to all the comments on a post, like ones that stand out to you and show gratitude often. Starting off small has its advantages because you can get to know your followers just like they are getting to know you. Even if your following becomes larger, your original following will probably still be there to put in a good word for you.

These online relationships could be easy to glaze over, but social media success is all about paying attention to your followers, not your following. Becoming a significant member of a community all starts with a defined presence and communication. As you watch your following grow, continue to strategize as if you still only had a few followers. This ensures your content and mission remain focused, personal, and timeless.

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