13 Jan

Social Strategy 2021: Focus on Engagement, Not Follower Count

By Brittnay Bell, Account Executive

As 2020 comes to an end (anyone else let out a huge sigh?!), and we look ahead to 2021, I’m sure you find yourself evaluating and planning your social strategy. I’m here to encourage you to focus on content that will grow your engagement, not your followers, because social media should be just that – social. Does that feel a bit weird? That’s ok. Since ‘social strategy’ became a thing, follower count has been a top metric to measure. But here’s why that might not be the most impactful – followers don’t always translate to brand loyalty or sales. So then what does? Engagement.

Engagement includes things like reactions (likes), shares, comments, clicks, and saves. If you pay close enough attention, you can even reveal broader trends about improving the customer experience. Things like: which features are most important to your customers, which services are the most desirable, or what information your constituents find to be the most relevant, and more. Engagement matters because it is a two-way conversation between you and your followers, so be sure to respond and join the conversations from your profile.

So, how do we build a content strategy to grow engagement? I’m glad you asked.

First, you’ll want to take a look at previously posted content that garnered the most engagement from your followers and target audience. Did it include pictures or video? Often, more eye-catching visuals generate better engagement. Can you pull out themes or topics that were among your highest engaged posts? Was there a product that outperformed all others on social? Make a note of content that has historically performed well so that you can lean into those moving forward.

Secondly, it is important to know the social platforms you’re on and to take the time to understand the new platforms you’ll join. Are you on Facebook, but know that you’re missing a part of your potential audience and customers on Instagram? Content is not one size fits all, and different content will perform better or worse, depending on the platform. For example, video tends to draw high engagement rates – but video watch times can vary widely between platforms. However, you can use the same b-roll to create a customized experience on each platform to garner the highest engagement across your profiles.

Lastly, but most importantly, you’ll want to track, analyze, adjust, and repeat! If you aren’t measuring your efforts against SMART goals and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you’re all but wasting your time. Regularly taking a pulse check of your content and checking in to see what works and what doesn’t will help you deliver the content your followers want to see and boost engagement.

Beyond providing a better understanding of your customers, engagements can help boost your reach and impressions, build trust and loyalty, and establish connections. Think of it as the relationship metric. It can help you understand how healthy (or not) your relationship is with your followers and potential customers.