I decided to make this a lesson all its own because it’s an important subject. I can’t tell you how many times the subject of buying followers has come up when I am dealing with a new client where I’m talking to them about managing their social media for their company.
A lot of new clients are obsessed with growing their followers and doing whatever it takes to make that happen, including buying fake followers. We call these vanity metrics. They may look pretty but they do nothing for you.
Let me ask you, why do you want to buy fake followers? Why spend money to get something that gives you nothing in return?
100% of 0 is still 0.
Are those fake followers going to somehow magically buy something from you? No. Because they aren’t REAL people.
Are those people going to engage with your content? Nope. So, in fact, by having so many followers without any engagement, it actually hurts you on some social media platforms.
It triggers the AI to say, oh hey they have 10,000 followers, but none of them liked the new post they made so that post must suck so let’s not show it as much to others.
Now those fake followers you just bought, actually cost you an opportunity to get whatever you posted seen by real people, maybe people that would have actually been interested in doing real business with you. Yes, that means you just spent money to lose potential new customers.
Social Media Influencers live and die by their engagement. Let me explain what that means so you understand why its important to you and your business as well.
An “engagement” is a like, comment or share on a post you made. In other words, something another person does to engage with the post you made. If you say HAPPY MONDAY! That’s your post.
Now if I go in and reply to your post and say happy Monday to you too. I just engaged with your post. Or if I click like or share your post with my followers, that is also considered an engagement. Anything I do that engages with the content you post is called an engagement.
The more engagement you have on a post, the better.
So how do the numbers work?
I have a client who has 220,659 followers on Instagram. The last post she made was a photo that said Happy #flashbackfriday. That post got 12,400 likes and 136 people commented on it.
On average she gets a 6.07% engagement for each post she makes. That post was a tad below average. But still, overall her engagement is pretty strong.
To calculate your own engagement rate, if you don’t have a social media manager like me who can tell you these things, then you have to do the math yourself.
You can also check it at SocialBlade.com or by using social media scheduling software like later.com.
You divide the average number of engagements by the number of followers then multiple that by 100. For example, if you get around 733 likes and 31 comments per post, that makes your average engagement per post is 764. If you have 63,000 followers then you divide 764 / 63,000 and that gives you 0.0121 * 100 = 1.21. That means your engagement rate is 1.21%.
That may seem low but that’s actually pretty average. The average engagement rate on Instagram ranges anywhere from 1 to 5%. Every industry is different but if you are getting at least a 1% engagement on your posts, you are doing pretty good.
But if you have a bunch of fake followers, well your engagement rate goes down quickly.
Using our previous example, of 63,000 followers. Now, what if you paid a company to get an extra 100,000 followers? Now your engagement rate plummets from 1.21% to .46%.
764 / 163,000 = 0.0046 * 100 = .46
Those extra 100,000 followers really hurt your overall engagement rate. But what does that really matter?
Social media more than just expands your marketing reach. It also offers proof of your business. Social media engagement is more than just the accumulation of followers, it’s a way to prove that potential new customers can trust you, that you know what you are talking about, and as such they should turn over their hard-earned money to you.
High social media engagement boosts brand awareness. Each time an individual interacts with your brand on social media, overall awareness of your brand is increased.
In 2018 Business Insider report reported on just how much celebs make to endorse products on Instagram.
|Earn Per Post||Followers||Engagement|
|Kylie Jenner||$1 million||156 million||4.30%|
|Selena Gomez||$800k||164 million||3.06%|
|Kim Kardashian||$720k||156 million||1.64%|
|Beyoncé Knowles||$700k||137 million||1.82%|
|Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson||$650k||167 million||0.99%|
|Justin Bieber||$630k||124 million||0.71%|
|Kendall Jenner||$500k||120 million||2.97%|
As I previously said social media influencers live and die by their engagement. So what this means is, a person can’t just go and buy 10 million followers and get companies to pay them for advertising. Why? Because it would be obvious the person had all fake followers when the posts aren’t getting any engagement.
|Earn Per Post||Followers||Engagement|
|Huda Beauty||$91.3k||40.5 million||0.48%|
|Lele Pons||$144k||38.2 million||4.14%|
|Cameron Dallas||$86.6k||21.2 million||1.92%|
|Logan Paul||$65.4k||16 million||4.82%|
|Jake Paul||$49.6k||12.1 million||4.31%|
|Zoe Sugg||$18.8k||9.7 million||2.18%|
What these numbers show is that these influencers can help you reach a large number of followers without the big price tag. Overall influencers and celebs charge almost the same, but because they aren’t as famous the overall cost is much less. Let me show you what I mean ….
|Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson||650,000||167,000,000||0.99%||$0.003892|
It will cost you $0.004 per follower to get both Selena Gomez or Jake Paul to promote your company. The difference is the overall cost. Selena Gomez has so many followers that the overall cost is $800k but with Jake Paul, it’s only $49,600.
If a customer likes your Facebook page or one of your posts, friends and followers of that person will see that engagement, followers of your brand may see that engagement, and overall awareness of your brand increases.
More often than not, brand awareness is the central goal of a company’s social media strategy – or it should be. The more people are aware of your company, the more likely they are to spend money with you.
Social media engagement is a tool to measure just how many people are paying attention to your brand on a daily basis. If you have a ton of fake followers, those numbers aren’t ever going to be accurate and in the long run it could actually hurt your brand and your business.
So please think twice about buying fake followers.
That being said, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using social media to promote your business. There is nothing wrong with using legitimate means to get new followers.
Did you know that you can pay companies like Facebook and Twitter to promote one of your posts to try and get more engagement or to get new followers?
These are real followers – real people who may have an interest in your business, who might like what you are posting and decide to do business with your company.
With each post you make on every single platform, your goal should always be to get the most engagement you can. But saying that, I should caution you not to set your expectations to high.
Again, the average is 1% to 5% however I’ve had an engagement the other day on a post that was 18% so bigger numbers are possible. Every post you make is an opportunity to expand your company’s brand awareness. It’s a chance to get a new customer or make a sale.
Not every post will achieve that goal, but if you put the effort into every single post, over time you’ll see a noticeable improvement in your company’s bottom line through your social media marketing strategy.
Make the effort to put forth quality content on any social media platform you use. If oyu are going to bother doing it, do it right. And if you don’t have the time or means to do it yourself the right way look at hiring someone to do it for you.
I make my living managing social media accounts for businesses, most of them small businesses. They pay me to do it for them because they know that if their social media is done right it can be an extremely valuable resource for their company.
I don’t have a single client who hasn’t improved their bottom line thanks to social media. But it’s not something that happens overnight. It takes time to build up your social media presence. But if you stick with it and do it right, it can make your company more money and, in some cases, make your company a lot of money.
Every company is different so what might work for you might not be the best solution for someone else. I have clients who make an incredible amount of money from using Twitter and I have clients who find Facebook is far more valuable to them.
It doesn’t matter which social media platforms you decide to use, I just wanted you to take the time to use them correctly to ensure that you improve your brand awareness and improve your bottom line. The more people who know about your company, the more likely they are to do business with your company. More customers = more money. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
So think carefully about everything we talked about here in this book and make sure that you are doing social media right. Or that you hire the right people to do it for you.