Social Media: How not to Obsess on Followers Count

Adrien Lemaire
4 min readApr 15, 2021

When you’re managing social media, figures are everywhere: number of likes, views, followers… The latter one is usually the most visible, which can be associated with credibility and influence. The issue is that we tend to always want more, and to compare our account with the most popular ones that have millions of followers.

So how to stop obsessing on this specific figure? On what can you focus instead?

Look at engagement rate

Relative figures are a good way to have a better overview of your engagement. In particular, you can look at engagement rate, calculated by the number of interactions on a post divided by the number of followers.

Engagement rates gives you a better representation of content performance, compared to absolute numbers. For example, if you have 100 followers and see that 50% of your followers are liking your content, it’s a good sign that your audience appreciates what you do.

Relative numbers also allows comparisons with other accounts. You could even realise that you have a higher engagement rate than some larger accounts.

A good test is checking out the engagement of your biggest competitors. That’s what I did for my music blog. When having a look at Facebook pages or Instagram accounts of other music blogs, I was surprised to see that their engagement rate was quite low. This can be for multiple reasons, but a major one is that, as the audience grows, it’s harder to be seen by people who really engage with your content. It also depends how the audience grew: for example, when a user follows a page to enter a contest, he may not interact with its content.

Focus on your existing audience

If you’re creating something, you probably already have an audience following what you do: your friends, family, colleagues, the persons which came across your work…

Even if they’re not many, look at how they engage with your content: which topics are the most popular? Do they comment, share feedback or reshare your content…

Adrien Lemaire

Content Marketer — Music Blogger @DYLTS