To illustrate, that’s almost like the whole population of China and India combined. Considering that almost eight out of ten Americans are active on social media, it’s become one of the most powerful marketing tools spanning multiple industries.
This is where the whole concept of social reach comes into play. In a nutshell, social reach is a metric used to describe your brand’s audience size or how many people your social media account could impact. You can break it down further by calculating total social reach per platform (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
Why is social reach so important in today’s technology-driven economy? The bigger your social is, the more leads and conversions you will generate from social media. Moreover, you also have more ability to influence your audience.
Many people hold the misconception that social media reach is measured by the number of followers alone. The reality is, a company with 50,000 targeted followers has a more powerful social reach than one with 100,000 non-targeted followers. This comes down to the fundamentals of online marketing and qualified leads vs. unqualified leads. Targeted followers are more likely to express interest in a product, and in turn, may go from a lead to a conversion. Masses of followers don’t mean anything if they aren’t bringing in any conversions.
Spotting Fake Followers
Have you ever come across a social media account with a suspicious number of followers that have blank profile photos and no activity? This is likely because the account used a method of fake follower growth. Unlike organic growth, fake follower growth is when a user pays for followers that are often generated by bots.
This strategy is merely a way to boost their numbers and offers no real value. Instead of looking at an account’s follower one by one, you can put a number on the engagement. You can calculate this metric by looking adding the numbers of likes on three posts and then dividing the total number by three to get the average. Then take your average and divide it by the account’s total number of followers. If you get an engagement rate of 1% or less, that’s a good indication that the user has fake followers.
Another effective way to spot fake followers is to view their rate of growth over time. You can use Social Blade, a free analytics tool that lets you visualize an account’s growth. Organic (non-paid) growth appears as a consistent line upwards that gradually grows with time. A sharp spike in followers in a small amount is a telltale sign that the followers are bots.
How to Recognize Influencers
Whether you’re active on social media or not, you’ve probably heard of the newly founded “social media influencer” designation. To differentiate an influencer from an everyday user, you have to analyze the quality and authenticity of their social media reach. There’s no doubt that influencers are powerful tools for both small and large brands. These popular social media users can reach and engage your target demographic, boosts your website’s SEO, and drive traffic to your website. Identifying an influencer is easier than you might think.
One of the best ways is to use LinkedIn and search terms such as“influencer” or “blogger” along with your niche. If they’re a legitimate influencer, you should be able to navigate to their social media pages to assess the quality of their posts and the levels of engagement. Many social media platforms have an icon (i.e. a star) that symbolizes someone that’s popular or well-known.
Bringing It All Together
To get an idea of how your social media reach stands, there are a couple of important metrics to look at. First off, figure out your total volume. Most social media platforms have an analytics tool where you can see the total number of views, mentions, and so forth. Then take this a step further and look at your actual engagement. Engagement is when a social media user takes an action on your post.
This could be comments, likes, retweets, and shares. You should also make sure to track your conversions to see how many engagements are converting into sales. Lastly, consider the influence of those engaging with you or talking about your brand. Determine if these people of influence are making an impact and reaching your desired demographic.
Just because you’re an everyday user of social media, doesn’t mean you can build your social reach overnight. With so many components making up reach, it takes in-depth knowledge and skills to take traffic and turn it into conversions. Like any other trade, you should learn from the experts. Enrolling in social media training is crucial to learn the fundamentals that you won’t pickup just by using social media on a daily basis. With a little expertise and training, you can grow your social reach and boost your brand’s online presence.
Michael Deane is a marketing executive by day and a troubles sleeper at night. A huge Lakers fan, he still believes in reading the newspaper every Sunday morning.