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An Important Distinction: Social Media Following vs. Social Media Engagement

Courtney Scharf
January 25th, 2013
When it comes to being online, many companies obsess over growing a social media following. Though this isn't entirely misguided, brands are wise to track both the amount of subscribers they have as well as the amount of communication they manage to generate with customers.

Having a strong social media following, without a doubt, reflects well on your brand and is a helpful statistic to be able to recite. It can act as a strong signifier of your brand's influence, and, of course, provides a company with a stronger and larger audience when it comes to posting content on such platforms. There's nothing wrong with spending effort and even capital trying to build up a following, but many companies let their social media goals stop there. After your company has built up a solid following on these sites, it should strive to make them as valuable (to both the brand and the customer) as possible.

Online companies, particularly online retailers, can benefit from having a strong social media following, as these platforms tend to act as a helpful source of online referral traffic. Paying close attention to analytics and making changes to content posted is a great way to ensure that you're making the most of the following that your company is able to build up. In order to avoid coming across as either spam-like or overly promotional, companies should vary postings and ensure that anything shared will be of genuine interest and value to subscribers.

Making the most of a social media following is no easy task, especially considering how different types of platforms are out there. Tailoring and using these sites as a means of communicating with customers is incredibly valuable, however, and well worth the effort in most cases. Trend Hunter's Social Media Trend Report is a fantastic resource for any brand looking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to this sphere, and provides cutting-edge insights into the ways in which brands are appropriating social media.