B2B Marketers: When Do Follower Counts Become Irrelevant?

on October 1, 2015

B2B Marketers: When Do Follower Counts Become Irrelevant?

For B2C marketers, follower counts are often one of the most important metrics for measuring social media’s impact on their brand. However, for B2B marketers, this is not always the case.  Simple numbers—or vanity metrics, as they’re often called—don’t tell the whole story about how well-integrated followers are with a brand, or whether prospects are likely to make a purchase at any time in the future.

The usage of vanity metrics to manage marketing initiatives might be contributing to the “biggest source of frustration” that 52% of marketers cited in a 2012 Adobe CMO survey: difficulty in assessing ROI.

Content that Gains Followers

Unfortunately, the strategies for building your followers on social media do not necessarily affect how well you convert your followers. The top 5 motivations people have for following a brand are:

  1. Promotions and discounts
  2. The latest product information
  3. Customer service
  4. Entertaining content
  5. Ability to offer feedback

If customers are not motivated to engage with your brand by making a purchase, having a lot of followers can barely make a dent in your top line.

Content that Converts

To change your approach from gathering followers to converting followers into customers, your first step should be analyzing data that will show what content is working for you. Instead of focusing on engagement metrics, focus on conversions and revenue. You may find that the entertaining social media posts that gained a lot of engagement haven’t resulted in a proportional amount of sales.

Based on this information, create posts with the goal of conversions and group that content into campaigns that are all geared to the same offer. This will help you integrate social media into your overall marketing funnel and more accurately determine where in that funnel you are losing leads.

Until you determine the true goal of your social media efforts, it will never be effective. While follower counts are valuable to a degree, your first priority should be optimizing how you convert the followers you already have. Before you fill the top of your funnel, make sure it is geared towards winning the most conversions possible.

How important are followers to your social strategy? Does a high follower count mean higher conversions? Let us know in the comments!

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