Social media followers don’t matter: An aesthetic metric

likes on social media

Three CEOs walk into a bar and two of them start bragging. CEO one says I have 37,000 followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. CEO two intervenes and says,” Well, I get double that in number of likes on my posts on those social media outlets. CEO three stays quiet, and when asked why he says, “I only have 5,000 followers on Instagram and Pinterest, but 80% of my followers actually make purchases, and 60% of them are returning customers.”

That was not a joke by the way, more of a statement. In today’s digital world we try to measure success by aesthetic metrics that do not add value to our brand. We give too much importance to the number of likes our social media channels receive. This represents success. More people are following your brand and seeing what you offer, but ultimately our goal is to convert those followers and likes into sales.

So let’s compare the metrics and show the benefits and disadvantages of getting a million likes on social media.

Advantages and Disadvantages of A Million Followers on Social Media


  •   Large reach
  •   Increase of social media interaction
  •   Great for SEO and content creation


  •   Uncertainty of relevant audience
  •   Clutter of inactive followers
  •   Decrease in number of impressions due to inactivity

Whats wrong with 1,000,000 followers?

Getting to a thousand, 100 thousand or a million followers on your social media channels means you are probably doing a good job in reaching your audience. The benefit of having such a large following base is that you can advertise your products or services to more people at a time. Reaching more people and getting them interested in your business will result in more conversions as well.

Second, a large following base gives your business a sense of legitimacy when consumers land on your social media channels. If they see you have thousands of followers, it will give them a piece of mind seeing that the general population usually likes your product or service and that you provide quality.

In theory this is great, but the issue lies with the relevance of your audience and how active said audience is with your social media channels. Imagine that your business is selling workout equipment and your picture posts contain fitness models of immaculate shape and beauty. When we look at your following base, is this audience your target market? Are followers following your business or the models?

This is where you need to really work on improving your social media following base. You want your following base to be interacting with your content as well as be interested in what you are offering. This helps you increase the percentage of conversions. You do this by ensuring your audience is really fascinated with your content, and that they are commenting and sharing your content with their network. If your followers do comment and share your posts with their networks because of the quality of your content, you have succeeded in increasing on page interactions. Not to mention that this will exponentially expand your reach within their networks.

On the other hand, a following base that is inactive with your content, yet they follow you, can stagnate your growth by saturating your social media channels with inactivity. Inactivity on your social media channels will in turn decrease the number of impressions you posts will get. That will decrease the number of people you can reach.

There is an amazing video describing “Like Farms” where you can purchase likes and follows on social media channels, at the cost of inactive users.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A social media following base is to increase your conversion rate by interacting with your audience.” quote=”A social media following base is to increase your conversion rate by interacting with your audience and expand your potential reach.”]


Conversions are the metrics that matter

The whole point of having a social media following base is to increase your potential reach and interact with your audience. Turn your consumers into customers by providing them with quality content and information about your products and services. Deliver content that excites them and makes them want to purchase your product.

Yes, work on attaining as much attention as you can to increase your outreach and grow your audience, but make sure you are targeting the correct market. They will help you succeed in your efforts by promoting your company as well. Remember, the whole point is to convert consumers into customers and increase your conversion rate, if only 20% of your following base is active on your social media channels, it might be time to revamp your strategy and target your desired segments instead of just anyone. Quality over quantity!

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