Want to start the New Year off fresh and improve your social media engagement strategy? Keep reading for some lesser-known tips and tricks and a free downloadable to help you stay relevant and keep your customers engaged on social media. 

We want more followers! Right? Well, maybe. When it comes to the number of followers on social media, quantity does not always equal quality. Social media algorithms notice if a large percentage of your followers are engaged (or not) with your content. If you have 600 followers but only 200 of them respond to your posts, your content won’t be considered as valuable as if you have 200 followers who routinely engage in what you are doing. 

So what’s the key to staying relevant and valuable according to the algorithm? Removing followers from Instagram and other social media accounts may help boost your page.

Don’t panic! This approach may seem counterintuitive but if you can make yourself more valuable to the algorithm you’re going to get more eyes on your content. As we all know, more eyes on your content opens up the door for the accumulation of even more engaged followers. 

If you’re ready to up your engagement by paring down your follower list, check out our easy-to-follow guide and downloadable Standard Operation of Procedures manual. 

In this blog you’ll learn:

Define Your Social Media Engagement Criteria

What does it mean to be an “engaged” follower? Positive social media engagement can include any and all interactions with content. A like, share, retweet or comment will separate relevant and engaged followers from those who aren’t interested in engaging your content. These more relevant followers pay attention to what you are posting on social media, and they are interacting with it in some way. Before you delete any of your followers, it is important to determine their engagement frequency and relevancy. In addition to how often they engage with your posts, relevancy can include factors like what industry they are in and/or if there is any potential for collaboration.

How do I know if my engagement rate is “good”? According to Hootsuite, most social media experts say that a good engagement rate is between 1% to 5%. This can also vary from platform to platform; for instance, you might get a lower amount of social media engagement on X than you do on Facebook, so it’s important to know what your business goals are.  Jetpack says, “If you want to drive website traffic, a platform like Facebook, which allows clickable links in posts, might be a good choice. On the other hand, if you’re aiming to build brand awareness through visual storytelling, Instagram and Pinterest could be your best bet.”

Schedule a Regular Audit of Your Followers

At least once a quarter, schedule an audit of the accounts that are following your profile to see if they meet the criteria for being a follower. First, determine your engagement rate. You can use an engagement rate calculator to get this number. If you have a large number of followers but a very small engagement rate, you likely have a number of spam or fake accounts following you. Other data to gather and analyze include what’s called the “virality rate,” which measures how your content is spread. If you post about a new product you are offering and the post is shared 50 times, every one of these shares is helping to get more impressions/views. To get the engagement rate on this specific post, you would divide the post’s number of shares by the number of impressions and multiply it by 100.

Doing this quarterly and documenting it in a spreadsheet can help you track trends over time, assess your most successful content and keep track of who is engaging with your brand regularly.

It’s important to keep your social media team updated on the criteria and protocol for these audits. Making sure everyone is on the same page is key to your success. 

Identify Who is an “Irrelevant Account”

Now you know what the traits of a “relevant” follower are. What makes a follower “irrelevant”? Use social media management tools or platforms to review their content, engagement history, and if they are relevant to your company’s goals and objectives. Inactive or irrelevant followers/accounts will never respond to or engage with your posts. Boostmeup defines these as “ghost” followers. These inactive or non-interested followers dilute the engagement metrics, as they do not interact with the content. By purging them, the percentage of active and engaged followers increases, leading to a more accurate and potentially higher engagement rate. This is crucial since platforms like Instagram and Twitter use engagement rates to determine how widely to distribute content. You can use a tool like FakeCheck to scan your social media profiles and find out the number of fake versus real followers, as well as the names of the probable spam accounts.


Evaluate & Delete

Once you have a list of probable irrelevant accounts, check each one to see how frequently they engage with your content, if at all. Assess how they are relevant to your industry or niche and if there may be potential for future collaboration. Based on these evaluations, you can then decide who to keep as a follower, and who you can delete or remove.

Hot tip: Keep a record of the accounts that you are removing after each audit. You can also include the reason for removing each account; for example, “ghost account” or “never engages.”

Monitor and Adjust as Needed

After you remove irrelevant followers, it is important to monitor your social media accounts for things like engagement, follower growth and content reach. You might then need to adjust your engagement criteria and/or how often you audit your followers based on the outcomes.

Stay Engaged with Relevant Accounts

Engagement on social media is a two-way street. Think about how to increase engagement on social media with the accounts that you have determined to be relevant to your social media pages, and as often as you can, work to build relationships with these accounts. To do this, do the same things you want your relevant followers to do on your accounts: like, comment, and share. 

Find accounts to engage with by looking through your list of followers and click on profiles that seem to be from your industry or relevant to your niche. You can also search the social media platform using keywords that pertain to your business.

Look for Ways to Continue to Improve Your Social Media Engagement

Social media and industry trends are always adapting and changing. As a result, it is a good idea to regularly review your engagement criteria and audit processes. You might find that a monthly audit makes more sense than a quarterly one, and/or that an account that never engages with your page is still important to keep on your list. Encourage your social media team to share feedback and suggestions on how to improve this process.

Summary: Keeping the Cream of the Crop will Enhance Your Relevance and Reach

The gist? Refine your audience for authentic connections! Removing non-engaged followers ensures a more focused and relevant audience, reflecting genuine interactions. This alignment enhances the resonance of your content, increasing the likelihood of organic reach through engaged followers who are more inclined to share and recommend within their networks.

Download our manual for step-by-step instructions to refer to each and every time you conduct your audit!

Need more help? Professional Punch can help you create an innovative and effective marketing plan that includes social media and many other approaches. For more information, please visit our marketing services page.