GUEST POST: What's More Important: Numbers or Engagement?

instagram engagement tips

There exists a tired old trope amongst artisans, and that is that your work should speak for itself. Marketing? Advertising? Pish tosh. That's a game for the business crowd - not the creatives who rely upon their talent to speak volumes for them.

In an age where we're influenced by social proof and marketing messages at every corner, I'd dare to say social media marketing should be top of every business owner's agenda. Whether you're a designer, a fashion buyer, a stylist or a real estate agent, "Build it, and they will come" is a fallacy. You need to promote your work, and using social media marketing is the most accessible way to do so.

Unsure about how to measure your ROI? Should the size of your audience be your KPI? Or is follower engagement a better measure for success?

Luckily, there are smart marketers like Angela J. Ford who can answer these questions for you. I asked the digital marketer and author to provide some advice on the best measures for assessing your social media marketing efforts.


May I admit something to you? I’m one of those people who gives off the aura of success and it’s likely based on my social media reach and other numbers. Recently, I had a successful business owner contact me about being a guest speaker at her upcoming Virtual Summit. It would have been a fantastic opportunity with a platform, access to a new audience to hear my words of wisdom and advice, and a chance to grow my email. There was just one tiny snag. My email list had to have a minimum of 5,000 subscribers.

Honestly, my list is nowhere near that high, but I could see why that business owner assumed so. After all, my blog has amazing content, testimonials are on point and my social proof is high. Since my social media has a reach of over 14,000 and I’ve been interviewed on podcasts of reputable entrepreneurs, it’s easy to pinpoint a number of success and make assumptions. Which leads me to the questions. What’s more important, numbers or engagement?

Numbers give you social proof and help you establish your reputation online. As writers and bloggers we have specific goals in mind. Whether it’s to write amazing content, grow email lists, or build a community, one reason we started blogging is to make money through our blogs. Which is why we want a huge following online in the first place.

A strong following means that:

  • Others are resonating with the content you’re creating and what you’re putting out into the world
  • You are good at what you do because people are following you
  • You know how to build an audience and you’re taking the right steps in promoting your work

Followers are the first step. You certainly need followers for social proof, but that’s not all you should be focused on. Your next step should be engagement.

As influencer marketing becomes increasing popular, one thing brands and businesses look at is engagement. Are people commenting on your Facebook and Instagram posts, do they read your blog posts and share them with others?

Engagement means people not only follow you, but that they actually take action by reading and sharing your work. They become fans of what you do and are ready to comment on your blog posts and social media accounts because what you are saying resonates with them.

How do you become a person that resonates with others?

You share content others want to read - whether it’s to solve a problem, tell them how to do something or to inspire and encourage, your content makes a difference.

You share your articles more than once on social media - if you’re excited about your content, you need to share it over and over, because each time you’re reaching someone new.

You engage in groups where your ideal readers are - the best way to get engagement is to go where your readers hang out online.

Yes, followers are important, but converting them into engaged fans of your community is even more important. You can make a difference with your work with 5 people or 500 people, you just need to start focusing on what really matters.

Angela J. Ford is the author of the The Four Worlds Series and a Digital Marketing Strategist. She’s passionate about helping authors and bloggers do more work they love by helping them out with marketing. You’re most likely to find her with her nose in a book and a cup of coffee in hand.





I'm Camilla Peffer, and I'm a Melbourne copywriter who creates engaging, results-driven content for fashion and lifestyle brands. From website copywriting, to fashion copywriting, content strategies and SEO audits, I've created clicks and conversions for the likes of Sportsgirl, Seed Heritage, CoYo, Ralph Lauren and Politix. Want to work together? Reach out! I'd love to hear about your next project.