Big Audiences Don’t Often Yield Big Results on Social Media, But This Did…

Last year I was asked to take over the social media marketing for a client. The B2B client had a standard engagement running on social.

Post regularly on Twitter and LinkedIn, and once in a while on Facebook.

The marketing head was pumped to share that her social media profiles had tens of thousands of Followers, per profile. I was excited too, assuming that all of those followers were relevant, current, and somewhat engaged with the brand.

Think again.

What percentage of social Followers do you really think engaged with — even just saw branded content daily or weekly?
What percentage of that audience resonated with the post that they saw vs. a post which may have — or would have— appeared later in the week that had more relevance to them?
What percentage of that audience got activated and engaged with the brand? (In other words, clicked through to a link).

Does it really matter if your brand is Favorited or Retweeted if it’s within a vacuum or to a non-relevant group of Followers?


Really. Who cares how many Followers you have? What you should care about is if those Followers are influential to your brand. So, here’s where it gets very interesting. I ran a social media audit.

  • Most of their Followers were employees;
  • The most engaged Followers were employees;
  • The employees who were the “loudest” on social were sharing content from outside of the target region of the marketing and marketing to a region that didn’t need to be marketed to;
  • The social media posts were disjointed and not telling a story;
  • No one was engaging with influencers on social media;
  • Their closest competitor was hiring influencers to share content, ugh.

So much for analyzing their “share of voice.”


I was. I figured with such a large following that the brand’s social media analysis would have surfaced such red flags. But, previously, the brand was only managed quantitatively not qualitatively which left little to discuss. The Board and Execs were not privy to what was happening on social because they couldn’t digest what they were being fed. Then it got more interesting.

The gang of three sat down. Head of marketing and two influencers at the company. Here’s what they came up with:

They decided that to really pull influence for their current offerings and upcoming announcements that there were only ten people to target offline and online.

Surprisingly these “influencers” didn’t have large followings. The most popular didn’t have more than 3,000 Twitter Followers. What was more surprising was that the team collectively decided to set a goal with their outreach that I thought would be impossible to reach within 90 days.

Slam dunk.

What did they do? That is by far the most interesting point of all.

Here we’ve got social media platforms with tens of thousands of Followers, an emerging brand, in a hot sector, and the marketing/influencer heads focus on ten influencers.

What did they gain?

Market position.

Before our campaign, the Company wasn’t seen as nearly competitive as the closest competitor. The market also didn’t know that my client’s Company was as innovative as it was nor did the market know that it was actually ahead of the competition. The competition had good marketing, huh?

Sure, I would have loved to report that our outreach drove incremental leads to the company too, but that wasn’t what this was about.

The genius of the marketing was that they realized that they had an opportunity to leverage influencers on social media to set the record straight.

And, boy did they… Our client’s social media presence rose by 19% relevant Followers in 90 days. Talk about a big result.