Engagement Is More Important Than Number Of Followers

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Late last year, after being personally attacked as usual, I got into it with a different writer friend of author M. Todd Gallowglas — who I want everyone to know totally is associated with me and has been my friend for a number of years, and who would certainly love for you to mention how you discovered him through my blog ( @MGallowglas and https://www.facebook.com/mtoddgallowglas/ respectively). In fact, he loves me so much that he decided to, in California where it is dangerous for me and my family, stand up at one of his public shows and tell his crowd how great of friends we are even though I’m a lowly Christian Conservative (yes, I had my identity called out and it was frightening. He did fail to mention I’m a leading voice of Hispanic science fiction authors though, sadly), and how that it’s important to maintain those friendships despite disagreements. I’d heap praises on his open-mindedness and truly enlightened mindset myself, but I’m currently blocked because he’s so tolerant and diverse he literally can’t even. 

Anyhow, the first thing the random person did was mock me about my number of Twitter followers, which is funny as the fellow had one of those accounts where he follows several thousand people, and so they follow him. It’s a marketing strategy, one in which I get a LOT of twitter spam from writers, marketers, bloggers, etc. You may have seen it too. Some person with a lot of followers follows you, you follow them, and you get a DM about their product or going to their page or whatnot immediately.

It’s funny because these people pay for their twitter followers, and most of the big followed accounts, unless they’re a brand you’ve heard of, have done that. I think a lot of people realize it’s a marketing strategy by this point, and that it doesn’t work, but it’s almost instinctive to give a follow back out of courtesy. I’m not sure it actually helps at all.

I was looking at another person’s twitter today, someone who has a pretty sizable name that most people in niche entertainment communities would know the name at the very least, and saw several thousand followers of this person. Now this one wasn’t the type who had paid marketing, unlike the person who criticized me, but had them from naturally being active on twitter for a long time. Though the person has several thousand more followers than me, the person has about 900 likes to their posts, while I’ve got close to 8,500 with a meager follower base of 500.

What’s important is not the number that you have — and this goes for Facebook likes or whatnot as well — but the amount of engagement you’re able to generate. If people are active with you, if they’re THINKING about you, that’s more likely to translate into both short term sales and long term loyalty. I have high levels of engagement across my social media platforms (especially on gab.ai where it’s a superior social media platform than all the others), and I can rest assured that a much higher percentage of my followers both reads my blogs and buys my books than the average person who bought theirs. So while Mr. blocked me paid for his follow-base and mocked me over it, I’m still winning the game, and probably better than he is.

Here’s some tips on how to make sure you create engagement:

  1. Post about things that you’re passionate about. Passion shows. People respond to it.
  2. Post about topics that your followers care about. I saw a great tweet from Ralene Burke, fellow author and book marketeer. She said (paraphrasing) if you keep tweeting your book over and over for sales, you’re not adding value. You need to say something substantive. This is darn true. This is why I should never blog about baseball because my followers don’t care or read it as well. I’m still gonna do it cuz of #1 though. Because that’s authentically me. And people want to connect, and crave authenticity in this fake internet world at the same time.
  3. Reply, like, care about your followers. This is a big one. If someone reads my books, I want to interact with you because thank you I love you. If someone promotes my books after that, I double love you. I write a lot between the blog and my book (4-5k words per day in aggregate), I have a real job, I also have a family. I don’t sleep as it is. So If I miss something, it’s not personal. But if I’m tagged especially in a conversation, I will do my best to respond and engage and retweet every time. It’s so important and is the difference maker in what accounts are fun, and which ones people kind of ignore.

So far, engagement has been high for me, and that’s translated into sales. I hope to keep it that way. If you don’t follow me yet:

@jondelarroz – twitter

@otomo – gab.ai

https://www.facebook.com/jondelarroz – facebook

http://delarroz.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=3c0d4761bf596db6605e25975&id=e7c61287b0 – mailing list

Test out the points above for a month and and get back to me. Would love to see how it works for you!

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