How many followers do you need?
How Many Fans Do You Really Need?
Quality vs. Quantity
While a huge social media following may make a business look impressive at first glance, in the age of fake followers and bots quality trumps quantity on most platforms. Engagement rates and the relationship you have built with your fans – which ultimately will lead to sales – does not depend on sky-high numbers.
Any brand or blogger with a social media account that has over 1,000 followers can be considered a ‘Micro-Influencer’. Micro-Influencers’ often focus on a niche and are regarded as experts in their field. Because it’s easier to connect with smaller numbers of fans, they often have a more personal – and therefore trusted – connection to their followers.
How many followers are enough?
The answer to this question is different for every business, but it’s interesting to look at Seth Godin’s concept of a “minimal viable audience”. The minimum viable audience (MVA) represents the smallest possible number of clients (or followers) that you need to sustain your business.
For example, if you have ‘only’ 400 fans but they are engaged followers who convert to sales and you charge each of them £250, it would already add up to £100,000.
If you can do this every year and continue to grow your audience, you could even double or triple that number. So you have to remember: it’s not really about the followers you have, but the super fans who will be making those purchases.
When starting your business from a microniche (the smallest subset of a market), the main aspect of the MVA is to zoom into existing markets to find the people whose needs are unmet by existing players.
Drill down deep to find your niche
Focusing on your niche will increase your changes of being a big fish in a smaller pond. You can become more specialist for a specific audience and service. This will allow you to be positioned as an expert.
Taking the process of writing a book as an example, the steps to identify your market niche look like this:
- Pick a genre. Let’s say you’ve chosen ‘fiction’ as your category.
- Within fiction, you will then look for a specific sub-category, perhaps ‘historic fiction’.
- Drill down even further. Within the wide range of ‘historic fiction’, look for another specific sub-category. For example, ‘historic fiction focused on the Renaissance era’.
- Minimal Viable Audience is a great way to enter the market by drilling down into your niche
- A more specific target audience and service helps to focus your targeting, so instead of aiming at everyone and hitting no-one, you hit a specific more engaged audience
- Drilling down allows you to become a specialist