Engaging Different Types of Social Media Followers

Building a social media following feels like aiming to be the most popular kid in school, but exponentially more challenging. It often appears as though you must decipher some highly exclusive popularity secret to truly connect with your audience.

Thankfully, the dynamics of social media are much more diverse than high school hierarchies. Your followers might not all be the prom queen or the quarterback, meaning being the “coolest” brand isn’t the only path to their hearts.

A study on the psychology of sharing reveals different types of followers, each with unique attractions to your content, social media posts, and brand persona for various reasons.

To effectively engage your followers, it’s crucial to first understand which type of follower you’re targeting, how they interact on social media, and most importantly – what value you can offer them.

Career-Focused Followers

If you’re active in any career-centric LinkedIn group, you might have noticed a few standout members. They’re the ones always sharing insightful articles, sparking discussions, and asking thought-provoking questions about their industry. Their motivation is clear.

They understand that in today’s world, our personal and professional lives are intertwined. By carefully choosing what content to share and which questions to ask, they bolster their professional image. These individuals are dedicated to crafting their online personas to be recognized as thought leaders and experts in their field.

Predominantly, these followers prefer LinkedIn, though they might occasionally pop up on Facebook as well.

Career-Focused Followers

  1. Target these individuals if you’re a B2B service or an expert in their industry.
  2. Create content that’s not only relevant but packed with actionable advice and deep industry insights.
  3. Ensure your LinkedIn presence is strong, with content that’s comprehensive and credible, to attract this audience.
Case in Point:

HubSpot has masterfully engaged the career-oriented social media user. As a provider of B2B website software and analytics for inbound marketing professionals, HubSpot has become a primary resource for the latest in inbound and digital marketing.

Trendy Followers

Young, popular, and always in-the-know, trendy followers chase the latest fads and crave the “cool” factor. Capturing their attention can be challenging, but win them over, and you tap into a powerful network of peer influencers.

How to Attract Trend-Setters
  1. Engage them across all relevant platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and Snapchat, tailoring your campaign to each.
  2. Keep your messages short, sweet, and packed with information.
  3. Never underestimate the power of design; high-quality images and sleek layouts are essential.
  4. Incorporate video content, a preferred medium for half of all millennials.
  5. Ensure your offerings resonate with their lifestyle, whether by solving a problem or introducing something novel.
Example to Emulate

Apple stands out for mastering the art of engaging trendy followers. Their mix of visually appealing content and innovative products has not only defined a generation but also built a vast and loyal customer base.

Sociable Followers

Did you know that 73% of people share content online to connect with those who have similar interests? Sociable followers embody the true spirit of social media – forging connections through shared interests. They’re drawn to content that sparks conversation, whether it’s worth a laugh, a debate, or a moment of nostalgia. Common platforms for these interactions include Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Engaging Conversation Starters
  1. What grabs their attention? Content that serves as a conversation starter. Aim for pieces that are informative, interesting, and concise, making it easier for them to share and discuss.
  2. Mixing in humor or a touch of controversy can spark even more engagement, as long as it remains relevant to their interests.
  3. Content that fits into their daily conversations – be it tips for budget-friendly cooking, resume-building advice, or just entertaining tidbits for downtime – keeps these followers coming back for more.
Model Example

Buzzfeed nails this approach with its mix of compelling news, quizzes, videos, and humor. Their content is not just engaging; it’s tailor-made for sharing and sparking discussions among friends.

Attention Seekers

Whether they’re a guilty pleasure or a bit of an eye-roller, we all know a few attention seekers online. A notable 57% of millennials admit that their peers often use social media to capture attention and seek validation. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat – you name it, they’re there, sharing relentlessly to garner those precious ‘likes’ and comments.

For attention seekers, it’s all about crafting an image that earns them the spotlight, constantly chasing the next wave of online approval.

Winning Over Attention Seekers
  1. To catch their eye, your content and interactions must be designed to stand out. Think content that’s bold, brash, and impossible to ignore.
  2. Engage them with contests, visually striking photo and video challenges, or even content that edges into the controversial or shockingly unexpected.
A Case Study in Engagement

Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke campaign is a textbook example of how to engage this group. By inviting users to customize their own Coke bottles and share photos under the #shareacoke hashtag, Coca-Cola generated around 125,000 personalized posts, brilliantly capturing the attention of those always looking to stand out.

Choosy Followers

Meet the choosy followers: the antithesis of attention seekers. These users value their close relationships on social media over the quest for likes or followers. Their engagement with a brand comes from a genuine connection to its products, messaging, or content. For them, it’s all about the substance of the information, seeking only the most relevant and high-quality content that benefits either themselves or their network.

Connecting with Discerning Users
  1. When reaching out to choosy followers, prioritize content that’s not just informative but backed by thorough research and actionable insights.
  2. Ensure your content is straightforward, employing clear titles that directly communicate the value proposition. Support your assertions with credible statistics and data, but keep the presentation digestible.
  3. Though a polished presentation with infographics and high-resolution images can enhance credibility, the real key to winning over this audience lies in the depth and accuracy of your information.


Building a social media following can feel like an uphill battle, but it’s far from impossible. Understanding the different types of potential followers allows you to tailor your approach, ensuring you’re not just accessible but also delivering content that truly resonates. This segmentation strategy is key to enhancing your social media presence effectively.

To elevate your social media strategy further, consider integrating on-site social media tools. This approach consolidates your social and business activities, simplifying how you monitor and engage with conversations about your brand. By keeping a close eye on these interactions, you can refine your strategy in real-time, ensuring your social media efforts are as effective as possible.