Hannah Ray, a social media specialist who works with individual clients as well as publications like Vogue, echoed Meade’s sentiment. “Having a large follower count almost never equates to actual influence,” Ray explained. Instead of focusing on growing your following, she suggests that artists focus on developing a stronger connection to the audience they already have by considering who follows them, and how they can stay engaged with them.
“If you have a baker with 11,000 followers getting 11,000 likes on every post, this is way more powerful than a lifestyle consultant with 500,000 followers who are so disengaged with their content, they never see their posts, and therefore are speaking to almost no one,” Ray said.
To start engaging more genuinely with your audience, Bradford suggests that artists leave thoughtful comments on each others’ posts—beyond rote phrases like, “congrats” or “beautiful.” Bradford and Ray both suggest that artists promote other artists on their feeds, too. “Focus on the real people who are jazzed about what you’re doing—interact with them in DMs, comments, follow and like back—be as interested in their real lives as you want them to be in yours,” Ray added.