Your social media page is like a mini habitat in itself. And just like in any habitat there are different types of people, your social media followers too differ in traits and temperament.

Is it really important to not just identify the types of social media followers you have but also engage with them differently?

It is, if you want to stay top of your social media game and build brand stalwarts instead of just followers.

Think of it from an expertise point of view. A master salesman knows how to pitch to different types of clients, a teacher knows how to elicit a response from different types of students and an expert social media marketer must know how to cater to the different types of followers.

Different types of social media followers and how to engage with them:

The Loyalist


He’s the teacher’s pet. He loves you and would diligently ‘like’ and share your post.

He would also give you a shout out and promote your brand to family and friends.

He’s every social media manager’s happy dream. Although the loyalists are few in number, they are a strong part of your social media community.

How to engage with him:

Is there a scope to give them a shout out? Maybe re-tweet one of their tweets about you or mention them in a post?

Also keep them happy with special discounts and you’d win them over for life.

The sucker for deals


He’s a practical fellow, the I scratch your back, you scratch mine type of a guy.

He’s forever on the lookout for deals and wouldn’t mind promoting your brand and certain posts if there’s something in it for him. In fact, he would completely go over the top trying to promote referral posts that fetch higher discounts/gifts when more and more people sign up through referral links.

How to engage with him:

Keep posting more discounts and deals and other offers, that’s what brings this one out of the shell. Monitor your social media activities to see if you have a good strength of this type of follower and based on that organize specific contests and giveaways in lieu of liking, sharing, tweeting, and referring.

The Silent Lurker


He doesn’t just make up for a big part of your followers but he’s also the most difficult to engage with and monitor.

The silent lurker sees your content but rarely likes, shares or comments on it. It could be that he’s short on time and only skims through your posts or it could be that he thinks re-tweeting and liking your post isn’t ‘cool’ enough.

How to engage with him:

There are two ways to engage with the silent lurker.

One, you need to continuously post exceptional content. A constant stream of high quality content that will encourage him to share or like your posts, particularly on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Second, promise great deals and discounts. A great deal would have even the most social media introvert of the lot come out of hiding and participate.

The one with a network


He’s the type of guy who starts conversations, and has a network of people active and ready to participate on said conversations. He is your chance to get the word out to a larger group of people, to reach out to more followers and prospects, and to increase conversions.

He’s the one with over 1000 Facebook friends and a large Twitter follower base, he even has an active LinkedIn profile and is likely to be an admin of one of the groups.

How to engage with him:

Be a participant in their discussion, especially if it’s centered on your brand. But keep in mind that your response should be tailored to be both professional and in tune with your brand image and voice.

Your aim is to get him on your side, and powerful content work immensely with that.

The temporarily unhappy customer

Anger 2

He’s really mad about something and has taken to follow you on social media so he can vent out his anger and taint your reputation.

This could be in the light of a recent bad transaction, bad customer service or it could also be that he is in the wrong but needs to take it out on you. And on social media that’s particularly easy to do.

How to engage with him:

Carefully, very very carefully.

He’s out there to draw blood, he would badmouth your company, your staff, even your family but don’t lose your cool. Be tactful, curt and professional.

If it is indeed your mistake, you need to apologize and offer a discount (always offer discounts, it abates the issue and would instantly calm them down) to undo the damage.

If it isn’t your fault and he’s just venting out his frustration, then you need to tactfully provide insights into what was wrong (this is actually for all the other followers who’re watching this online war of words) and then stand your ground.

The hater


No matter what you do, he’s going to hate you. a nameless faceless person who would glorify your faults and stay mum about your achievements.

Do not expect him to like your posts but definitely expect him to share, like (with both hands) and tweet everything bad about you.

How to engage with him:

This one is tricky. He’s obviously miffed at something unresolved, whether it’s a past bad experience, or he’s a competitor’s stalwart or maybe he just has a general hatred towards entire mankind, there’s not a lot you can do with him.

You either leave him be and concentrate on the other types of followers or you can convert him to a loyalist through a slow and steady way.

In case you do want to engage with them, keep a cool head and try to see where he’s coming from. For every negative attack, you can reply with a reasonable answer, starting tactfully – something like we respect your opinions but – and then answering in a friendly tone. But if he gets down to abuses, you need to leave that conversation.

Most experts however would recommend to not dwell too much on the hater.

Your social media followers are the backbone of your social media presence and the deciding factor when it comes to the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. If you can understand them, their expectations, desires, and outlook, you can easily cater to each for maximum returns.