If you are serious about increasing your social media following, you have come to the right place.
In 2020, more 3.6 billion People all over the world have been using social media and this number is expected to increase to approximately 4.41 billion by 2025.
That’s a lot of potential consumers to reach out to.
Not only can followers influence the decision of people trying to decide whether or not to follow you, but also social media influencers and other businesses that may be willing to cooperate if you have a strong enough following to make the endeavor worthwhile.
Organizing a large number of followers can benefit you and your business even beyond the limitations of any particular social media platform. In fact, social sharing sites can help boost your SEO and drive traffic directly to your website.
Sounds like a worthwhile investment, right?
These tips are not listed in any particular order. They are all important, but you may find that some approaches make more sense for your brand and business model.
1. Building a strong brand identity
Whether it’s an authorized business or a personal brand, you still need to have a cohesive brand identity. This goes beyond just putting a tagline in your profile picture and calling it a day.
Your brand identity should emerge through every post. Decide on the prevailing color scheme, filters, graphic designs, tone, etc. Everything you post and comment on should be a reflection of your brand voice. People are drawn to brands that have an identity.
Take Splat Hair Dye, for example. Ago This brand is all about colorNot surprisingly, bright and vibrant colors are an important part of their brand.
The unicorn and rainbow emoji on their bio tells you right away that they have a fun and quirky voice.
And while they’re largely user-generated content (we’ll get to that point in a minute), the photos featured on their Instagram page still hold true to their overall brand.
They also have a direct link to their main website in their bio and have created a unique hashtag to encourage engagement (another point we’ll visit shortly).
What is your brand voice?
Is it fun and colorful with a cheerful and casual tone? Or is it more serious with a muted color scheme?
Once you make those foundational marketing decisions, you’ll be able to start building a brand that people will recognize.
2. Follow relevant accounts
Just like any healthy relationship, there has to be give and take – which means you’ll gain followers if you follow yourself.
This does not mean an instant follow to anyone who likes your account. Think of it like networking.
Who posts great content that inspires you? Who might be an influential brand advocate you could partner with in the future?
Some ideas for finding relevant accounts you can follow:
- Groups and communities: Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other networks make it easy for you to find and join groups. While this is a great tool for content ideas and finding new accounts to follow, contributing to these groups can also be a great way to gain exposure for your brand.
- See who the following influencers are: Pay special attention to influencers who have a positive following ratio, meaning they have a lot of followers but are selective about who they choose to follow. The people they follow are more likely to be of high quality.
- Lists of “Top People to Follow”: These lists are posted online for various industries and areas of interest. While they can be great resources, they are not always carefully curated, so be careful and screen these potential influencers before you pursue them. (Example: Top SEO experts to follow)
3. Actively engage with your followers
If you’re on a date and you spend the entire dinner talking about yourself without giving your partner a chance to get a word in the conversation, chances are you won’t get a second date.
The same principle applies to social media.
Instead of treating your social media platforms as continuous advertising campaigns, invite connections and conversations. Respond to comments on your posts and encourage genuine discussions.
4. Share shareworthy content
If people are going to follow you, they will expect you to post interesting and engaging content. Followers should want to retweet your posts!
Some types of posts that earn repeat shares include:
While it is dangerous to express a strong opinion on an issue, it can gain a lot from engagement. Just be sure to back up any claims with evidence to support your case, and tread lightly on sensitive issues that could backfire and negatively affect your brand.
You need to be on the lookout for your industry’s trends and forecasts, and if you can be a reliable source for what’s current, you’ll become a source of updates.
Providing breaking news is one of the best ways to stay relevant, but it takes some serious time and dedication to stay one step ahead and to always be one of the first sources to cover the story.
Whether you’re checking or challenging someone’s argument, people respond to statements. Creating quotable data is great for both social media posts and SEO.
There’s no denying it – cute and funny rake in the reactions. People love animals, babies, children, humor, insightful quotes, and anything else that brings a smile to someone’s face.
Think of creative ways to incorporate this type of theme into your branding while keeping it consistent with your established style.
5. Create a calendar to schedule strategically
The key is to strike a balance between posting frequently enough to stay relevant while not posting so much that you spam your newsfeeds and become a nuisance.
In addition to planning your social media calendar, consider investing in tools that allow you to schedule posts in advance — preferably in a single dashboard, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to post on time.
6. Cross-market via your other social and marketing platforms
Are you taking every opportunity to connect with your audience? At the very least, your website and newsletter should contain links to your social platforms.
You can also consider boosting awareness of one platform over another. For example, a tweet encouraging people to follow and use a special hashtag you created on Instagram for an event.
7. Choose your target tags
Hashtags can be a great way for new followers to discover you, but try to focus more on specific hashtags and less on generic ones that are flooded with great competition.
For example, #love has more than 2 billion photos connected to it on Instagram. Your post will be buried immediately.
Make sure your hashtags are more targeted so they actually work for you. You can search for hashtags used in relevant posts or try a tool like Hashtagify to get analytics and alternative suggestions.
In this example, adding another word to “love” to make it more specific (#lovegardening) is a more feasible hashtag to target.
You can also create hashtags specific to your brand, as Splat did with their #splatsquad, to encourage their followers to share photos. This is a great way to bring in user-generated content.
8. Look for press features, interviews, and speaking opportunities
Having a noticeable presence in the real world can have a huge impact on your followers in the digital world.
Each presentation is an opportunity to reach out to someone who might like what you have to say and then actively search your social account to hear more.
These types of thought leadership opportunities can be a great way to build links to your website as well.
9. Build partnership campaigns with businesses and brand advocates
Joint content campaigns between non-competing companies can lead to great exposure.
And the best part? You have the ability to reach a whole new audience. The ideal partnership will mutually benefit both brands by allowing each to gain new followers and overall exposure from the other.
Influencers and brand advocates are another big opportunity. User-generated content, especially from partnerships with high-profile influencers, can lead to high engagement. Contests, sketches, and affiliate flash sales are also common.
10. Use analytics data to tailor your strategy
Understanding your content performance can help you make better strategic choices.
This could include what type of post performs best with your current audience, what time of day translates to the most views, what demographics you primarily reach, etc.
Do not ignore this data! It can provide insight into what you’re doing right and where you could use improvement.
Many platforms offer their own analysis tools, but you can also invest in free or paid third-party tools like Sprout, Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, and many other options.
11. Attach your customer service team to the plan
An active social media account inevitably calls out customer complaints.
In 2017 only 12% of customers who received complaints via email, live chat and social media, but that share rose to 43% in 2020, according to Wall Street Journal. Of these dissatisfied customers, 55% who reached out via social media did not receive a response.
Since these negative comments are posted on a public forum, your response will be under close scrutiny. Potential clients will be watching to see how you take care of your existing clients.
It’s a good idea to integrate your customer service team into your social media plan, either by coordinating with them to stay abreast of company policies and decisions or by plugging your customer experience team into the fold so they can respond directly to unsatisfied customers.
Cultivate a strong community of organic followers
Remember, growing followers naturally is a time-consuming endeavor. If you find a “hack” that promises amazing results overnight, it is likely a scam.
Fake followers will not benefit your brand in the long run. Social media platforms have become adept at identifying and then sanitizing bots and fake accounts, which means you wasted your money and have nothing to show for it.
Even worse, fake followers who don’t engage with your content can damage your brand credibility when real people look at your account.
The purpose of gaining followers is to increase your return on investment and create real buzz around your business or products which leads to people sharing, discussing, shopping and interacting with your brand.
Fake followers will achieve none of these goals.
You’re running a marathon, not a sprint. Put the time and effort and it will pay off.
- 16 reasons why social media is important to your business
- 25 things you should never do on social media
- Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide
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