Unfortunately, building your following on social media isn’t easy. Im still struggling it myself, but these are a few ways i researched and will be implementing over the next couple of months. Slapping up a profile on all of the major social networking sites just isn’t enough. You need to put the effort in if you’re going to attract a following that’s loyal to you! Here are ten ways to go about doing that.
1) Ask People to Follow You!
Let’s get the most obvious step out of the way first. Sometimes, you just need to ask people to follow you! Make it obvious that you’re available to follow on social media. If you don’t, people probably won’t take time out of their busy day to search for your profiles.
Here are some ways to make it as easy as possible for them:
- Include follow links to your most important social profiles on your site’s homepage.
- Send out an email to your subscribers letting them know you would love to connect on social media.
- Add your social profile links to your email signature.
- If you post something particularly interesting on a social media site, link directly to that post from a blog post or email.
- Include your social profile usernames on your business cards.
So please follow me on Facebook and Twitter 🙂
2) Set Up Your Profiles Properly
When you’re first setting up your profiles, there are a few things to bear in mind to make it easier to grow your following:
The Networks You Use: Many people dive in and try to be on “all” social networks because they think that’s what they need to do to build a following. In reality, however, this is really difficult to keep up with. Instead, choose a few key networks to suit your business. While some networks – like Facebook and Twitter – are more widely used than others, choose your networks based on what works for your business. For example, if you have a fashion store then Pinterest and Instagram make great choices.
Profile Name: When you’re setting up your profiles, try to get the same name for each one. Don’t call your Facebook page “John’s Interesting Quotes” and then call yourself “Big J” on Pinterest. People might search for your social profiles, looking to follow you on more than one platform, only to give up when you’re not easy to find!
Avatar: Your avatar is the way that people will recognize you in their feeds, so don’t have a different avatar on each social network! Keep it common across all sites so that people get used to seeing that beautiful face and remember who you are! Whatever you do, never leave your avatar blank!
Description: You can also use a similar description on each network to keep your profiles in line with each other. Don’t forget to make the most out of this space by telling people, briefly, what you do and why they want to be following you. Include a link to a website that will show them more about your business.
3) Automate (The Right Way)
Whoever told you social media could be completely automated was lying to you! There’s nothing “social” about never logging in to interact. That said, automation can be extremely useful if you do it the right way. Services like Buffer and HootSuite mean that you can schedule images, links and text posts to go out at whatever time of day you choose. You can also install WordPress plugins that’ll send out links for your latest blog posts.
Automating a few posts a day will help you spread out your social media presence. After all, you can’t physically be logged in all day long (you’ve got work to do!), so spreading out automated posts will help get your brand in front of more eyes at different times of day. Just make sure to login often enough to share other people’s content, “like” things on Facebook, thank people who share your stuff, and just have some conversations!
4) Really Engage With Your Followers
Here’s the thing: companies that show personality almost always do better on social media. Even if you’re not personally posting, and have a team to do it for you, let followers get to know your team! People would much rather have conversations with real people, rather than constantly having marketing messages shoved in their faces.
Social media really is all about being social. The selling comes later. At this stage, you’re branding yourself or your company and you’re getting people to remember you, not pushing products on them all the time.
This is why it’s so important not to automate 100% of the time, and to make sure you login and actually have conversations with people everyday. When you are seen to respond to queries, complaints and even casual conversation on social media, people are more likely to join in on the fun!
You can even take this one step further and highlight particularly interesting comments you receive from your fans – give them credit in a separate social media update, or even center entire blog posts around them. It’ll all help your followers feel like they’re truly part of a community.
5) Share and Like Other People’s Content
It really does pay to take some time out every day – and it could be just 15 minutes – to share, comment on and like other people’s social media content. This helps boost your own following for a number of reasons:
- First, people are much more likely to return the favor when they see you’ve put the effort in to help them. When they share your content with their audience, it’s exposed to a whole new group of people.
- Secondly, the fans and followers of those posts that you comment on will see your name popping up regularly. They’ll start to remember who you are and may go on to follow you in the future.
- It even helps you to keep track of what’s going on in your industry, and getting a feel for the kind of posts that work really well on social media!
6) Mention Other Companies
Never forget to mention other companies – by properly linking to their profiles – whenever you can. For example, if you want to post about shopping at a certain store on Facebook, you can link to the store’s Facebook page. This is a great way to get that store to notice you, and you may even find that they share your comments on their own page, dramatically increasing your exposure! This works in the same way as the point above about people reciprocating when you share other people’s content freely.
7) Provide Regular, Relevant Content
Many people fail to engage their followers and reach new followers when they don’t have a proper posting plan in place. There are two key elements to any successful posting strategy:
- Your content is focused,
- You post regularly enough to stay in the mind of your followers.
If you only post once in a blue moon, it’s highly unlikely that current followers will even see your posts, let alone remember who you are. And potential new followers might see your profile and think twice about subscribing when they see you’re not really active.
What you post is also very important. If people tend to follow you for your advice on buying kitchen utensils, and your business is to sell kitchen utensils, but you never even mention them on social media, then you’re not serving anyone. Your people aren’t getting what they signed up for, and are likely to stop listening/ following, and your posts aren’t boosting your business at all!
8) Don’t Be Afraid to Pay for Exposure!
Growing your social media following organically is great for the budget, and it’s totally doable, but you can really ramp things up if you’re prepared to spend a little money on it.
If you see a particular post doing well compared to others, it might be worth promoting it so that more people see it. More people seeing it = more comments and shares, and more people liking your page or following your profile!
You can also pay to place ads in front of certain audiences. Don’t rush into this – it’s important to test carefully, and note down the results you’re getting. However, this can be an amazing way to get your page in front of people who just didn’t know it even existed!
9) Keep the Personal Separate From the Professional
Although it is important to show personality in your updates, that doesn’t mean you should get too personal. If you want to have a personal account, that’s fine, but create completely separate brand profiles too.
There are times when your personal views could irk your customers, or they might just get plain bored about hearing what you ate for breakfast every single day. It’s fine to get personal every now and again, but you’ll generally want to stick to topics relevant to your business. That’s why people are following you, after all!
10) Measure Your Success
The key to growing your following on social media is to keep trying new things. But you’ll never know which of those is working unless you track your results. On a basic level this means noting down how many follows and unfollows you have from month to month.
You can get more detailed and track how many people are visiting your website, joining your email list and buying your products based on links they saw on social media. Most social networking sites have tracking built in to help you get a much better feel for what’s working.
Feel free to comment below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org