As a business owner, your social media presence is one of the most important tools to promote your products and services. For example, you can use it to create your own community by increasing your social media following.
Usually, you have two options: buy them or grow them naturally. If you’d like some tips on how to increase your social media follower base through organic means, here’s what you need to know.
1. Follow the Trends
The first thing you have to do is create some interesting content that your potential followers will want to read. Whether you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, users are looking for something their friends will find interesting.
There are several ways of finding out what your target market wants more of online:
- Look at some of the posts currently garnering the most “likes” or shares for some inspiration.
- Visit sites like Buzzsumo, which aggregates the most popular articles on the web based on their share rate.
- Go to Google Trends to help you determine what’s popular these days and what’s going to trend in the coming months.
2. Encourage Them to Share Your Post with Incentives
Let’s face it, when you’re offered something you don’t know anything about, your first reaction is to resist it. It’s pretty similar when you’re trying to sell your brand to a stranger by asking them to follow your page. It usually ends up with the question, “What’s in it for me?”
To answer that, one possible strategy is to offer incentives to get your foot on their door–and there are plenty of ideas you can do. You can offer free samples or discounts for any purchase made in your store.
You can give away free eBooks that could include case studies or introductions about your products and services. You can also give away free subscriptions to your e-zine, which will keep those users updated on new products and services as soon as they come out.
Your business can also go gung-ho with your marketing ideas. Take the lead from Whopper sacrifice by Burger King, touted as one of the best marketing campaigns on social media. The premise was simple: delete ten of your friends and get a free Whopper coupon.
From this strategy, however, users installed the app over 55,000 times and deleted (unfortunately) 200,000 friends. The controversy that followed it only created more buzz for the campaign, which meant more attention to Burger King and its burgers.
3. Publish a Press Release
Another step that will get people checking out your page is opting for public relations services. Press releases are often overlooked, but the press loves getting the newest news from companies in their industry.
- Press releases can be posted on popular industry blogs to gain more followers.
- It can also generate potential leads from company directories and databases.
- Press releases can be shared on social media sites to increase traffic.
4. Be Human
Sometimes businesses get too caught up with increasing their social media followers. They forget the key ingredient for sustaining the numbers: creating customer relationships.
It’s not all about you. It’s about fostering a sense of community between your company, your employees, and the people who follow you online.
In fact, if you’re constantly trying to sell something or promote your products, people are going to tire of it. Instead, focus on providing useful information that your followers can use in their daily lives.
To increase social media following, it also pays to be authentic. There’s a good reason many laud the saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” While you can show the beautiful sides of your business, you can also display the unglamorous ones:
- Share stories about your struggles in putting up the business.
- Create videos or post photos of the “grunt work” that goes behind creating products.
- Talk about the problems you’re going through and how you plan to address them.
5. Be Consistent in Publishing Content
Regardless of your chosen social media platform, make sure you’re putting out new content regularly. Sporadic postings will only serve to frustrate those who follow you because they’ll never know when something new is going to come out.
How do you train yourself to be consistent with posting? Create a social media calendar or plan:
- List all relevant topics and keywords.
- Brainstorm content for each of these topics.
- Keep the calendar by your side as you post new content, updating it with links to your posts.
- Create themes for each day. For example, Mondays may be all about your products and services, Tuesdays will talk about behind-the-scenes, etc.
- Don’t forget to include special occasions on your calendar, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.
6. Add Hashtags on Your Posts
Hashtags are small words or phrases after a pound sign (#). They serve to group all posts around the same topic so people can easily search for them.
If you add hashtags to your posts, people interested in the same topic can easily find and follow you. Don’t overuse it, though. Although there’s no rule on the number of hashtags you can use, keeping it below 30 is already ideal. Make sure they’re relevant to your post and your business. Don’t forget to include your own hashtag.
Once you’ve implemented these strategies, patience is key to getting social media followers for your business. The best way to see immediate results is by buying social media followers, but the idea here is to create a presence that’s going to be sustainable over the long term. If you’re able to do that, your social media following will grow exponentially without hardly any extra effort on your part later on.