Why you need more followers and how to get them
Social media is about connecting people. The clue is in the first word: “social!”
Although social media sites provide businesses with a great way to market their wares cheaply (or even for free), not many people would use social media solely to communicate with brands. Social media users want to hear about their friends, colleagues, and family. That’s the primary reason they use social media platforms—communicating with businesses is an afterthought or, more likely, when they are unhappy with customer service or have an issue they need solving without the hassle of customer service phone calls. Bleh!
But when businesses approach social media in the right way, social platforms are an ideal place for businesses to interact with consumers. And interactions can turn into sales. But for that to happen, you need to make sure that people are receiving and responding to your messages. What you need is followers and um…like-ers.
That’s the dream, right?
So how do you get followers? And how do you keep them?
Different social media sites require unique approaches to building up your follower base. Here, we run through the biggest and most popular social network and tell you exactly how to get more people following your brand.
Facebook: The King of All Social Networks
Businesses who sign up to Facebook are allocated a business page, which can then be liked by any Facebook users who wish to. These are known as Fans. Liking a business page gives that business permission to place content in fans’ newsfeeds without having to sponsor it or pay an advertisement fee—which, obviously, is a win.
Getting the ball rolling on the amount of likes you have can be difficult, especially if your brand is not yet well-established. Facebook’s Like Box is designed to broadcast your social proof very openly, and displays how many likes and check-ins you have.
But, unless you already have lots of likes, people may be wary of liking your brand—crowd mentality, and all that.
So how do you get those very first likes on your Facebook page?
a. Embed Social Plugins
Well, embedding Facebook’s various social plugins is a good way to start. This means people can like your page without actually having to visit Facebook. Or comment on content posted on your website via their Facebook account.
Facebook offers a variety of social plugins and all can help get people liking your page.
b. Invite your Existing Contacts
Another trick is to invite existing contacts to like your page. If you’ve been operating even for a short period of time, chances are that you have plenty of friends, family, colleagues, and business connections who will be more than happy to like your page. You can invite people via Facebook itself, or at the end of an email, or even (shock) face-to-face. After all, if you don’t ask then you don’t get. Try to be a little scrupulous with your selection, though—inviting every single one of your Facebook connections to like your page could come across a little self-interested. Individual, personalized requests in any format have greater success.
c. Use your Email List
It’s also possible to upload a list of email contacts to Facebook. Doing this means that the people included on your list become more likely to receive a “suggestion” to like your page. To do this, open the “Build Audience” menu (at the top right of your Facebook page) and select “Invite Email Contacts”.
d. Promote your Facebook Page Offline
Promote your page offline too with customized stickers, receipts, coupons, flyers, etc. Eventually, your Facebook following should start to increase. But if people are still reluctant, why not promote your page by rewarding Facebook fans with a discount or exclusive offer?
Twitter: The Microblogging Platform
People “follow” you on Twitter. And in order to make the most out of the platform, you need to invest time each day engaging with others (don’t only broadcast your own content and opinions).
Again, this can be a difficult thing to do for brands that are not yet well established—when it comes to building a following, starting is the hardest part.
a. Use an Advanced Twitter Search Option
A good place to begin is to use Twitter’s excellent search function. However, the search function isn’t very easy to find so here’s the link.
Search and follow any high-profile individuals in your sector and anyone who’s following them that you may want to engage with. Doing this will help you figure out what content works and what doesn’t. It’ll also allow you to enter conversations with influencers and boost your own status.
b. Tweet A Lot
Don’t be shy. Start tweeting—a lot. Studies have shown that people who tweet frequently have more followers, which isn’t surprising since tweets aren’t very invasive (unlike, say, Facebook updates, which can get “stuck” on people’s newsfeeds) and can easily be skipped over if someone has already heard enough from you for the day. And if you take the time to plan these tweets and keep them engaging, then people will likely begin interacting with you.
Even though you’re a business, there’s no harm in creating an online personality. Don’t be scared to post humorous and non-industry related posts. These will humanize your organization and make it more likely that people will want to interact with you. And the more interaction you get, the more people will start to follow you.
And if you are finding it time-consuming scheduling all these tweets, why not check out MavSocial’s new MavRepeater functionality, allowing you to schedule out groups of posts on the days and times you decide. It will literally save you hours per week!
c. Engage with & Follow Others
There are “follower factories” and the like which offer to build you a significant Twitter following very quickly for a fee. However, these are generally untargeted and irrelevant for your brand—buying 100s or 1,000s of followers is pure vanity. Nothing more, nothing less. Unless you have followers who may eventually convert, there’s no reason to have followers at all. It’s much better to build your following organically. That way, it actually has some value as well as looking good.
Instagram: The Visual Content Sharing Network
Instagram users are very picky. Probably more so than any other social media user. This is because Instagram focuses on visual content—images or short video clips. And since there’s so much of this content available, Instagram users only want to follow accounts that provide them with high-quality visual images.
a. Share Interesting Content
On Instagram, then, it’s imperative that you share content that people can relate to. You want to establish a relationship with your followers, so make sure that the images you post are universally interesting (at least to your follower base).
b. Use Appropriate Hashtags
To ensure visibility, it’s absolutely essential that you use hashtags. Pictures posted without a hashtag may as well be private (unless you’re an uber-celebrity, that is!), so make sure you tap into popular trending hashtags (and be sure your content applies).
c. Follow People on Instagram from your Niche
Instagram is a two-way street, so you can expect to follow some accounts too. Of course, this should include industry leaders and similar brands, but you should also follow organizations and individuals that interest you or are engaged in work that you believe in. Who you follow says a lot about the type of company you are, so make sure it says the right things.
Unlike Twitter, it’s not advisable to post too much on Instagram. Flooding your followers’ newsfeeds isn’t going to do you any favors. But if you post high-quality content one to three times per day, you will see your follower-base gradually increase. If people see others flocking away from your account, it could prove very hard to build the following again.
MavSocial is the leading social media visual content management & publishing platform for brands and agencies. Try our FREE Small Business Edition for your business here.