Follow me and everything is alright.

Profound words of the wise prophet, Uncle Kracker. Anyway, here’s a statistic: 38% of businesses spent more than 20% of their total advertising budgets on social media channels in 2016.

Here’s another: there are around 2.3 billion active social media users in the world. That’s around one third of the entire population of earth.

Joined the dots yet?

Well, it appears more and more businesses are recognising the power of social media when it comes to growing their brands and finding new customers … but many aren’t sure how to go about it.

We talk a lot about creating unique content for your blog and designing a great website, but what’s the point if nobody ever sees them? Well it’s about time you learnt how to grow your social media following …

How can I increase my social media following?

  • Do you ever feel like your content-producing efforts aren’t getting seen?
  • Are you tired of following people without getting any follows back?
  • Sick of seeing posts with hundreds of likes, while yours only has two?
  • Did you read all of the above in a cheesy TV commercial accent?

Well if you want to change all of that, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s just get something out there early on though: this isn’t an overnight process. Building up a large following takes time, especially if you’re looking to do it in the most effective way possible.

But I’ve seen a website where you can ‘buy’ followers?

Yes, you probably have. But don’t do it. All these websites do is collaborate with thousands of accounts across all platforms, then they literally sell their ‘follow’ to you. What this means is your business will be followed by:

  1. Irrelevant accounts with no remote interest in your service.
  2. Inactive accounts that offer no potential marketing gains.
  3. Accounts from the other side of the world who don’t speak your language.

What’s more, buying social media followers often results in a huge-drop off, almost immediately. This means that you might buy ‘5000’ followers but, come the end of the week, that number drops to 2,900.

So what should I do?

Well now that we’ve established that you shouldn’t buy followers, it’s time we looked into how you can gain relevant, genuine followers who offer real value to your company. We’re talking about followers who care about everything you post, read everything you write, and buy everything you sell.

Okay, maybe not that far.

Nevertheless, here’s how to build a really strong following that will actually care about your brand and services …

3 steps to gaining

more followers

on social media

  1. Optimise all of your content for shareability

One simple but effective tip is to make sure all of your content is easy to share. Gaining followers is much easier if other people help you out, so the more shares you get = the more people are likely to see your content (hopefully see some value in it) and click the follow button.

Top tip: when posting a tweet to share your content, use an intriguing stat or sentence from within the piece. You only get 140 characters to sell it, so make them all count!

2. Interact with people who like or comment on your posts

This sounds like another obvious thing to do, but you’d be surprised as to how many don’t do it. If somebody comments, shares, or even just likes, one of your posts on social media, strike up a conversation. Even if it’s just a ‘thanks for reading!’ kind of message, it not only shows your appreciation, but it also helps the piece stay in the newsfeed a little longer – meaning more potential for interaction.

There’s nothing intelligent about sharing a terribly incohesive article on a website full pop ups and advert banners. 

Plus, our own studies suggest that articles with more comments on, get more comments. In other words, an article with two or three comments posted on it is likely to get more traction than one with no comments at all. So take any opportunity to communicate with your audience!

Top tip: when starting a conversation about your content, try and follow up with open questions, such as ‘Thanks for reading! Hey, I noticed you’re from London too, how do you think this will affect us?’. Make it personalised and relevant in some way.

Capitalise on trending topics: stats on some of the most shared Brexit articles from 2016

3. Share useful content that gives real value

We see a lot of companies falling foul of this third golden rule. You can spend all the time in the world producing great content, but if you’re diluting it by sharing poor content produced by others, people will switch off and ignore your hard work!

And we don’t want that now do we?

To avoid this, ensure everything you share is of real quality. There are many people out there who will share a piece of content because they like the image, or they assume it will contain great information – but they don’t actually bother to read it, or even open it for that matter. A lot of people share things to seem intelligent or ‘in the know’.

There’s nothing intelligent about sharing a terribly incohesive article on a website full pop ups and advert banners.

Think of every piece of content that you share (other than your own) as representing your brand. If the quality of it isn’t up to your brand’s standards, be it content or visually, don’t share it. Your audience will soon switch off and won’t read the quality stuff you’re creating. Worse still, they’ll unfollow you.

Go and find your social media colony. Nobody wants to be a lone penguin.

Summary

Growing your following takes time and thought. You want to reach the right audience and the only way to do that is by interacting with them and sharing things they will find useful. Prioritise networks that are home to your target market. There’s no point focusing efforts on Pinterest if 95% of your audience only use Twitter.

Embrace any new trends and capitalise on them, but only if your brand can do so with relevance and integrity.

How’s your social media following coming along? Do you have any useful tips for boosting it? Or maybe you want to learn more? Feel free to comment below!

Jon

Author Jon

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