Today, as more businesses are joining social media, the real question many are asking is how do I gain more followers organically? Not just any followers – real followers who aren’t bots, who love your brand and are looking to engage. There are a number of ways you can boost your presence.
Let’s take a look at our 25 methods you can use to grow your following authentically so you can help improve brand awareness and drive valuable traffic and conversions.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
These are the reasons you’re on social media.
They’re Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. By assigning each post to a goal, you can avoid posting for the sake of posting. Your followers will appreciate it.
2. Understand Your Audience and Speak to Them
Spend time thinking about who your audience is. It isn’t everyone, so you’ll have to narrow it down to a defined target audience. Once you put in the work, you’ll be able to create valuable content that speaks to your audience and attracts more followers.
3. Be Human
Don’t be afraid to have a personality. In this day and age, people have come to expect to get to know their favorite brands on a personal level. So whether you’re cracking jokes, talking to your followers like friends, or showing off your human side by featuring your team, getting personal will allow your audience to form a better connection.
4. Build RelationshipsThe number of followers you have doesn’t matter if they’re not engaging with your content. It’s worthless if you have a million followers who don’t connect with you. It’s better to have followers who engage your content. You may be asking yourself, how is this done though? By building relationships with your audience. Here’s some tips:
- Always @mention people you reference
- Answer questions and complaints immediately
- Reply to people who @mention you or share your content
- Don’t just re-share content – take the time to start a conversation.
5. Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Being organized when it comes to developing your social media strategy will help you in the long run. Not only will it allow you to fine-tune each of your posts without having to jump from site to site, but will also guide you in timing your posts to maximize your reach.
6. Automate the Right Way
Be smart when you choose to automate your social media. You can automate scheduling or curating content, but avoid it when dealing with your followers. With customer care being a huge part of social media, it’s important to make sure that it’s personalized and not automated – it can lead to higher customer satisfaction and sales.
7. Focus on Helping Over Selling
If your followers ask questions, reply immediately. Be helpful in your content. Once you build a relationship with your audience, you can start social selling (but not all the time because that can turn into a nuisance).
8. Optimize for Engagement
You can start by taking a look at your profiles for any missing pieces. It can be as simple as imagery or adding keywords to your profile. Then you’ll want to optimize your content by using hashtags and keywords that can increase engagement. Take some time to follow accounts and connect with them to increase your exposure.
9. Get Visual
You can’t go wrong with posting photo and video content. In fact, live videos on Facebook get 6 times the engagement versus any other type of content. You don’t need a huge budget for this either! Consider using team photos or videos, customer photos, event photos, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, quote photos, or infographics.
10. Stay Active
Don’t let your social feeds go inactive. Try to find new ways to create fresh content day after day, weekly at a minimum. It’s actually easier than it sounds. Try using social scheduling and automation to save you time and money. Prioritize your networks based on your audience. Repurpose your content so you don’t always have to create new content.
11. Don’t Be Afraid to Pay
Experimenting with ads can have a huge impact on your ROI. Even though a lot can be done organically, new updates to algorithms on social media signal a need for businesses to think about paid media.
12. Use Tends and Hashtags When Appropriate
Be smart when it comes to which trends you’ll be piggybacking on – you’ll want to steer clear of controversial topics so you don’t isolate your audience. Also, since these trends are often time-sensitive, you’ll need to be quick to maximize your opportunity for engagement.
13. Use the Right Tools to Measure Your Success
You don’t want to guess how you’re doing on social media. There are tons of tools available to you so you can truly understand how you’re performing. Tools like Google Analytics will break down your top-performing content, trends, and your presence by the numbers so social media becomes more of a science.
14. Create Content People Want
Be original if you want to stand out from the crowd. Create content that gets your audience to stop scrolling. With all the noise on social media, what does your audience want to see – that’ll help you break through it. If you have trouble creating content, just answer the questions your audience is asking.
15. Engage Your Audience
Whether it’s just a simple like, or a reply to a comment, your audience wants to know someone human is on the other end. Connect with them and it’s more than likely they’ll begin to connect with you.
16. Promote Your Profile Everywhere
There’s no point in creating social media profiles if you’re not going to promote them. Put follow buttons on your website so you’re not wasting the traffic you get from your ads.
17. Follow Relevant Industry Thought Leaders and Influencers
Engage with them so you can grow your visibility. Share their content and many of these influencers and thought leaders may follow you back – improving your credibility as a business.
18. Fully Complete Your Profile
Your profile is the first impression when it comes to social media. Create a great one. Fill in every single field and use relevant keywords that can help drive traffic to your profiles.
19. Be Consistent Across the Board
Your overall tone and messaging should be consistent across all social media platforms. Make sure your content matches your established personality, mission, and voice. Your audience wants to build a relationship with you, and if you aren’t authentic it can confuse your followers and motivate them to unfollow.
20. Add Social Icons to Your Emails
Incorporate social icons into your emails since you may already have an engaged audience there.
21. Provide Benefits to Your Audience
People love free offers. Freebies can increase your following while also engaging your audience. They may be more willing to spread the word about your business if there’s a free offer to share.
22. Go Above and Beyond With Customer Service
Don’t be robotic when speaking to your customers. It’s probably not a great idea to have automated replies to complaints. Machine-like responses like “Email us with any questions” can annoy people when they’re already unhappy. Instead, take the time to reply to these in a personalized way.
23. Link to Your Website
Make it easy for your audience to find out more about your business by linking directly to your website. It’ll also increase web traffic.
24. Conduct Events
One great way to spread awareness about your business is through events. You can even create your own hashtags and incorporate them into your signage and marketing collateral. This will help grab the attention of your audience at these events.
25. Treat Each Platform as its OwnEach platform you’re on should be treated individually so you can optimize your content and grow your audience. Don’t make the mistake of posting the same content on all your networks at the same time – your followers could be following you on every channel. Instead, understand your audience and the platforms to optimize your content in different ways.
There’s no formula to going viral on social media. The best rule of thumb is to be helpful and post relevant content your audience wants. When you truly engage and connect with your audience, your followers will organically grow with your business.
Intro to Social Media Ebook
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