5 Ways to Build an Authentic Social Media Following
One of the first questions many people ask when getting started with social media is “How do I get more followers?” This is a completely valid and valuable question. While using social media just to get “followers” isn’t always an indication of business success or more sales, it does provide credibility to your brand while augmenting your visual identity. People want to partner and work with a company that others view as a leader and expert in the industry. More followers also mean more eyeballs on your posts and more visibility in searches. Nevertheless, keep in mind that having a smaller number of engaged and loyal followers is still more important than having a large following that was acquired through a bot program. (We never recommend using a service that claims to get you more followers through a software.)
Increase an Authentic and Loyal Social Media Follower Base With These Top 5 Recommendations:
- Choose one platform to focus on first - It’s important to have a clear call to action when asking people to follow you, especially if you are just starting out. If you are personally asking people to follow you after meeting at an event or conference, focus on one channel. Same goes for when you ask someone to follow you through a message or email. If you ask someone to follow you everywhere, they might follow you nowhere because they don’t know where to start. If you ask someone to take a specific action such as to follow your business on Instagram, they are more likely to take that one step.
- Feature your social media pages on other marketing material - Integrate your social media pages on your business cards, print material such as flyers, your email signature, your email newsletters, etc. Make it clear and visible for people to find you on social media when they are already connected with you on other platforms. You can use social media icons to represent where you want people to follow you as long as you follow the brand guidelines of each social media site. Here is an article that keeps you up to date with the social media brand guidelines that you can use for each site.
- Cross-promote your social media channels - Create incentives for people to follow you on different platforms by featuring exclusive content on each site. This allows you to easily cross promote your social media channels. Each site serves a slightly different purpose. While many of your posts will cross over and be the same on each platform, sometimes it’s valuable to have specific content that can only be found on one platform to incentivize people to follow you on there. For example, you can share on Facebook that if people want to be the first to view your newest videos, then they should subscribe to your YouTube channel. You can share on Twitter that if people want a behind-the-scenes look at your business, they should follow you on Instagram and check out your Instagram Stories.
- Partner with other similar businesses and brands - Having other brands feature you is a great opportunity to get exposure to a new audience and vice versa. On the flip side, when you feature other brands, you are viewed as a great community partner. Introducing your audience to a new complementary business is also a great way to be a resource. Make sure the brands you partner with are aligned with what you offer. For example, if you are a company that focuses on teaching fitness classes, a complementary business is a fitness clothing company. If you are a real estate business, a complementary business is a mortgage company. Start by making a list of 10 businesses you feel will be a good complement to your company.
- Create opportunities for user-generated content - People love opportunities to get creative and be featured. Ask your audience to share photos of themselves using your products in an online photo contest, ask them to use a specific hashtag or share their insight on something related to your industry. When an audience contributes in this way, it gives you content that you can then share on your own accounts. This kind of promotion motivates people to send content because everyone loves to be featured. People are likely to reshare their own content that was featured which may spark additional interest from their followers to check out your profile. User-generated content creates a fun experience and positive exposure for everyone.
- When social media is done well, it can truly set your company apart from the rest and cultivate life-long customers. If you are ready to ramp up your social media and ROI, or just have a few questions, let's chat!