Brands, organizations, and institutions use social media platforms each day for connecting with their audiences, raise awareness, and drive leads and business.
With an engaged following using one or even more of the major internet sites, brands can effectively spread the term about campaigns, new initiatives, and services and services. However, simply having 1,000 Facebook fans or 200 Twitter followers isn’t the very best indicator of social media success.
It’s possible to possess thousands of supporters who never read your posts or select your links. The main element is to create a thriving network of your ideal fans, the ones who’ll actively build relationships your articles, share it with their networks, and ultimately, become paying customers.
It takes work to determine such, but that work can pay off, big time.
Looking to grow your social media audience? In this post, we’ll look at eleven simple ways in which you can grow your social media following.
1. Run contests
Contests can be a smart way to get new people to Like and follow your accounts, while also keeping your current fans engaged with your Page.
It’s worth experimenting with contests on every social network on which you are active. Some examples of social media contests include:
- Comment to win – Participants leave a comment or answer a question
- Caption contest – Either the best caption (you choose) or the one with the most likes wins
- Fill-in-the-blank Contest – Ask participants to answer a trivia question
- Photo contest – Either the best photo (you choose) or the one with the most likes wins
- Multiple choice contest
Tips for a successful social media contest:
Promote it everywhere – Use your website, email list, and additional social networks to drum up participation.
Do not hand out prizes completely unrelated to your brand – For instance, if you give away a fresh iPad, you may drive a whole lot of engagement and participation, however, not necessarily from individuals who will eventually become customers or lifelong fans.
Follow the platform rules – Each social platform has its regulations around contests – here’s a synopsis of the main element details.
Follow-up with entrants who don’t win – Send them a many thanks for participating, along with something about your brand/organization’s work.
2. Include a visual with every post
Visuals are high-performers on social media, so make sure to include an eye-catching, colorful image or graphic with each post.
Examine these visual marketing statistics, published by HubSpot:
Quite happy with relevant images rack up 94% more views than content without images.
Compared to other styles of content, visual articles is a lot more than 40x much more likely to get shared on social media.
Instagram photos showing faces obtain 38% more likes than photos without faces.
3. Create and share more video
Video may be the type of the most engaging article on every social media platform, if you can, it’s wise to create at least some type of video content to increase engagement.
Make sure to upload your video right to your platform of preference, rather than posting a web link to another website (like YouTube). In this manner, your video will autoplay as people land onto it while scrolling through their feeds, grabbing more attention.
Lots of views can result in increased reach, engagement, and exposure for your brand.
4. Be proactive in hearing and responding to your web community
Did you know 83% of your Facebook fans, and 71% of your Twitter followers, now expect a reply from you on a single day that they pose a question on each respective platform?
Actually, 32% of Twitter users now expect a reply within just thirty minutes.
Give your followers an excellent user experience on social when you are exceptionally responsive. Pay attention to their needs, and respond accordingly.
You should also turn to publicly recognize individuals who retweet, favorite, and mention your company on Twitter, and thank users who touch upon Instagram and YouTube.
When you produce your online community experience heard and acknowledged, they’re much more likely to be raving fans, as well as your most loyal social media ambassadors.
5. Change your Page profile photos and cover photos
Your profile photos and banners are a few of your best and most-viewed social profile elements. Use these visual tools to showcase the impact of your work, and the stories of those who benefit from your services.
On Facebook, consider changing up your cover photo at least once per month, and remember to write a great caption.
On Twitter, use your profile picture and banner photo to highlight your great work.
Don’t just stretch out and pixelate a horizontal version of your logo – nobody wants to connect with just a logo on social media. Personalize, humanize, and customize every channel you can, with a visual image that speaks volumes.
Also, make sure you use the right social media image sizes for each platform.
6. Give people a reason to follow you
Give both prospective and current fans reason to follow you on multiple platforms.
Don’t simply “collection it and forget it” with generic, automated links blasted across all of your social media channels. Tailor your content for each channel’s users.
For example, you should use Twitter to share the latest news and real-time alerts, while you can use Facebook to tell more compelling, longer stories about the people who benefit from your work.
You should look to strategically use each social media channel based on its strengths and demographics, and give your target audience a good reason to connect with you on that specific network.
What value are you providing? What are you offering that will entice them to stay tuned in?
Think about the reasons people use each network, then formulate a plan to consistently post and share content that will resonate with your specific audience, wherever they congregate online.
7. Encourage tagging
An effective strategy to engage your followers is to encourage them to tag other people who may benefit from, or enjoy a specific post.
If you post an inspiring quote, write “Tag a friend who needs this today”; If you share a video about Mother’s Day, encourage your online community to tag a friend (or better, friends) who means a lot to them, and with whom they would like to share your message.
Ideally, these new people can be drawn into the fold, and join your online social media followers.
But a word of caution – ensure you employ this method sparingly and only where it makes sense, or it can look spammy.
8. Use hashtags to get found
There are two great ways to use hashtags to increase your social media followers:
a) Use popular hashtags strategically and sparingly
I suggest using one popular tag per tweet or Instagram post, such as #OOTD (outfit of the day), #TBT (throw-back Thursday), #fail (self-explanatory), #FOMO (fear of missing out), etc.
There are thousands of hashtags out there – check out Hashtags.org and Hashtagify.me to find ones that are relevant to your audience and your content.
b) Participate in relevant trending topics and current events
I check my Twitter feed regularly to see what’s trending for the day. If it’s something that I think would be of interest to my followers, I share a tweet with the relevant hashtag.
For example, on Monday you could use the trending hashtag #MondayMotivation to share a quote or an inspiring story with your followers.
People searching that particular hashtag might come across your post, and will hopefully check you out and even follow you.
9. Be entertaining, and use humor to engage
Take a note from the Frederiction SPCA, an animal adoption and protection agency that often shares entertaining memes and photos on their page.
Brands that show a bit of humanity and humor do well on social media – but having said that, you should always make sure that any content material that you do share is practical for your unique audience as well as your brand voice.
There’s no stage in sharing cat memes for the sheer sake of sharing cat memes. Even if such posts do get yourself a few likes, it could confuse your messaging, which won’t assist in your broader brand-building effort (i.e. connecting with the proper people for your company).
10. Explore paid social and never, ever buy followers and fans
Leveling up your social media success often involves allocating ad spend, however, limited it might be.
Among the best methods to grow your audience and gain more exposure is to get a modest amount into paid social advertisements. When done well, paid social ads can promote your articles, increase conversions, and assist you to reach new people.
Precise audience targeting allows you to focus your ads on “warm” audiences – people who’ve visited your site (if you are using the Facebook pixel), those who are subscribed to your email list, as well as your current fans and fans.
Facebook’s advanced options, specifically, can be extremely beneficial in reaching the ideal people who have your paid outreach.
Some individuals assume that purchasing fans and followers is a shortcut to creating a huge online community. This is simply not an only bad practice, nonetheless, but it will also largely become more of a problem than it’s worth.
The biggest issue here’s that it pollutes your audience with robot profiles, that may ruin your audience insights, limit your ongoing performance, and can end up restricting the organic reach of your posts. And that’s before you consider ads. For example, if you tried to boost one of your Facebook posts, Facebook’s system would look to show it to more people like those who already follow your Page. You’d essentially be paying to reach bots, and the same implications apply to various other ad targeting measures.
You should focus on creating posts and sharing information that will attract the right people – the people that you need to engage, take an action, and cultivate for a deeper relationship along the line.
When used strategically and thoughtfully, social media platforms can be a great way for brands and organizations to connect with stakeholders, cultivate loyal followers, and expand their reach and audience.
Try out some of these tactics to start building your social media following today.