Top 10 Tips for Growing Your Social Media Following
As you know, having a growing social media following is an important indicator of your influence. It’s a good way to get the social proof you need to sell your products, services and ideas. But you don’t want just any followers – you want a lot of targeted followers. Ones are willing to engage with you and answer your calls to action (CTA). After all, the entire point of having followers is to encourage more people to buy your products and services.
In order to do this, you really need to act like a gardener planting fruit or vegetables! Prepare the soil, plant and feed your seed, remove the weeds and pests, give them the right amount of water and light consistently and you will be rewarded with a healthy crop.
These are my top 10 tips to translate the care and attention a keen gardener would lavish on their plants to growing your social media following:
1. Share Unique High-Quality Content
While your website should be the home where all your original and curated content lives, it needs to be promoted. One of the best ways to do this is via your social media accounts. Sharing content frequently and consistently is one of the surest ways to get more followers. If your content is relevant and high quality, your followers will share it too. Then, due to their sharing your content, you’ll end up with even more followers who want to see more of what you have to offer.
2. Share Your Connections High-Quality Content
When you share other people’s content that is relevant to your audience, you not only give your audience proof of your ability to help them find the information they need, you also get the attention of the people whose content you shared. Often they will take notice and in return start sharing your high-quality, unique content with their audience. Notice that to do this correctly, you don’t just share anyone’s content. You share only content that is helpful to your audience. It’s also better if you share content from business owners who are not in direct competition with you, but who sell complementary products and services to the same audience as you.
3. Ask Your Partners, Current Customers, Vendors, Friends and Associates to Follow You
You already have people who have purchased from you, read your blog, networked with and connected with you on other channels. Ask them to follow you on all the other places you consistently share information. By telling your audience where to find you, and where they can connect with you, you’ll open up more opportunities for them to follow you. Create a special invite in an email newsletter that you send to each member of your audience, as well as to connections that might not be customers but who may know potential customers.
4. Set Up Share Buttons, Badges and More on Your Website
Grab the code you need to set up the right buttons, badges and links on your website so that it makes it easy for your audience to find you, follow you and connect with you. Use your website contact page to place all the ways to contact you, including your social media places. Don’t forget to add a Facebook “Like” box on any high-traffic page sidebar. Also, add a Twitter badge and any other badge from your social media accounts to more than one spot on your website and blog. Multiple places help your audience connect with you easier. There are great plugins that will help you with this.
5. Use Your Signature Lines and Bios
Naturally, you should include links to all your social media accounts in each email you send out. Using your signature line to connect with people is the best way to use a signature line, including on social media networks that allow it. When you’re able to, you should put the links to your social media in any newsletter, direct mail, business cards and other marketing material. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to connect with you.
6. Link To Your Social Media
Whenever you can link to your social media through webinar thank you pages, whitepapers, eBooks, guides, and blogs, you should. In addition, ensure that you cross-promote other social media accounts by promoting your Facebook on Twitter, your Twitter on Facebook, and so on. By cross-prompting social media accounts, you make it super easy for your audience to find you, connect with you and engage with you. The more you engage with people, the more followers you’ll get.
7. Don’t Forget Your CTAs
Other than creating relevant, unique and frequent content, it’s important to remember to always include a call to action (CTA). Whether that is to “Like” me, “Follow” me, “Answer” me, “Comment”, it doesn’t matter. But, what does matter is that you include the CTA in all your emails, thank you pages, blog posts, eBooks. Every time you communicate with your audience you have a chance to get them to act. Don’t pass them up.
8. Encourage Membership
People like to feel as if they belong to a group that is special and exclusive. One way to do this is to create content that only followers can access. You can do this in a number of ways. You might require a sign-in to see all of your content. Give some content away free, just enough to pique their interest enough so that they want more, and then request that they sign in. Or you can let them read all the content but not comment without signing in with one of their social media accounts. By creating content only members can see and/or participate in, you’ll encourage membership.
9. Encourage Fans and Followers to Invite Others
Ask your current fans to invite others, and incentivise them to do so by offering prizes or other encouragement. Another way to encourage your current fans and followers is to run specific campaigns just aimed at growing your social media following. For example, ask your customers to make videos or memes about what they love about your product or service. Then ask them to share it with their friends, family, followers and connections, and to tag you in the process. An alternative option is to use Facebook’s “Promote Your Page” feature to get more Likes.
10. Engage With Others
Social media is nothing if not a place to interact and engage with others. On every social media account, it is important that you engage directly with those who speak to you. You need to actively respond to questions and provide answers to those who ask. In addition, it’s important to comment on and interact with people on their own social media accounts too. Engagement is an essential component in making social media work for you and attracting more followers.
Understanding that social media is an essential element in online marketing today is your first step to making social media work for you. Following these top ten tips for growing your social media following will work every single time.
A shorter version of this article previously appeared in the Bury Free Press.