It’s one thing to grow a social media following, this can happen quite rapidly in many cases, but it’s another thing altogether to build a following that is relevant to your brand and product.
It’s also very easy to get pulled into the allure of doing something wild like buying followers – but trust us on this; it’s just not worth it. The social platforms are extremely against the purchasing of followers, and will work against you if they suspect that you have.
If we think about Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in our discussion, you’ll note that all three platforms work hard to build a community based around its user. This is even more prevalent with the introduction of their latest algorithms, which work to prioritise content from friends and family, as opposed to content from brands and businesses.
Now, how on earth do you build a meaningful following? We’ve pulled together some tips that have worked for us.
Sounds simple right? It can be, if you know what it is you stand for – or hope to achieve with your audience. If you think about what they want to see first, ahead of your own objectives, you will have started the right way!
Video is taking the lead as the content that engages users the most, and will continue to grow in influence. Consider including captions and subtitles on your videos, as the majority of viewers do not play with the sound on.
Think about content that jumps out at you in the feed. The use of vibrant colours and visually pleasing content will encourage interaction, which ultimately links to increase in followers and likes.
A great way to interact with other accounts and source a steady flow of content is to share images and links from other relevant accounts. By crediting the post’s original owners you are celebrating their views and expression, and tapping into their audience and following. Crowd sourcing is a great method to use content that has already proven results and to reach a wider, like-minded audience.
Personality build vs. ‘Sell, sell, sell!’
It can be infuriating when brands use social media solely to sell – it’s just not what the platform stands for!
You’ll hear people mention the 80/20 rule, which helps you understand a healthy content split. Ensure 80% of your content is focused on building your brand’s personality and community, and promote products and services for the extra 20% of content.
Users are most likely to connect with a brand on social media that they feel they can relate to, and this is what you should be considering first. Understand who your audience is, and what they enjoy – and then give it to them!
You’ll learn via trial and error just how much content your followers like, and whatever that turns out to be (perhaps once or twice per day), ensure you’re consistent.
If you pledge to post based on a particular theme every Friday for example, commit to it and follow through. We’re all creatures of habit and as consumers; we need to be able to trust that businesses will deliver before we buy into their products.
Use of hashtags
Hashtags are a proven method in increasing reach and following. Identify which hashtags are relevant to your business and identity, and don’t hold back. Monitor the effectiveness of the hashtags you are using, and continue to research which tags are trending at that point in time.
Don’t be afraid to use more than a handful of hashtags as you grow your audience, just ensure that they are relevant to the content you are producing. Don’t tag #motivationalmonday on a Friday with a picture of a loaf of bread – it’s clear there is no link and the consumer will question the legitimacy of your content and account.
Monitor interest and follower signals
This is a manual task, but a very effective one. Look at your competitors and who their followers are. Engage with them, and identify whether they show signs of following and providing consistent support. You can see this in their activity on their feeds, in their bio descriptions and in their follower vs. following ratio.
Don’t be afraid to follow first. Many businesses don’t enjoy the idea of following as many accounts as are following them, however when you’re working on building a meaningful and engaged following, it takes you to make that step and building a connection.
Start a conversation
Go through your feeds and like and engage on topics that are relevant. Leave genuine and personal messages on images and posts. The larger your personality, the larger your social media imprint.
Want help with growing your social media following? Get in touch.