Social media followers aren’t easy to come by! These eight tried-and-tested methods will help you incrementally gain the audience to benefit your small business the most.
On the internet, social media and business growth go hand-in-hand. And despite what many experts say, it’s rarely free, fast, or useful unless you have a ton of experience or go viral by mistake. Social media means nothing if it’s not converting for your company.
What you want is an authentic audience of engaged people who love your products or services. Social media for business is, after all—still business. It’s a full-time job many owners cram into their day or assign it to someone else. Some 78% of employees manage social media as an “add-on!”
The good news is that you can attract and retain the right followers with a basic plan. Use these eight proven tips to start your company’s social media growth and organic traffic streams.
Why Build an Engaged Social Media Following?
Social media marketing is a critical business function for growing companies. That is why 73% of small businesses invest in it. The thing is, you can’t throw advertising dollars at a social network without a plan and expect people to follow your company.
Before you can use your various marketing channels to convert social media traffic, you have to find and secure your audience—using the right content posting and engagement techniques. That way, your organic traffic will continue to flow as your investments find a primed group of followers.
- See your posts more often (algorithms)
- Are more likely to buy your products and services
- Will actively share your social content on their personal feeds
- Will hang around long enough to see, hear, and experience your brand
Your goal is to find followers and engage them with your content!
#1: Post Relevant Content That Connects
There are so many benefits of social media for business, but for these benefits to be realized, you have to make sure that you have a posting schedule that makes sense. Create a list of the kinds of content you want to post and make sure all of it is targeted to your ideal audience.
Your social media followers will see your content at different times of the day. That’s why you need a set selection of valuable, relevant content pieces that you promote multiple times—throughout the month. Make it a relevant blend of original and curated content to attract the right people.
#2: Consistency Is the Golden Rule
There is only one golden rule in social media—consistency. Any strong social media strategy has a set number of content pieces posted at specific times. If you’re starting at zero, or you only have a few dozen followers (friends and family), you will need to post at least once a day, per platform.
Things that need to be consistent include—post frequency, branding, niches, topics, and voice/tone. You don’t know when or what will work just yet. So, consistency is going to give you the data you need to streamline things later on. In the meantime, post often and post a lot.
#3: Promote Your Social Media Networks Everywhere
There are many strategies to get more followers on social media. The simplest of them is to promote your social networks whenever and wherever you can. Some key locations include your website, your email signature, next to blog posts, on guest posts, in your store, and on your business cards.
Social media links work well if you’re investing in paid advertising that funnels to your business website or running an email marketing campaign. When people want to know more about you, they will look at your social media links. If they like what they see, they’ll follow you!
#4: Curate Specific Content and Make Network Connections
When you start out, creating original content takes time, money, and effort. Instead, you can choose to curate content relevant to your customers, which educates and entertains them. There are several efficient ways to do this—a blend of a few will keep your content fresh.
The effectiveness of social media in business is related to the quality of your content. Connect with other companies in your niche and share their content, find interesting posts on Twitter, curate Pinterest topics, and set Google Alerts. Share influencer content on your social networks, and they might share yours in return.
#5: Don’t Forget To Include Original Content
Original content inspires organic social media growth because it helps your brand stand out. You should invest some time into creating—not just curating—social content. A blog post brimming with valuable insight can be split into several social media posts. It all begins with one engaging topic.
When you know how to grow social media followers with original content, you can start to expand how often you post gradually. People want to hear from you because there’s value in an original perspective and data. Eventually, you’ll want to hire a content creator to ensure that at least 80% of your brand content is authentic.
#6: Research and Use Trending Hashtags
Potential social media followers are out there on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—and they’re all using hashtags to find the content they’re interested in. Each platform has its own hashtag rules, and there are tools that can help you find which hashtags are best to use.
You can grow your social media communities by using smart hashtags to help people find your content. Try matching images to hashtags on Instagram, for example, to see what your audience responds to. Spend time researching high-volume hashtags and find a way to make your content pop in the search results.
Here’s how to use hashtags like a pro.
#7: Respond To and Encourage Comments
Encouraging real engagement from your social media followers is a challenge! When you get it right, your social platforms become a hub for community discussion. These authentic audiences help each other, share stories, and buy from you more often. It begins with you being an actively engaged host.
Always respond to messages, comments, and complaints. Try to get to know your followers and keep the conversations going. Being present is half the battle. Once people know you’re there, they will start using your network as a resource and a community.
#8: Take Care of the “Why” Question
Have you ever asked yourself why anyone would want to follow your page? Chances are, people are looking at your business page but can’t find a real reason to follow you. You should make the benefits of being a part of your community evident and prominent in your channel art, posts, and information.
Your established social media audience may love your Facebook page because of your regular giveaways, insightful blog posts, and viral infographics. But a new visitor needs to be able to engage with your profile in seconds. You need to be able to communicate “why” clearly.
Social media will be a powerful sales tool for your company when you implement these audience growth techniques. Real social media followers will click, share, and buy from you—as long as you’re providing them with value, community, and something different than your direct competitors.
The larger your authentic audience, the greater your marketing influence and reach. Building your audience pays off for your small business.
Remember these eight tips—post relevant content, be consistent, and promote your social media links. Share valuable content that is curated and original across all networks. Be responsive, use hashtags to help people find you, and be obvious about your “why.”
You will soon be on your way to having more social media followers than you need to sustain your online business!