What’s the secret to getting more social media followers? A large social media following is a surefire way to expand your brand – both personal and organizational – and encourage people to visit your website. But how do you get more followers if you are new to social media or lack name recognition (most of us)?
Whether it’s video, photo or text, content is absolutely king!
The most important ingredient for social media excellence is content. To attract new followers and be successful on social media, you need content that is either informative, helpful or entertaining. Check out my social media content examples from the advocacy sector for inspiration.
But let’s say you already have great social content. Are there any tactics that will help you increase your social media followers? Yes! Through years of practice, observation and research, I have discovered – often by accident – multiple ways to increase followers across the social networks.
Check out my 8 favourite follower-boosting tactics for social media below!
1. Follow more people
When you follow another social me account, there’s a good chance that you will be followed back. This is especially true for follower-based networks like Twitter and Instagram.
To avoid following too many accounts, you may want to try Statusbrew. A free service, Statusbrew lets you unfollow accounts that no longer follow you and are inactive.
2. Post frequently
Frequent posting works best on fast-moving social networks like Twitter. Such posting increases the likelihood of your tweets appearing in your followers’ feeds, which in turn increases the likelihood of getting retweeted – and followed. That being said, there is a fine boundary between frequent posting and spam. Know your followers’ limits.
So how does one find time to tweet regularly throughout the day? You can do this through Hootsuite, an online service that allows you to schedule your tweets (and other posts) in advance.
3. Use hashtags
Hashtags can help you gain more followers on Instagram and Twitter. Hashtags can be used to find like-minded accounts and take advantage of trending topics. They can also be used for copywriting, further illustrating the story behind each picture and tweet.
4. Mention influencers
In social media parlance, influencers are people with a large and active following on social media. They can also include people with fewer followers, but who have a lot of influence in your particular field or industry.
I discovered influencer marketing by accident when I wrote an article about actor Ricky Gervais, who later retweeted my tweet to his millions of followers. This single act by Gervais brought a wave of traffic to my blog, as well as hundreds of new likes and followers.
If you want to try this tactic, I recommend you inform the influencer in advance. The influencer may promote your post across their social networks (BONUS!) and you will also gain a valuable contact.
5. Post unique content
Each of your social networks should be unique and have its own purpose. (Nothing is more boring for potential followers than seeing the exact same content across your social networks.)
Unique content may include behind-the-scenes pics for Snapchat and Instagram, YouTube videos, Twitter quotes, and graphics for Pinterest.
6. Create a special event
Give people a reason to follow you by creating a social media event. Events vary by network, but can include:
- An Instagram competition where users submit their pics.
- Twitter chats and event coverage.
- Google + hangouts.
- Special previews on Snapchat.
- Livestreaming on Facebook and Twitter (Periscope).
- Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA).
Using any one of the examples above should help drive potential followers to your social media.
You can use advertising to promote your account (increase followers) and to promote specific posts. A single paid “boost” of $30 on Facebook can increase your post’s reach dramatically, as happened to me when I tried it for my article on Uber’s PR strategy. Just be wary of angry commenters, who may not take too kindly to your post.
Social media advertising is still relatively cheap and allows for an amazing degree of targeting. Also, the analytics are quite handy and can help you measure return on investment.
8. Comments and discussions
Social media is intended to be social. So it should be no surprise that some of the best accounts are the ones that actively engage with followers.
On Instagram, simple comments on others’ posts can help you get noticed and attract potential followers. The same is true for those who sincerely participate – not promote – in LinkedIn, Facebook and Google + discussion groups.
Putting it all together
I encourage you to adopt some of the above tactics to grow your social media following. Just remember that content is king, and that it’s much harder to grow a following if your content is lacking and not interesting. When using these tactics, I also recommend that you focus on a couple of networks at a time to avoid stretching yourself too thin.
Best of luck in your social media endeavours!