Social media is a quick, effective, and cost-efficient way to advertise your business. However, successful promotion cannot be achieved without a following. For this reason, maintaining high follower counts on your chosen social media platforms can be incredibly beneficial. It can help you to further establish your business, and also boost its credibility.
Everyone knows that social media marketing is important for businesses. Although most companies acknowledge its power, however, many continue to use it ineffectively. They set up accounts simply to check off the social media marketing box, and give little thought to the content they post.
A lot of businesses also fail to make the most of their followings, even though a large follower count can be a significant boon.
One of the most obvious benefits is that you’ll tend to gain more credibility as your audience grows. For example, a web designer with 10,000 followers on Twitter will appear more credible to newcomers than one with only 50.
Potential customers may also use your social media following as a way to gauge how trustworthy and reliable your business is. A high perception of credibility naturally leads to many opportunities for increased website traffic and better conversion rates. Also, the more followers you have, the more people are exposed to your marketing, who may then go on to share it with their own networks.
What’s more, when brands arrange collaborations, they often look for businesses that have large enough followings to make a partnership worthwhile. A high follower count may encourage larger companies to consider working with you on mutual promotion.
The advantages of a large social following can make it tempting to buy into the various “follower schemes” found across the internet. These services promise thousands of followers for a small fee. While they do typically deliver on that promise, the potential repercussions can make it a risky business.
For example, Instagram and other platforms perform regular fake-follower purges. This is when the platform removes all the followers it suspects have been purchased. This could result in your following dropping dramatically overnight, leaving you back at square one.
Plus, the followers you’ll be purchasing in these schemes aren’t real audience members. They’re fake accounts that no one is actually using. So you won’t be reaching new people, getting more engagement, or improving the chances that your content will be shared.
If you’re not reaching real customers, in other words, having a high follower count means a lot less. Low engagement despite a high following will also make your unethical tactics very apparent – meaning that businesses and users will likely look elsewhere to fulfill their needs.
Fortunately, there are many ways to organically (and honestly) grow your social media following. Let’s explore three methods that, while they may take a little more time to implement than buying followers, will be of far more benefit to your business in the long run.
Host an Online Giveaway
If you’ve spent any time online, you’ll likely have encountered giveaways. These are limited-time promotions in which a brand provides a free product or service to one or more winners, according to a predetermined set of criteria.
On the surface, giving away products for free may seem a little counterintuitive, especially when you’re operating a small business. However, the truth is that there are few completely cost-free ways to promote your content and grow your online following as a result. Besides, the potential return on your investment should make the cost worthwhile.
To achieve maximum interaction, of course, you’ll need to clearly define the criteria for winning the giveaway. For example, when you’re looking to gain followers, you may want to require users to follow your page and share a specific post.
This means that whoever decides to enter your giveaway will become a follower, increasing your count organically. It also prompts them to share your content with their own followers, instantly giving you access to an expanded audience.
Create Trend-Driven Content
Trends come and go, and nowhere is this more evident than on the internet. Getting onboard with the latest trends can be a great way to boost your following. If you can create content that ties in with current conversations, more users are likely to stumble across your posts or share them with their friends and even become followers.
This is a viable tactic regardless of the trend itself, even if it’s not related to your business or content. Taking advantages of the hype and making some type of connection is an excellent way to get noticed, regardless of the context. Netflix is a brand that does this well, frequently using current memes and trending topics to promote its content.
If you prefer a more targeted approach, you can also seek out trends that are more relevant to your chosen industry by following relevant hashtags. There are also plenty of social media monitoring tools you can use to find out what your audience is talking about.
Inject Some Personality
Using your account to post pages and pages of business jargon will make most people hit “unfollow” pretty quickly. Instead, try injecting some personality into your content. This will keep people more engaged, and increase the likelihood of social sharing.
There are numerous ways to do this, although a friendly and informal approach is a good start. You could also try using GIFs, and adding in some humour when appropriate. The Wendy’s Twitter account is a lesson on how to do this right, as this company regularly pairs genuine advice with relatable content.
This approach has generated the brand a large following, and doing something similar can help you follow in its footsteps. Of course, it’s important not take the informality too far. You should always be professional in the way you handle your social media platforms – especially when dealing with customer queries and concerns.
A large following on social media platforms can be the key to further opportunity – such as increased site traffic, higher conversion rates, and even the chance for brand collaborations. Although building a strong audience can sometimes take a while, the benefits are well worth the effort.
Do you have any further questions about increasing your social media following? Let us know in the comments section below!