Nowspeed recently presented a webinar on a topic area that clients bring up time after time, “How can I grow my social media followers?” If you didn’t have a change to view this webinar live, you can watch the recorded version here
So what exactly makes a good social media following? Thousands upon thousands of followers? High quality followers? The answer is different to every business, but there are 5 key strategies you can use in order to grow your follower base.
- CONTENT IS KING!
Using a variety of content in your social media program is key to gaining and keeping the attention of your current and target audience.
Branded content is a necessity. By branded we mean landing pages, whitepapers, infographics, videos, blogs, etc. These content pieces are all great collateral that most companies have handy and can be turned into engaging Social Media content. Clicks on links within these social media posts help drive overall website traffic up and get people to your website where the buying process can continue.
On the flip-side, no one likes a person that only talks about themselves. Which is why industry content plays a key role in overall content strategy. Promoting updates, breaking news, and developments from your industry positions you as a thought leader. Every industry has news channels that tend to share relevant content that you can take and put your own twist on (but of course always remember to give credit to the source!) If you become a source of such quality industry content, people will be apt to follow you in order to get the latest trends and updates. Retweeting these industry publications, partners, or customers not only helps your content strategy but your engagement within social as well.
Listening, moderating, and responding to conversations on social media are all extremely important in order to grow your followers. Some people might say “There is no way I have time to monitor every conversation on Twitter”. But there are so many tools that can make this process simple. Management platforms like Sprout Social and Hootsuite make it easy for someone to stay on top of the conversations that are happening around their brand. You can set up feeds and filters to monitor how large or small of an audience and subject area that you want. Retweets, mentions, etc. can all be managed right from one tool. This allows you to just use one platform to monitor conversation instead of having Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. all open at once.
Engagement doesn’t have to be complicated either. Have you ever tweeted out a positive or negative review to a big brand and had them tweet back? Feels good doesn’t it? Like you are important and not just a number among the millions of Tweeters out there. Personally reaching out to users that are newly following you with a simple, “Thank you for the follow. Check out this blog” can go a long way. Of course it is important to engage in deeper conversation if someone asks a question or posts a negative review about your product, but not all engagement has to be complicated.
- HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FOLLOWERS
Of course you want a large audience, but who should you be going after? Partners, customers, & influencers are givens. You need to keep these people engaged on social at all times. Go out and follow them, engage with them and even mention them in order to get this target audience to follow you back.
After your target audience, who else should you try and attract? Running a keyword search on Twitter for specific hashtags or keywords will bring up accounts that are talking about the same trends you are. Follow these people. You can gain industry insight from them or maybe they will even turn into potential customers. You can also run a people search which will bring up actual employees of your customers or partners. Many times these people will be much more engaging than a corporate Twitter handle would be and quite possibly be the decision makers that you desire.
- QUALITY VS. QUANTITY
Every brand is different when it comes to focusing on quality or quantity of followers. A lot of times, people just want to have tens of thousands of followers to be seen as this very popular Twitter or Facebook account. As nice and important as it is to have a larger number of followers, many times quantity is very overrated!
If you solely focus on quantity, you might not be engaging with your core audience effectively. If you do have 20,000 followers, who in there are your customers? Who in there are your decision makers? Who is it important to focus on? If you have 10,000 followers but you’re only getting 50 engagements a week, there might be a problem there. The ratio of followers to engagement is a great statistic to look at in order to determine the quality of your audience.
It doesn’t take thousands and thousands of dollars in advertising to grow your followers. Small follower or likes campaigns on Twitter and Facebook can help grow your following at a very low cost per follower. You can even make these highly targeted so you are sure to gain quality followers as you grow.
It is estimated that there’s going to be a 21% growth from 2011 to 2016 on social ads in the US. Much of this has to do with the growing popularity of social media advertising on new channels like Pinterest and Instagram. But it also has to do with the fact that many times, social media ads can be much more affordable for cost per conversion compared to an AdWords campaign.
If you’re looking for help growing your social media following, give us a call or request a free consultation. We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss your business needs and goals to help your social media program flourish!