Whenever I meet with clients, the top concern I hear is, “I know I need to be posting on social media, but I have no idea what to post or how to increase my number of followers.” To help your business thrive in today’s modern age, social media usage is a must – and most businesses are on it, in one way, shape, or form. But how many of these businesses use it in an active, strategic way that actually increases their following? After all, you can’t reach the level of Wendy’s Twitter savagery:
or GoPro’s Instagram’s strategic use of hashtags to increase their engagement:
by posting a few links, @mentioning others, and using 77 hashtags on each post. #notgonnawork Strategy is the name of the game and in order to grow your following successfully, you’ll need a good one. If you are struggling for followers, here are a few ways to get your social media presence off the ground (no pun intended).
Create a Strategy and Stick to It
Who are you? What are you hoping to accomplish? What types of followers are you looking for? If you answer, “Because everyone else is,” or “Well…” I’m here to tell you, you may have a problem. Sitting down and coming up with answers to these questions in incredibly important when you begin to grow your following. Setting SMART goals is an easy way to answer these questions and give your social media meaning:
Specific (We will focus on one social channel (Facebook) and measure response rate.)
Measurable (The response rate can be measured from the Insights tab.)
Achievable (We didn’t make an outlandish goal of say, a 100% increase in 15 days.)
Relevant (Our goal will increase our overall social media presence, making us relevant.)
Time-bound (The goal will be met in the first two quarters of the year.)
Choosing the Right Channels
Many businesses make the mistake of utilizing every social media channel they can, becoming overwhelmed, and eventually giving up. Different social networks cater to different individuals, and different pockets of the population can be found on each. Millennial-aged individuals tend to gravitate towards Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Generation X and Baby Boomers lean more towards Facebook. Individuals with a college degree are more likely to use LinkedIn, and Pinterest is utilized almost exclusively by women.
Pro-tip: “everyone” is not an audience. Where will your business thrive and with which clientele? Identify your ideal audience and focus on posts within that channel.
Create Meaningful Relationships
Blog Post. Like. Share. Blog Post. Share. Like. It is easy to fall victim to an endless cycle of mundane posts. Spoiler Alert: Eventually, your followers will tune you out if your posts are robotic. Be a human. Show your personality. Be honest. Be vulnerable. Inject humor. In a world where everything is digital and human interaction is not always common, it is more important than ever to show who your company is on a personal level. Interacting with your followers as if they are your closest friends is incredibly important. Showcasing the faces behind your business – even more so. And don’t forget to engage with your followers! Responding to comments and questions on your posts shows your followers that you are invested and listening to them. Take Abercrombie’s excellent response to a comment below on Instagram:
Create a Schedule
Posting on a consistent basis not only reminds your followers that you are still around, but it also allows your business to organize your content and more effectively target the clients that you want. Creating a schedule gives you the opportunity to post at times that will maximize your engagement and helps you avoid repeating the same content over and over. If you are not interested in paying for a scheduling platform, I have found that I can easily create a calendar for myself in Excel – simple, effective, and gives me a month’s worth of content that I do not have to brainstorm for.
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