Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn are wonderful ways to connect with your customers, answer their questions and alert them when you have a new product or a sale. However, the benefits of social media can only truly be realized if you have a following.
Creating a social media account is only the first step toward cultivating a social following. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean your customers know it, and it doesn’t necessarily mean your feed is helpful to your audience. To gain more followers and be a real resource to your readers, consider these tips:
1. Follow others
To gain followers, you need to be a follower, Search Engine Journal pointed out. Find other people or businesses that post relevant content to your industry to follow – chances are, they’ll return the favor. This is a great start to building an audience and to position yourself as a valuable reference for that industry as well.
2. Interact with your fans
When someone mentions you in a post or comments on one of yours, always respond. It doesn’t matter if they said something positive or negative, whether they’re directly asking you a question or mentioning you in passing – chime in with an answer, a response, a thank-you or a clarification. Brands that engage with their audiences are often rewarded with loyal followers.
OK, so you have a long list of Twitter followers and plenty of Facebook followers. But are these the same people? Encourage your Facebook fans to follow your Twitter account; tell your Twitter followers about your Instagram account; announce that you’re on SnapChat through your Instagram feed, and so on. Your fans may not know all the social media channels they can find you on – change this by telling them where they can follow you, HubSpot recommended.
4. Put buttons all over your website
Your social media buttons should be obvious on your website, and they should appear on every page. This is no exaggeration – users should be able to follow you from your home page, your “About Us” page and every single blog post. In addition to including buttons to follow your social accounts, it could also be helpful to include buttons that let website visitors share the page or article they’re reading.
5. Post original content
To be seen as a thought leader or a unique brand, you need to show your audience that you really are one. This can only be done if you demonstrate valuable insights or opinions that can’t be found anywhere else. Create and post original content so your audience can see your expertise.
6. Mix in some re-tweets
As valuable as original content is, it’s also important to share other thought leaders’ content as well. This shows you’re open to opinions and insights that aren’t your own, and that you’re interested in being a valuable resource to your audience. When sharing others’ content, make sure to add a note of your own to show why you’re sharing it.
7. Make your followers smile
Posts that inspire emotion typically perform best, but the emotion that trumps all others is happiness, Inc pointed out. Post an Instagram of a puppy playing with your product or tweet out a mid-week joke – a little humor goes a long way with your social strategy.