Numbers play a big role when it comes to your success on social media. To many people having a significantly big follower count can be a sign of accomplishment, meaning that they have finally made it. But the follower count isn’t important just to you, it can be an indication to people that you are someone worth following, and to other influencers and brands a confirmation that you are worth collaborating/partnering with.
For us “average joes,” getting a following on social media might seem like mission impossible. When you search on the internet or ask other people who are already established on social media for advice on how to make it, you will probably get a ton of answers and advice that might even contradict each other. That type of information does more bad than good in providing guidance to someone who is just starting out and might leave you with more confusion than before. To help you be a bit less lost and confused, in this article, we will list some of the top strategies to help you increase your social media following. These won’t be just any strategies, but the ones that are proven, make sense, and are feasible for anyone, regardless of the current size of their following.
Clean up your account/profile
If you want your account to have a significant number of real followers and a high level of engagement, then it should be as close to professional as it can be. By professional, I don’t mean it should have a corporate look and feel, but that it should be optimized for performing as best as it can.
To get your account to this point, it will mean making some changes to it such as getting a simple yet memorable username, creating a coherent feed, filling the account descriptions with basic info and useful links, putting relevant information and hashtags (more on those later) in the description of every post, and cleaning up your “following” list, so it contains only legitimate and related accounts. Cleaning up your profile should be seen as the foundation for building your social media following.
Gear your content towards your target audience
Unfortunately, not everyone will be a fan of your content and/or personality, that is just not a realistic expectation. Being able to fit everyone’s preferences is impossible, and you shouldn’t even attempt to do so. What you should be doing is focusing on the people who make up your target audience, and that will, without a doubt, enjoy you and what you are posting.
Posting generic stuff in order to attract as many people as possible, in reality, won’t attract anyone, it might even cause the ones who genuinely enjoyed your vibe and uniqueness to turn away from you.
When you are giving your audience exactly what they came for, they won’t hesitate to talk about you to people similar to them in their surroundings and even on their own social media accounts. This gives you free word-of-mouth advertising, which is one of the most effective marketing strategies. Gearing your content to your audience requires you first to identify who that target audience is. Thankfully, today that is pretty easy to do since most social media platforms come with analytics tools already integrated, but there is also an abundance of external tools you can use as well.
Engage with your audience
Although it might be intimidating to put yourself on display, people will want to know who is behind the account they are following or thinking of following. In today’s digital age, what people are looking for the most are the real and human aspects. These can be shown by engaging with your audience, which can be done in plenty of ways.
You can do live streams in which you will talk more about yourself and answer any questions your followers might have. Post polls and questionnaires on your stories to find more about the opinions and preferences your audience has. If you have the time, answer the direct messages you get on your social media, nothing is more engaging than establishing direct communication with your audience. Also, do your best to answer the questions in your comments because your answers there will be the ones that reach the biggest number of people.
Collaborate with other influencers
Find one, two, or even more people who post content similar, related, or compatible to yours with whom you can collaborate with. Create joint content, cross-promote each other, or even take over each other accounts for a day. This way, both of your audiences get introduced to someone new they might really like, and you and the other person get free exposure to a whole new group of people who otherwise might have never come across your account.
Use paid ads
Ads on social media nowadays usually come in the form of sponsored posts in people’s posts and story feeds. That is why when using paid ads, you should make them seem as close to a normal post as possible, and not something that screams “this is an ad”.
Your ads should be engaging, but not in your face, and since they are meant to promote your social media accounts, it’s a good idea to make ads out of pieces of your content.
This way, you are giving the people a teaser of what is to come if they become one of your followers.
Giveaways are a great thing to get lots of followers and engagement fast since most of them involve having to follow, like, share an account, and/or post. While they do give a lot of instant results, most of those results aren’t long-lasting, but only last as long as the giveaway itself. That is why in the time during and after the giveaway, you should try your best to keep the new followers interested in your account and content rather than just winning the prize. If you try hard enough, some of them are bound to stay.
Hashtags are great, and a simple “#tb” can justify in a second why you just posted a picture from a trip three years ago. But jokes aside, hashtags can help your posts and stories appear in searches and explore pages across different platforms. They present an easy way for people to find and research things of their interest on social media, and for you and your content to land in front of your potential new followers.
Most social media platforms even have the “follow hashtags” option, which will regularly place content with the followed hashtag in the middle of people’s feed even though they aren’t directly following the accounts that posted it. Considering their ease of use and how effective they can be, hashtags should be an essential in everyone’s “grow your social media” starter pack.
Finally, be consistent
If you implement all of these strategies in the right way, they still might fall short if you aren’t consistent with posting on your social media. No matter how good, engaging, relevant, or fun your content is, all its qualities can easily be forgotten if they are seen only once in a while. This means you need to be posting a fair amount, regularly, but also not overposting. That might risk making your followers feel like they are being spammed and that not much thought and effort is being put into the content. Find your balance between quantity and quality, implement the above-mentioned strategies well, and with time, effort, and persistence, your social media accounts should be booming with new followers and significant amounts of engagement.