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I don’t need to tell you all the reasons why growing your social media following will help you and your business. Everyone knows the power of social media — after all, the average person spends nearly two hours a day scrolling through their various social media feeds.

Having a sizeable following on social media increases your reach cements the prominence of your company name and offers greater traction for achieving the one thing every marketer dreams of: going viral.

While the reasons for wanting a big social media following are obvious, how to achieve this goal isn’t always so clear.

Tempting as it may be to go on a mad follow and liking spree, a more structured approach to increasing your following will be worth the investment of your time and effort. The good news is once you’re in the swing of things, the followers and likes will start rolling in organically – you just need to get the cogs turning.

So, without further ado, here’s how you can grow your following on social media.

Recommended reading: Influencer marketing explained by Harvey Specter from Suits

Create clear, promoted social media accounts

Never miss the easy wins. It’s all well and good having your social media accounts, but do your existing customers know they’re out there? Do prospects coming to your site know where to find your Twitter?

These days, users like to be handed everything on a plate.

You must include social media icons that link to your accounts across your website. These days, this isn’t just helpful, it’s what’s expected. Don’t miss out on the chance to receive easy follows from happy customers by making it hard for them to find you.

The same also goes for naming your accounts. Where possible, use the same handle across platforms; make your name as simple and obvious as possible. Avoid adding lots of irrelevant numbers and characters.

The ideal social media username is one a customer could guess simply by knowing your company name. Create a solid foundation to build your social media following and ensure you’re not missing out on any low-hanging fruit.

Stay away from the corporate — be fun

Think about this: why do people use social media?

If you’ve ever had a cheeky glance at Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter while in the office, chances are it was to get away from your work. Social media is typically used as a short break, not to read a load of heavily promotional posts from companies you follow.

It’s important to remember that no one is inherently interested in your company, product, or services – people are only interested in what you can do for them.

Whether that’s entertainment, news, or something else, figuring out what content your target audience wants is a must.

A layer of authenticity is the best way to pull this off convincingly. Trying to force your marketing message or posting things haphazardly is a sure way to keep your like and follower count low. Employing this strategy rarely works, even for the biggest, most established companies.

Wholesome Culture is a vegan-friendly fashion brand, and they’re a great example of the power social media can have when it resonates with the right audience.

Just take a look at their Instagram:

Vegan e-commerce brand has a structured Instagram aesthetic.

Image credit: Instagram

It’s clear that they understand their audience and the posts they enjoy seeing. And they have a following to reflect that.

Even though they’re a fashion brand, they regularly share vegan recipes on Instagram — this acts as an extra incentive for their audience to follow them. Then, they can expose their followers to subtle promotional posts along the way.

The result? Engaged followers, lots of likes, and higher conversion rates.

Have a marketing strategy and know what you want to achieve

Scrabble letters spell out vision.

Image credit: Pixabay

I know what you’re thinking: “Well duh, more followers” — but outlining your goals is essential.

Why do you want more followers; what is the outcome you are hoping for? Will it help with PR, outreach, conversions, branding?

Setting parameters that reflect your marketing objectives means you won’t lose sight of what’s important. Social media definitely has a presence in the business realm. But sometimes, when working on social media for work purposes, the lines between professionalism and your own social media personality can blur.

Remember that your usage of social media is all part of a broader marketing strategy, comprising of other things like email marketing campaigns (there are some great email marketing tools out there to help you with this), blogging (if you haven’t started already, then check out this step-by-step guide to start blogging), and advertising (WordStream is a winner).

Always think of social as being part of a multichannel strategy. Ads, blogging, and email marketing all work together to increase your followers by upping your brand engagement levels. And social media is the glue that holds it all together — promoting your brand, reaching your audience, and generating more leads.

Resist the temptation to be too liberal with your likes or follows; every move should have your audience and your overall strategy in mind.

For example, if you’re an e-commerce business selling clothing, you don’t want to follow accounts that are irrelevant to your business area.

Having a comprehensive understanding of what you want to achieve is the first step to boosting your social media following.

Get interactive and involve your audience

Oh, the hashtag, ruler of the internet, and all things digital!

Okay, so the hashtag might not be as powerful as that. It is, however, an important tool in your social media belt.

Being interactive on social media means making it easy for people to come across your brand, even if they aren’t specifically looking to find you. Hashtags are a great way of engaging people and when used correctly can allow you to tap into your audience.

They are a particularly big deal when you consider that Instagram now allows users to follow hashtags independent of individual accounts. As with anything in social media, moderation is best. Spamming hashtags will only result in a loss of followers (and make you look pretty uncool while doing so).

Creating a powerful and successful hashtag campaign requires understanding your audience and the kind of things they’ll be happy to share. No one is going to use a hashtag that is merely your #BrandName, and there are plenty of clever campaigns that have garnered publicity without using their company name.

In 2017, Airbnb started the campaign #WeAccept – a hashtag highlighting the universality of their brand.

Airbnb Instagram account showcasing an authentic experience in Morocco.

Image credit: Instagram

Available all over the world and to all kinds of people, the hashtag worked on multiple levels.

While it may be harder for smaller brands to expand as quickly with a hashtag campaign, with a bit of innovative thought you can still reap the rewards of hashtags.

Building a large social media following is a powerful marketing technique not to be ignored.

Know your audience, know your goals, and start creating engaging, relevant content – then simply watch as the followers keep rolling in!

Recommended reading: Influencer marketing explained by Harvey Specter from Suits


Mansi Takyar

Biographical Info mansi here

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