9 min read
7 Simple Ways To Grow Your Social Media Following Organically
By: Katarina Klem on Feb 16, 2023 10:00:00 AM
Social media can be a fantastic way to connect with your audience, promote your brand, and drive new leads and sales to your business. After all, where else can you spread the word about your business with so little financial investment?
If you’re like most companies, you could use a little help figuring out how to connect with more people and get more followers on your social media channels. But before we dig into how to grow your social media following, let’s back the truck up a bit to emphasize one important detail:
The number of followers you have isn’t necessarily a good indicator of social media success.
Yep, it’s true. Just having a big following on social media won’t translate to more business or even good marketing ROI.
However, an engaged following can do both of those things and more. When looking to attract more followers, you want people who actually want to interact with your brand online. You want followers who will engage with your content, share it with their circles, and ultimately drive new business to you.
So let’s take a look at how to build an authentic audience of engaged followers on social media.
1. Build a Strong Brand Story
People are innately drawn to brands that have a distinct identity and a story to tell. Your social media profiles should reflect a cohesive brand story.
Is your brand whimsical and funny? Serious and business-like? Laid-back and thoughtful? Determine who your brand is and how you want to portray yourself online, and build your unique brand identity from there.
From color and graphic design to the topics you choose and the tone of your writing, make sure every post you share on your social channels reflects your brand’s voice.
While you’re at it, optimize your profile on each of your social media channels to attract and engage followers:
- Use a professional photo or logo for your profile picture and cover photo
- Use the same profile photo across platforms so your brand is easy to recognize
- Choose social media handles that are the same or similar across platforms to make it easier for customers to find you
- Include a link to your website and other social profiles, when possible
- Include a compelling headline when the platform allows it (such as LinkedIn and Instagram)
- On platforms that give you more space for a bio summary (like LinkedIn), use it to tell your brand’s story and talk about how you make a difference for your customers
2. Post Consistently on the Right Social Media Channels
You can’t be everywhere (or, at least, you can’t be effective everywhere). Determine the social channels your target audience is already spending time on, and focus your social media marketing efforts there.
Different social media channels attract different audiences. So knowing your target audience will help you narrow down which channels to focus on. For example, Instagram and TikTok tend to draw in younger generations, whereas Facebook attracts an older demographic. And if you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn should be at the top of your list.
Once you’ve determined which channels are best for your brand, message, and audience, post relevant content consistently.
This doesn’t mean you have to post multiple times per day. (In fact, in most cases, that’s probably too much for your audience to actually engage with.) Even if you only have the time and resources to post a couple times per week, do that consistently.
As for when to post, the best days and times will vary depending on your industry, the platform, and your audience.
The best way to find the right times to post is to experiment and keep an eye on your social media metrics. Doing so will give you insight into the days and times your posts get the most likes, shares, and comments. If you’re not sure where to start, use this handy guide from Hubspot on the best times to post, based on a survey they did of social media marketers. Then watch your metrics and use that information to create a posting schedule.
3. Post Relevant, Shareable Content
Be purposeful with your social posts: don’t post something just to post something. And whatever you do, DON’T use your social media accounts as nonstop advertising campaigns. Remember, you’re there to engage your followers in conversation, not shout at them about your brand.
Instead, share helpful information that’s relevant to your audience. Use your posts to inform, educate, or entertain your followers (or, preferably, a mix of all three). Share a variety of posts , including:
- Open-ended questions and polls to strike up conversation and boost engagement
- Industry trends, forecasts, and statistics (don’t forget to cite your sources!)
- Announcements of upcoming events you’re hosting or taking part in
- Promotion of your blog posts or website
- Great visuals! BuzzSumo found that Facebook posts with images had 2.3x more engagement than those without!
- Relevant funny content: memes, GIFs, or images that will bring a smile to your audience’s faces
Also, take a look at what your competitors are posting. What kinds of posts seem to get a lot of engagement (likes, comments, shares) for them? You don’t want to mimic them too closely, but you can use that information to help you determine what types of content to post in the future.
Ultimately, content that speaks to what your audience wants will draw people toward your brand.
4. Work With Influencers
User-generated content—especially from social media influencers—is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media following. Influencers tend to have dedicated and loyal followers, so if you choose wisely, an influencer could help you grow your following and even boost sales.
When it comes to influencer marketing, think quality over quantity. The influencer with the largest following isn’t automatically the best choice. An ideal influencer will be one that gets consistently high engagement from their followers, even if their follower count is smaller.
Micro-influencers (those with fewer than 50k followers) are perfect for brands just getting started with their influencer strategy or looking to target a niche industry.
Micro-influencers are more affordable than larger influencers, exert more influence over their followers, and generally feel more authentic than celebrity influencers or influencers with big followings. They tend to have closer relationships with their audience than bigger or more well-known influencers do, so their followers trust their brand recommendations more.
These smaller influencers also have higher rates of engagement from their followers, as shown in a study by Makerly.
Makerly looked at more than 800,000 Instagram users and found that influencers who had “less than 1,000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time.” In other words, they found a clear pattern of engagement decreasing as follower count increased.
A few things to consider when choosing an influencer to work with:
- Does their audience fit your target market?
- Do they get regular engagement on their posts? (Remember, comments and shares are worth more than likes alone.)
- What is their reach? In other words, how many people see their posts? Compare this metric with their engagement rate.
- Look at the quality of their content: Does it align with your brand values and creative vision? Would it be valuable to your target market?
5. Hold a Contest or Giveaway
A little competition can go a long way in bringing new followers to your social media accounts. Hosting a contest of some kind is a major win-win: it attracts new followers while keeping your current fans engaged. After all, everyone loves a chance to win a great prize!
There are several different types of social media contests you can hold, including:
- Like and tag to win. Participants must like your post and tag a friend in the comments to enter. Then you randomly choose one entry to win.
- Caption contest. Ask participants to write a funny caption for a photo that you post. The caption with the most likes wins.
- Photo contest. Participants either tag you in a photo they post or leave a photo in the comments of your post (depending on what the social media platform you’re using allows). Then pick one randomly to win.
For any contest you do, make sure one of the requirements is that participants follow your page. Always explain contest rules clearly and thoroughly, and make sure your contest aligns with the platform’s rules and regulations (each platform has their own set of rules for contests).
As for the prize you give away: make sure it’s something related to your brand. It could be your own products or services or something else that’s relevant to who you are and what you do.
6. Actively Engage With Your Audience
Earlier we mentioned that your social media accounts aren’t just a place to shout at people about your brand. You need to engage your followers in conversation if you want your social media presence to be effective….and that conversation needs to be a two-way street.
Bring some humanity to your social media marketing by engaging with your audience:
- Respond to comments and direct messages (DMs).
- Post to your Instagram or Facebook stories regularly (especially Instagram). This is a great place for behind-the-scenes videos, answering questions, or simply showing your face and saying hello.
- Ask for feedback or input from your followers.
- Like and comment on others’ posts.
- Share your appreciation for your audience’s follows, engagement, and business.
Your social media accounts aren’t just a form of advertising…they’re also a platform for customer service. In this day and age, audiences expect brands to have fast response times on social media. Just as you would call a customer back within a reasonable time period, make sure to respond to comments and questions on social media just as quickly.
7. Consider Paid Ads
Social media advertising is another effective way (albeit, not a free one) to reach new followers. Investing a modest amount into paid ads on Facebook or LinkedIn (depending on your goals) will help you gain exposure to new audiences.
Use paid ads to highlight your original content, promote upcoming events, or simply advertise your website.
Precise audience targeting allows you to focus your ads on audiences that will be most receptive to your message—such as people who are similar to your current followers, those who have expressed interest in products or services similar to yours, and people in industries you are looking to work with.
When done well, paid ads will help you promote your brand, gather new followers, and increase conversions.
Want More Tips To Grow Your Social Media Following?
The team at Wild Fig is here to help! We’ve helped dozens of clients increase their social media engagement and following, and we’d love to help you do the same.
Schedule a quick exploratory call to discuss your social media needs and learn what we can do for you. And in the meantime, download our free social media quick tip sheet to help you choose the best social media platforms for your business.
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