Are You Looking To Grow Your Social Media Following? Check Out These 10 Tips
You’ve set up the most important social media accounts for your business – your profile pictures are added and you’ve already picked out a few funny memes or GIFs to share with your following…your following…the ever-elusive social media following. What do you do if you don’t have much of a social following (yet)? Rightfully so, most small business owners just getting started with social media marketing ask friends and family to “like” and share their social media pages – but unless your personal reach is really wide or one of your friends is Jennifer Aniston (we’re officially jealous) odds are you’ll need to create a focused strategy to grow your following.
We’ll be real with you – it can take time to grow your audience but rest assured that with the right approach you’ll have a direct line to your target audience and will be able to make the most out of your social media in 2021 and beyond.
1. Focus Your Efforts
It can be tempting to cast a wide net on social media, but like any marketing channel, your social efforts will have a better return on investment if you use them to target a specific audience that is most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
The good news is that you already know who your target audience is! Just think about the kind of people and groups who already book your tours or activities. For example, if you offer naturalist-guided family tours, your target audience will largely be parents who are interested in nature and the outdoors. If you run a booze cruise, your target audience is likely to be young people looking for fun group experiences or groups celebrating life events such as bachelor/bachelorette parties and 21st birthdays.
Use your audience profile – both existing and desired – as your guiding light. This will help you to craft your tone of voice and to determine the type of content you want to post. Don’t forget, even though social media is a unique marketing avenue, your approach on social platforms should be in line with your company’s existing brand identity.
2. Expose Yourself
The people who are most likely to engage with your social media accounts are those who have already had some sort of interaction with your business – whether they booked a tour or activity in the past or simply signed up for your email list, these people have already expressed an interest in what you offer. Make sure to share links to your social media accounts in all marketing materials you send out as well as on your website to make it easy for people to find you.
In email and on your website, add your social icons to the footer. This way they will always be included, regardless of the type of email you send out or the web page that is visited.
Pro tip: Take your social media visibility one step further and integrate your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest profiles right on your website so visitors get a teaser of your content. Once you’ve hooked them and they click through to see more they’ll be more likely to give your page a like or a follow.
3. Give People What They Want
It sounds so simple, but it can be hard to do – creating the type of content that your potential followers want to see in their feeds is of paramount importance to social media success. Depending on your brand voice and target audience, this could mean sharing funny posts, relaxing images, or expert tips. Don’t worry too much about what others are doing, focus on creating high-quality content that is in service of your followers while also demonstrating what your unique company has to offer. One example of effective content is user-generated content.
4. Engage Like A Human!
Followers want to engage with a human, not a brand, and if you show that there’s a person behind your profile (while adhering to your brand personality, of course), you’re sure to attract more followers. Social media is not something you can set and forget. It’s important to respond to audiences, participate in conversations, and provide customer service when necessary.
Check out our guide on how to engage with followers for more tips.
5. Visuals Drive It Home
Once a potential follower lands on your profile, your content needs to convince them to hit that follow button. Great visuals will quickly grab visitors’ attention and give them an idea of what they can expect when they follow your profile. Some platforms lend themselves better to visual content, like Instagram and Pinterest, but it’s an important factor across the board.
Pay close attention to maintaining a consistent visual identity, whether it’s through posting high-quality images that tell a cohesive story or using design elements that immediately identify your brand.
Video is the most engaging type of content across all platforms. It also tends to be shared widely, which can help grow your reach as your existing followers share your content with their friends or on their own profiles. Take a look at our guide to utilizing video to promote your business.
6. Pay To Play
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — sometimes you have to pay to play — and this isn’t a bad thing! When done thoughtfully, paid advertising can be a lucrative and essential component of any social media or digital marketing strategy because it can help you grow your following faster than relying only on your organic reach.
Facebook provides detailed targeting options that allow you to show your ads only to the people who might be interested in them, based on demographic data as well as interests and actions they take on the platform. Explore our guide to Facebook ads to get started.
7. People Like Free Stuff
Giveaways are a great way to give back to your followers, showcase what your business has to offer and expand your reach. For example, Instagram giveaways often encourage followers to tag a friend in the comments, exposing potential followers to your brand. Giveaways can be run on any social platform – learn more in our guide to running social media giveaways.
Pro tip: Dreaming up an elaborate giveaway or social competition can be really fun, but don’t forget to make sure that your giveaway is legal and that it follows the guidelines of the platform you’re using.
8. Get Social Savvy With #Hashtags#
Hashtags are a useful way to reach potential followers based on their interests. For example, if you tag your posts with hashtags like #wanderlust or #travel, they will appear in front of users who typically engage with travel-related content. Spend some time doing hashtag research by exploring other accounts in your industry and influencers to get an idea of the most popular hashtags related to your business.
You can get started with our guide to travel accounts you should follow on social media.
9. Use Analytics To Improve
Most social media platforms offer analytics for business pages, allowing you to track how your posts are performing. Take advantage of these insights to refine your social media strategy by paying attention to the types of posts that your followers prefer. For example, if you get a lot of engagement on user-generated content, continue to solicit this from your customers and share it. If video posts perform particularly well, think about creating a weekly video series that will keep followers coming back for more. Posting the right kinds of content will help you grow your following.
10. Take The Stress Out Of It
Sticking to a consistent posting schedule helps keep your social media profiles fresh. If someone lands on your profile and sees that you haven’t posted anything in months, they won’t have much incentive to follow you. Explore our guide to free social media scheduling tools for a few options. As we mentioned in tip #4, using a scheduling tool doesn’t mean you can schedule all your posts for the month and forget about social media. It’s important to supplement your scheduled posts with timely updates and engagement with your followers.
Social media holds a lot of promise for marketers, as users are spending more and more time on these platforms. It may take some trial and error to find what works best for your company’s social media profiles, but by following these tips, you can start building your following. For more social media tactics, read our guides to social media mistakes to avoid and how to get your content to go viral.