Ten ways to gain social media followers and three ways to lose them
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get another 1,000 social media followers overnight with a few clicks and a funny GIF? If you’re just starting out on social media, then that might seem like how it works…
But the truth is that modern social media success takes careful planning and a solid social media strategy. Growing your following is a slow burner; it takes time and shouldn’t be a rushed job, as you want to make sure your followers are organic and are the right audience.
That’s why this month we wanted to give you ten of our top ways to help increase your social following, along with three things that could result in you losing followers.
How to increase your social media followers
- Develop a strategy
One of the first steps you can take to organically grow your social media following is to develop an on-going strategy.
Setting out how you’ll approach social media helps focus your content, as well as giving everyone involved an idea of what direction your company needs to take.
This strategy could include:
- Frequency – how often are you going to publish on your social media platforms?
- Content types – are you going to focus solely on images, or are you going to include video and animation?
- Timings – are there specific days that you’re going to post out on each social platform?
- Purpose – why are you posting out a specific type of content, is it to inform, advise or promote?
- Company vs. general – are you going to focus on company-specific information, seasonal events or a combination of the two?
- Tailor your content to the platform
Each social media platform has it’s own unofficial rules, etiquette and format, so it’s important that you’re tailoring your content for each of these accounts.
This means that even if the photos from your office Summer or Christmas party have been well received on Facebook, they may not go down as well on LinkedIn.
That’s not to say that you can’t post the images out, but make sure that the caption and hashtags are appropriate for each platform.
- Be informative
Whether you’re a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C) organisation, it’s important that you’re informative when it comes to your social media posts. Give people a real reason to follow you, whether that’s sharing informative blogs, or highlighting relevant industry news.
As we’ll come to later in this article, social publishing isn’t just about promoting your own products and services, it’s about showcasing yourself as an insightful, helpful brand and building a community.
- Show your personality
You can be informative, you can be professional, but you can also use social media to showcase your brand’s personality. If your business is customer-driven, then showing a human side to your corporation goes a long way in increasing your social followers. People like talking to people.
Take Innocent Smoothies for example; they’re always coming up with funny, interesting posts that show how forward thinking and relatable their company is. It takes time to develop a voice on social media, but once you’ve found it, you’ll benefit further down the line.
- Promote happiness and success
It’s all too easy to have a grumble and a moan on social media, but if you’re planning on increasing your social media following, you need to make sure that you’re promoting happiness and success.
However, it’s not just about being positive. Funny or inspirational content is a lot easier for followers to share. But, if you’re going to take the funny route, be careful. It can be very hard to entertain everyone without annoying someone else.
- Publish evergreen content
Creating evergreen content is easier to say than do, especially in the fluid world of social media. A normal post on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all have varying lifespans.
One example of evergreen content would be an infographic that solves common problems within your industry, or it could be an animation on complex industry jargon and what it really means.
No matter what the final content is about, make sure that it doesn’t have an expiry date. The more this content is shared, the more likely you are to gain more social media followers, since you’re seen as a helpful industry expert.
- Focus on increasing engagement
When it comes to getting more followers, you need to start publishing content that can be shared and engaged with by your existing ones. When a social media user sees a post on their feed that’s been shared by a friend, then they’re more likely to follow the account it originally came from. It’s a simple as a word of mouth recommendation.
- Post the right types of content
When it comes to increasing followers, you need to remember to publish the right type of content, based on the social media platform that you’re trying to grow.
For example, news articles and industry posts work especially well on LinkedIn or Google+, whereas images and videos work very well on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One method we’ve often found that works well is cross-pollinating on social platforms. Basically, this means that sometimes we will promote (for example) our Facebook page on Twitter.
We’re not talking automated messages (these can be so annoying sometimes), but if we get a new follower on one platform that we think would appreciate the content on another, we’ll drop them a note and ask them to follow us on both pages.
- Don’t forget the technical side
As much as we’d like to say it’s all about the memes and GIFs, there is the technical side to social media as well. Steps you can take include:
- Checking your privacy settings – are people able to find you?
- Shareability – Is your content easy for followers to reshare?
- The correct use of hashtags – Are you using the most suitable and popular ones for your post?
- Check your widgets – Are social links on your website and email working properly?
- Review your bio – Is it professional and optimised with keywords?
- Check your links – Are the links that you’re sharing sending readers to the right location? Do they all work?
How to lose social media followers
- Only promoting yourself
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s important that you don’t just promote your own products and services. This might work in a high-pressure sales environment, but it definitely doesn’t work on social media.
If you’re publishing too many sales messages and not enough useful content, you’re going to come across as a “meformer” instead of an “informer”. Shameless self-promotion isn’t cool guys; make sure you’re helping people. Consider an 80/20 split of interesting industry content with business updates.
- Publishing in shorter bursts
It can be tempting to post out as soon as something happens to increase your social media followers, but having a set schedule is sometimes more beneficial.
Users who’ve followed you based on a recent update want to see more of the same over time, not a burst of 12 updates in a day, then nothing for weeks.
Publishing in short bursts shows that you haven’t planned your content, and makes it look like you haven’t got anything interesting to say during the quiet periods.
- Not providing value
As well publishing in short bursts, publishing content that doesn’t give your followers any useful information is a sure-fire way to lose followers. When you’re planning your content, think carefully about what they’ll get out of the post.
So there we have it, some strategies you can use to help increase your social media followings, and several that you need to make sure you steer clear of! What do you think? Have you struggled to gain more followers, or have you developed your own unique strategy?
Remember, if you’re looking for a social media and content marketing team to help develop your brand and increase your social presence, then we’re here to help. Give us a call on 01489 232312 or get in touch with us here. Can’t wait to hear from you!