Read our guide on how to beat the bigger brands and get more followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Social media is an excellent way to grow your brand online. The more followers you have, the more people you can promote your products to, which will eventually lead to more sales and an influx of traffic to your site.
But, with 9.6 million people furloughed, businesses competing to thrive during the recession and a 10.1% rise in social media usage, you aren’t going to be the only one pushing great social media content. If you really want to stand out and build your online presence, you need to think outside the box.
Here are 7 ways to boost your following – with relevant examples you can apply to your brand.
1. Seek relationships, not just followers
Nobody wants a large social media following ‘just because.’ The benefit of having a lot of followers is that more people see your content, engage with your brand and potentially become paying customers. Having a lot of followers that aren’t your ideal customers is pointless.
You want to make sure the majority of people who follow you engage with your platforms. It doesn’t have to be every single follower, but you should avoid having people with inactive accounts to make you look better. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have closed down millions of fake accounts anyway.
For example, if you launch a handmade jewellery business, you might ask close friends and family to follow your social media pages. But that doesn’t mean you should ask your uncle’s 6”4 rugby friends to follow you for vanity purposes. They’re never going to buy from you – so it’s just false growth.
Hashtags are an excellent way to attract specific followers, get your content in front of a bigger audience and use hot trends and topics to your advantage. You can even use them to build your brand by creating slogans that are easily recognisable.
What’s more, on platforms such as Twitter, you can include them in your posts to join in a conversation. If you give a unique opinion or your tweet gets a lot of engagement, it’ll often be enough to convince people that your account is worth following.
To increase our social media following at Adzooma, we did some A/B split testing with 10 different posts. Five of them included hashtags, five didn’t. On average, posts including 2 hashtags gained 218 impressions, compared to just 169 for those without.
That’s an extra 47 impressions for just five more seconds of your time.
Keep in mind that not every platform uses hashtags in the same way, so it’s worth doing your research on the type and number of hashtags that will work for each post.
3. Run competitions and giveaways
Social competitions are a great tool for driving more people to your platforms. If you tell people to tag their friends and share your giveaway to their story, you’ll gain even more engagement and brand awareness.
But to avoid losing followers as soon as the giveaway is over, you have to figure out exactly what you want to achieve and how to make people engage with your brand.
“Whatever you offer, make sure it’s something your target audience would actually love to have. No one will enter if it’s not a prize they’re enamoured with.”
And if you aren’t sure what that is, all you have to do is ask.
Give people the chance to tell you what prizes they’d love to win so that you can generate a buzz around your platforms. Once the competition is over, you can use the data to create more targeted content, which in turn, will encourage people with common interests to become followers.
If you want to read more about how social competitions and giveaways can help grow your brand, you can do so in our previous article here.
4. Show your brand personality
Branding is important because it tells customers what they can expect from you and helps to set you apart from your competitors. If your branding is memorable and your voice connects with people on an emotional level, you’ll be much more likely to make a strong impression.
To help you get this right the first time around, explore the best branding agencies on the Adzooma Marketplace. They’ve got the experience and expertise to make your business stand out and drive more people to your platforms, just like we see with the most established brands.
Take Aldi for example. They recently started a conversation on Twitter regarding their #Aldi30thBirthdayParty, which received much more engagement than usual:
They even had banter with Lidl, their biggest competitor:
Why? Because it makes them unique and shows that they’re confident with who they are. It proves there are real people behind the brand and that they can relate with their followers – making them more than just a supermarket.
You should give people a reason to want to follow you. For instance, according to our recent survey, 57.5% of customers are also more likely to buy from brands with a strong personality.
If it makes them more likely to buy, they’re definitely going to want to follow you on social media. Post content that your customers won’t find elsewhere and use your brand personality to consistently reinforce it, making people return to your platforms time and time again.
5. Create quality content
It’s a no brainer that quality content has much more potential than something that’s quickly thrown together. But if you want to gain more followers, you need to make it shareable.
For example, if you carry out a survey and get some interesting results, present the data in an engaging infographic that people can share on their own socials.
If you’re starting up your own business with visually-appealing products, work on taking professional photos to make your brand seem more established. People are much more likely to share your brand new brownie business if the photos are polished and not just on your kitchen counter.
In terms of written content, give your personal opinion or talk about new trends, topics and news. Adzooma gained 619 social followers in May when we started to tell people about our brand new Marketplace. It was a huge increase of 79.9% from the previous month.
If you’re new to content marketing or just want pointing in the right direction, check out these content marketing tools:
6. Post frequently
The amount you post has a direct impact on your followers. If you only post once a month, people will forget about you and feel like there’s no point following your account.
If you post every day, regularly respond to comments and show that you’re active, people will believe you’re going to provide the quality content we spoke about above. You have to be consistent and give people a reason to be involved.
It isn’t set in stone how often you should post, but it makes sense to post less frequently on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn where algorithms control the newsfeed. Platforms such as Twitter work on a real-time basis, so posting regular content can remind people of your brand and draw more followers to your feed.
However, it depends entirely on your business.
As a PPC management platform, Twitter is one of Adzooma’s most-used social media channels as it allows us to provide valuable content and keep up to date with the fast-moving industry. But for a business that’s centred around design, you’d probably want to drive your Instagram followers to push more visual content. It’s about being consistent whatever your brand.
7. Look into paid options
Paid social media can work wonders for your brand. It’s a great way of giving your content a little push in the right direction and getting more interested eyes on your posts. For instance, 40% of users bought something after seeing it on Twitter.
On Twitter, in particular, you can promote your tweets to make them appear in the timelines and search results of specific users. You just have to select profiles that fit your targeting and make sure your campaign objective is set to maximise reach.
Generally, promoted tweets increase followers 10 times more than organic tweets and are much less likely to be lost in between other pieces of content.
And it isn’t just Twitter that offers excellent paid advertising. With Facebook seeing 1.62 billion daily visitors and having a potential reach of up to 1.9 billion for their paid ads, using it to promote your brand is a no brainer. You can make Facebook advertising easy using our free software – learn more about it here.
In addition, if your brand is aimed towards a younger demographic or maybe a much more professional one, Snapchat Ads and LinkedIn Ads are designed to help grow your audience.
7 routes to success
These techniques will help to grow your followers, but the time and effort you put into your platforms is what really makes a difference. They aren’t clever hacks that will bring you results overnight.