The value of social media platforms as marketing tools is next to impossible to overstate. One of the best ways available to connect with an engaged audience, a robust social media following can be a precious asset. Of course, the key word in that phrase was “engaged.” It’s pretty easy to build a large social media following, but it’s more difficult to assemble a cadre of individuals who are actually interested and respond.
These tips for gaining social media followers will help you build an audience of genuine people who care what you have to say.
Give to Get
If you want to lead, you have to be a good follower. Look around your main platforms for people and the pages of organizations relevant to your business. Following those accounts will usually get you followed in return if you can demonstrate value (more on this later).
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Before you start following relevant accounts, however, make sure your profile is filled out completely. You want to look legitimate when people perform their due diligence to see who you are and what you’re about. You also want to ensure your feed contains posts reflecting both value and relevance. Similarly, you want to be somewhat selective about the people and entities you follow. Look for feeds like yours that have value and robust followings.
In the early days of social media, people would follow you back if you followed them—based solely upon the novelty of trading follows. Things are a bit different now that a solid following can be monetized. This is one of the reasons fully completing your profile is important. Tell your story in a way that intrigues people to learn more about you. Your headshot should be pleasant, crisp and professional in appearance. Your feed should be rife with fresh and valuable content.
Whatever you’re into, keep the latest information about it in the forefront of your feeds. Consider a scenario in which you’re selling e-books. You’ll want to provide sneak peeks of hot new titles, as well as glean insights from older titles—particularly when they’re germane to something happening in the news, or popular culture. Your goal is always to demonstrate value. You want people to enjoy seeing your name come up and look forward to what you’ll be sharing next.
A steady stream of fresh original content will make you stand out from the crowd of people simply reposting links. Comment when you see something you like from others and reshare it. Influencers in particular will take note of this behavior and over time will consider you a peer. Whenever you reshare, add a comment of your own to introduce your insight into the conversation surrounding it.
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To really stand out, make your posts opinionated. Yes, this approach will draw fire from time to time, but it also gets you noticed. Just be careful to base your opinions on solid facts so you can direct people to a credible source when they call you out. Finally, keep in mind that you’re only as popular as your last set of posts. There’s a steady stream of others vying for attention if you fall off and you will be forgotten. Be consistent.
Leverage Your Email List
If you have a list of newsletter subscribers, include links to your social feeds in every issue and encourage the recipients to follow you. If people are appreciative enough of what you’re doing to give you an email address, odds are they’ll follow your social media feeds as well.
Overnight Success is a Myth
As you may have discerned from these tips for gaining social media followers, there is no fast path to success here. If you want to be one of “the ones” in this arena, you have to put in the work. And, once you’ve arrived, you can’t let up. Social media is a hungry beast that will turn its back if you don’t keep it fed.
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