For some, follower count is everything. It’s the stat that digital marketers can spend hours staring at it, urging the numbers to roll upwards.
And there’s good reason. It’s been shown that content has a far greater impact if it can reach a greater number of people. Simply, the more followers you have, the more your products or services are likely to be seen.
So how do you go about increasing that seemingly elusive follower count? Beg for followers? Buy them? Bribe them with the promise of prizes?
Various studies and research reports have shown that there is, in fact, some method behind the madness.
To help get you started, here are five tried and tested techniques you can use to boost your brand and send your follower count skyward.
Post engaging content
The premise is simple. Create great content that people actually want to read and they’ll stick around. A content strategy is a strong first step to social stardom and can include anything from blog articles to videos and infographics.
It’s important that you devise a plan that involves consistency in style and frequency. If you commit to posting a new blog every Thursday, make sure there’s a new blog, on your site, every Thursday. This will keep your social media ticking over week after week, and you should begin to see a hunger for your content.
Use a social media scheduling tool such as HootSuite or Sprout Social. These types of software enable you to schedule content on a specific day and time, even if you’re not there. You’ll be able to use a host of other handy features, too, such as analytics, post to multiple accounts at once, monitor brand-wide notifications and more.
Okay, so you don’t have to hand out prizes every time someone follows you, but interaction with your brand should be fun and rewarding. Has someone mentioned you in a comment? Make sure you reply with a positive note, retweet if relevant and even follow them back. Has someone criticised you? Let them know you’re listening and value their feedback.
The whole point of social media, after all, is to be social. Don’t assume that posting content and then leaving your page to get dusty for a week will build a consistent following. It’s a multi-pronged approach that will get people talking about your brand.
If you’re talking about another product or company, make sure you’re using their official handle. This way, they’ll receive a notification that you’ve mentioned them, making it easier for them to interact or share your tweet. Twitter handles always start with the ‘@’ symbol.
They’re wildly overused, often annoying and sometimes illegible, but hashtags really do work. Whether you’re using a hashtag to index your content or to jump on a trending topic, it’s important that you post content that is relevant, insightful and shareable. Otherwise, your content will almost certainly fall into the infinitely large social dustbin.
There are three types of hashtags you should be using. These are:
- Daily and hourly hashtags, such as #TBT (Throw Back Thursday)
- Community hashtags, such as #eventprofs (searched by event professionals to find content relative to their sector
- And trending hashtags. As of 23/05/19, that’s #PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions), #WorldTurtleDay (a day dedicated to increasing the awareness of turtles) and #WelcomeUnai (Arsenal’s new head coach).
Trending hashtag settings can be changed from region to region, so if you only want to see hashtags from Coventry and Birmingham, you can do just that.
We’ve listed a selection of daily and weekly hashtags you can use to get started:
Share your social media everywhere
How does anyone find anyone on social media? Sure, you can Google search or type directly into the search box, but why would anyone want to do that? You need to let your audience know that you’re on social media and you want them to follow you for enriching and insightful content.
How? First, ensure the social media icons are prominently displayed on every page of your website. The Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn logos are instantly recognisable and great at directing website traffic to your social media pages.
Ensure you’ve included social media share icons across all of your blogs. Most web development providers, such as WordPress, will have a free plugin specifically designed to encourage others to share your blogs across social media. Use WordPress? Check out Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons.
Follow key influencers
And finally, building your professional network online is just as important as building it offline. By following influencers in your sector, you’ll become part of a wider network of digital profiles which share the same interests. This means it will be easier to connect your content with the right audience.
Make it your mission to follow, like, retweet and post a combination of 10 items a day, every day, to keep your account on the move and exciting to follow. This is known as the ‘Magic 10’ strategy. Keep at it and you’ll become a social media wizard in no time.