An extensive social media following is a common goal for small business owners and marketers, as it can go a long way towards connecting with your audiences, building your brand reputation, and even increasing leads and sales.
Yet building a large following across social media sites is the perfect cliche of easier said than done. Like all social media marketing endeavours, it takes careful planning and execution, but is worth the effort.
Here are our best tips for building followers on all social media platforms.
Show your human side
Social media is about making connections, but you will struggle to connect with social media users if you’re presenting a faceless corporation online.
This is your space to let your brand personality shine through, and speak with audiences rather than at them.
You can share jokes, industry tips, fun images and videos, staff photos, and personal stories all in your brand’s voice in order to encourage interactions, engagement, and new followers.
Spend some time searching for hashtags related to your brand and your audiences. You can simply enter words and phrases that describe your brand, products, or industry, and see how many times each one has been used, or check which hashtags your competitors are using.
Most posts have just two or three hashtags, it’s generally accepted that up to a dozen is a good number to use. Although Instagram does allow up to 30 hashtags per post, it is not advised to do so, as it looks messy and overdone.
Experiment with different hashtags to see which ones work best for your brand.
Make the most of social media tools
Social media tools can make a world of difference when you’re struggling to manage social media accounts.
A tool such as White Pages Connect can help you with social media posting, and with updating details, loading images, and other tasks. There are even tools built into the platforms themselves, such as Facebook Audience Insights, which helps you to discover what your audiences are interested in so you can share relevant content, and Twitter Promote Mode, which can give you a wider reach.
Analyse your competition
There’s no shame in making a list of your biggest competitors then moving through their social media channels to analyse their social media posting habits.
What is their social media scheduling like, as in, how often do they post and at what times of day? What kind of content do they post? How do they interact with the comments? What, if any, hashtags are they using?
While you shouldn’t copy and paste their social strategy into yours, you can certainly be inspired and discover new tricks specific for your industry.
Sometimes, to gain followers, you must first follow.
Often, following other accounts on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram will automatically see your followers rise as they follow you back. So look for accounts active within the industry, including those of customers, suppliers, competition, and influencers.
Influencers in particular can be highly useful, as following key players within your field and sharing their posts can help to progress your brand alongside theirs.
Building a loyal social media following is just one way to build your brand reputation and influence online. Using a one-stop tool such as White Pages Connect allows you to schedule and post on social media, but also update your directory listings, deal with reviews, track your performance, and more.