Growing your social media following can seem difficult, but it’s a critical task for businesses of all sizes. With the right approach, it’s possible to attract a loyal following and build a strong presence on social media. In this article, we’ll explore 16 effective ways to grow your social media followers and engage with your audience.
Why social media followers matter
Social media followers are the lifeblood of your social media strategy. They’re the ones who engage with your content, share your posts, and help spread the word about your brand. Having a large and engaged following can help you build brand awareness, attract new customers, and increase loyalty. So, it’s important to focus your social media marketing efforts on growing your following and engaging with your audience.
The psychology of social media and why people follow brands
People follow brands on social media for a variety of reasons. Some follow to stay up-to-date on the latest products and promotions, while others want to get a behind-the-scenes look at the company. People are attracted to content that’s entertaining, informative, or emotionally resonant. So constant sales pitches or simply repeating what others have already done won’t get you much attention.
One key factor is the need for social proof. People are more likely to follow a brand that has a large and engaged following, as it signals that they’re popular and trustworthy. Plus, it’s more fun to join in on what’s already a lively discussion taking place in the comments. In this way, there’s a snowball effect where, as your following grows, the pace at which you add new followers may increase.
Whatever the reason, understanding the psychology of social media can help you craft a content strategy to find more followers.
How to increase your social media following (16 effective steps)
1. Create authentic content that resonates with your audience
Authenticity is key to building a strong social media presence. People are attracted to content that feels genuine and honest. So, it’s important to create content that speaks to your audience and reflects your brand’s values.
To create authentic content:
Conduct research on your target audience: Research your target audience to understand their needs, interests, and pain points.
Keep your content relevant and timely: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and news in your industry and create content that is relevant and timely. This will show your audience that you are a thought leader in your industry and are knowledgeable about the latest trends.
Publish user-generated content: User-generated content is a powerful way to showcase the experiences of your customers and build trust with your audience. Encourage your followers to create and share content related to your brand, and share their content with your followers.
Use humor and personality: Adding humor and personality to your content can make it more engaging and memorable. Showcasing your brand’s personality can also help build a connection with your audience.
Experiment with different formats: Experiment with different formats, such as videos, infographics, and blog posts, to keep your content fresh and engaging. This will help you attract new followers and keep your existing followers engaged.
2. Encourage and share user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is like free media for your brand. UGC is genuine media created by your followers, such as photos, videos, or reviews. This type of content acts, again, as social proof, showing potential followers that people love what you’re doing.
To make the most of UGC and encourage more:
Showcase your customers: Showcasing your customers and their experiences with your brand is a powerful way to build trust and credibility with your audience. Feature customer testimonials, success stories, and reviews on your social media channels.
You may have to reach out proactively to obtain your earliest examples. However, once others see what you’re sharing, they’ll be more encouraged and confident in creating content on their own.
Host social media challenges: Host social media challenges that encourage your followers to create and share UGC related to your brand. For example, you could ask your followers to share photos of themselves using your product or service and award the best ones with a prize.
Repurpose UGC: Repurpose UGC across your social media channels and other marketing materials to showcase your brand’s community and build social proof. Sharing a post once doesn’t preclude you from using it again a few months later or including it in your email newsletter.
Engage with UGC creators: Engage with users who create and share UGC related to your brand. Respond to their comments and messages, and thank them for their support.
3. Maintain a consistent, distinguishable brand image
Your brand image is like your fingerprint. It’s what sets you apart from the competition and makes you recognizable to your followers. Maintaining a consistent brand image is critical for building brand recognition and attracting new followers.
To foster a consistent, memorable brand image:
Develop a strong brand personality: Developing a strong brand personality can help differentiate your brand from the competition and make it more memorable. Consider what values and traits you want your brand to be associated with and infuse them into your content and messaging.
Use a consistent visual theme: Use consistent colors, fonts, and imagery that align with your brand’s values and personality. For example, if your brand is focused on sustainability, use nature-inspired imagery and colors.
Create a social media content calendar: Creating a social media content calendar can help ensure that your content is consistent and flows together to help advance your brand toward a common goal.
Monitor your brand mentions: Monitoring your brand mentions on social media can help ensure that you’re being portrayed accurately and fairly across all channels. Respond to any negative mentions when appropriate, but stay away from starting a back-and-forth squabble, as it can further diminish your brand’s professionalism in the eyes of followers.
Perhaps even more importantly, respond to positive mentions and get involved in fun conversations.
4. Post regularly
Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Posting regularly helps you stay top-of-mind with your followers and attract new ones. Ideally, you should aim to post at least once a day on each social media platform to keep your followers engaged.
To make the most of posting regularly:
Use a content calendar to plan in advance: A content calendar is a great tool for planning your social media posts in advance. It allows you to organize your content by theme or topic, schedule your posts, and ensure that your content is aligned with your overall content strategy. When creating a content calendar, consider your audience, brand identity, and goals, and make sure to leave room for flexibility and spontaneity.
Use tools like Jetpack Social to automate your posts: With Jetpack Social, you can schedule your posts across multiple social media platforms, and auto-share content on social media directly from your WordPress site. By automating your social media posts, you can save time, stay consistent, and increase your social media presence.
Vary the type of content you post: Switching between images, videos, and text-based posts can give you more material to work with and helps you use the same idea more than once without annoying your audience.
Experiment with post frequency: While posting daily is a good goal, find the right balance for your brand and the platforms you use. Experiment with different posting frequencies to find the sweet spot. It will likely be different for various channels.
Focus on quality over quantity: While posting regularly is important, quality should always come first. Focus on creating high-quality content that adds value to your audience. If you’re looking for inspiration on what to create, you’ll enjoy this list of social media post ideas for businesses trying to stand out.
5. Leverage automation tools to create and share faster
Social media can be time-consuming, but there are tools that can help you automate your workflow and improve efficiency. One of the best is Jetpack Social, a powerful social media plugin for WordPress that allows you to plan, schedule, and auto-post your social media content.
With Jetpack Social, you can:
Easily share your content on social media: Jetpack Social allows you to share your social media posts across multiple channels with just one click. This feature saves you time and ensures that your content is reaching the widest possible audience.
Schedule your posts in advance: With Jetpack Social, you can schedule your social media posts in advance, so you don’t have to worry about posting in real time. You can schedule posts for specific days and times, ensuring that your content is posted when your audience is most active.
Use the auto-post feature to save time: Automatically share your blog posts on your social media channels as soon as they are published on your website. This means that your social media channels will always be up-to-date with your latest content.
To learn more about Jetpack Social, visit the following page: https://jetpack.com/social/
6. Integrate gamification in your content strategy
Gamification is the use of game-like elements in non-game contexts. By integrating gamification in your social media content strategy, you can make your content more engaging and fun for your audience. Examples of gamification include quizzes, polls, and challenges.
To successfully integrate gamification in your content strategy:
Know your audience: Understanding your audience is critical for creating effective gamified content. Use social media analytics to identify your audience demographics, interests, and behavior, and tailor your gamified content accordingly.
Keep it simple: While gamification can be a powerful tool for engaging your audience, it’s important to keep it simple and easy to understand. Avoid overcomplicating your gamified content, and make sure that the rules and objectives are clear.
Use rewards: Rewards can be a powerful motivator for encouraging participation in gamified content. Consider offering prizes or discounts to participants who complete quizzes, polls, or challenges.
Create a sense of competition: Competition can be a great motivator for encouraging participation and engagement. Create leaderboards or ranking systems that incentivize users to participate and share your content.
Use storytelling: Storytelling can make your gamified content more engaging and memorable. Create a narrative that ties your gamified content together and makes it more meaningful for your audience.
7. Share exclusive discounts and promotions with social media followers
Everyone loves a good deal, and offering exclusive discounts or promotions to your social media followers is a great way to grow your audience and build customer loyalty. By offering a special deal or promotion, you can incentivize your followers to engage with your brand and share your content.
To successfully use discounts and promotions on social media:
Set clear objectives: Before sharing exclusive discounts and promotions with your social media followers, set clear objectives and goals for what you hope to achieve. Are you trying to attract new followers, increase sales, or build customer loyalty? Align your objectives with your overall social media strategy.
Create a sense of urgency: Creating a sense of urgency can be a powerful motivator for encouraging your followers to take action. Consider setting a deadline for your promotions or creating limited-time offers to incentivize your followers to engage with your brand.
Share your promotions: To ensure that your exclusive discounts and promotions reach as many people as possible, advertise them across all your social media channels. Use eye-catching visuals and persuasive copy to grab your followers’ attention and encourage them to take action.
Monitor your results: Monitoring your social media analytics is critical for understanding the effectiveness of your exclusive discounts and promotions. Use your analytics to track engagement, conversions, and ROI, and adjust your promotions accordingly.
Use social proof: Social proof is another proven way to motivate followers to take action. Consider sharing testimonials or reviews from satisfied customers who have taken advantage of your exclusive discounts or promotions.
8. Run social media contests and giveaways
Contests and giveaways are a powerful way to increase engagement and attract new followers. By offering a prize or incentive, you can encourage your followers to participate and share your content.
To maximize the potential of contests and giveaways:
Choose the right type: There are many different types of contests and giveaways that you can run on social media, including photo contests, caption contests, and trivia contests. Choose a type that’s relevant to your brand and will resonate with your audience.
Use a social media contest tool: Social media contest tools can help you create and manage your giveaways more efficiently. Tools like Gleam or Rafflecopter can help you set up your contest or giveaway, choose a winner, and track results.
Follow legal guidelines: Make sure that you follow all legal guidelines when running a contest or giveaway on social media. Be clear about the rules and guidelines, and make sure that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
Analyze your results: Reviewing your social media analytics is critical for understanding the effectiveness of your contest or giveaway. Use your analytics to track engagement, conversions, and ROI, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
9. Leverage interactive content like polls and quizzes
By creating content that requires interaction, you can encourage your followers to engage with your brand and share your content.
To leverage interactive content:
Make it relevant: Interactive content should be relevant to your brand and your audience. Make sure that your content aligns with your brand’s values and messaging, and tie it into the rest of your content calendar or take advantage of current events when you can.
Keep it short and sweet: People have short attention spans, so make sure that your interactive content is short and easy to digest. Keep your quizzes and polls to just a few questions, and use visuals and infographics.
Keep it fun: Interactive content should be fun and engaging. Use humor and personality to make your content more enjoyable for your audience, and encourage them to share it with their friends and followers.
10. Collaborate with influencers your audience follows
Influencer marketing involves partnering with popular social media accounts to promote your brand to their followers. By connecting your brand with influencers that your audience follows, you can increase your reach and dramatically improve your reputation.
For a successful influencer collaboration you should:
Choose the right influencers: The key to successful influencer marketing is choosing the right influencers to partner with. Look for those who align with your brand values and target audience, and whose followers are likely to be interested in your products or services.
Build relationships: Influencer marketing is all about building relationships. Take the time to build a relationship with the influencers you would like to partner with, and be sure to communicate clearly and professionally throughout the collaboration process.
Provide clear guidelines: To ensure that your influencer collaborations are successful, provide clear guidelines and expectations for the content you want the influencer to create. This includes guidelines around messaging, tone, and branding, as well as any legal or regulatory requirements.
Measure and analyze results: To determine the ROI of your influencer collaborations, track and analyze the results of your campaigns. This includes metrics like engagement rates, reach, and conversions, as well as any feedback from the influencer or their followers.
Follow ethical guidelines: Influencer marketing is subject to various ethical guidelines and regulations, and it’s important to follow these guidelines to maintain the integrity of your brand and the influencer’s audience.
11. Use social media to showcase customer success stories
Customers are the lifeblood of your business, and showcasing their success stories can be a powerful way to build customer loyalty and attract new followers. By highlighting the success of your customers, you can demonstrate the value of your products or services and build trust with your audience.
To get the most value from sharing customer success stories:
Choose the right customers: Not all customer success stories are created equal. Look for customers who have achieved tangible and measurable results from using your products or services, and who can provide a compelling story.
Use visual content: Use high-quality visuals to help bring your customers’ stories to life, and to make them more engaging and shareable.
Make it personal: When sharing customer success stories, it’s important to make them personal and relatable. Use storytelling techniques to create a narrative that draws your audience in and makes them care about your customer’s success.
Highlight your brand’s role: While your customers are the heroes of their success stories, it’s important to showcase how your products or services played a key role in their success, and how your brand’s values and mission align with theirs.
Encourage engagement: To make the most of customer success stories, encourage your followers to engage with the content. This includes asking questions and sharing their own success stories.
12. Create and share original memes and GIFs
Memes and GIFs can be a fun and effective way to increase engagement and attract new followers.
To create and share original memes and GIFs:
Know your audience’s tastes: Before creating memes and GIFs, it’s important to understand your target audience and what type of humor or messaging will resonate with them. Use data from your social media analytics to gain insights into your audience’s preferences and behaviors.
Keep it relevant: When creating memes and GIFs, stay up-to-date with current events and trends to ensure that your content remains relevant and timely. Use social listening tools to monitor conversations and trending topics in your industry.
Use high-quality visuals: While memes and GIFs are often associated with low-quality or amateur content, using high-quality visuals can help your content appear more professional. Use tools like Photoshop or Illustrator to create custom graphics and animations.
Avoid offensive or controversial content: While humor can be a powerful tool for engagement, avoid offensive or controversial content that could harm your brand’s reputation. Always review your posts carefully and seek feedback from colleagues or trusted advisors.
Be consistent: To make the most of memes and GIFs, maintain a consistent brand image and tone of voice. Use your brand style guide to ensure that your content aligns with your visual identity and messaging.
13. Use relevant and trending hashtags
Hashtags are great for increasing visibility and attracting new followers.
To make the most of hashtags:
Use them in a strategic way: Rather than simply adding hashtags to your posts, use them in a strategic way to increase engagement and attract new followers. Take the time to determine which hashtags your audience uses on a regular basis, along with their popularity. Typically, you’ll want a balance between hashtags that are popular, and ones that you’re likely to stand out for.
Tailor them to each platform: Different social media platforms have different rules and best practices for using hashtags. For example, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, while Twitter recommends using no more than two or three hashtags per tweet.
Adjust and optimize your strategy: Like any other social media strategy, it’s important to monitor and adjust your hashtag strategy over time to ensure that it is effective. Use social media analytics to track the performance of your hashtags and make adjustments as needed to improve engagement and reach.
14. Tie your brand or product into current events and trends
Tying your brand or product into current events or trends can be a powerful way to increase engagement and attract new followers.
To tie your brand or product into current events and trends:
Be timely: Set up alerts for news and trending topics in your industry, so you can capitalize on a trending conversation.
Create shareable content: When you tie your brand into current events and trends, make sure you create shareable content. This means creating content that is visually appealing, easy to read, and provides value to your audience.
Don’t force it: While it’s important to stay relevant and timely, it’s also important not to force your brand or product into a conversation where it doesn’t fit. Be authentic and genuine in your approach, and make sure your content adds value to the conversation.
Use humor carefully: Humor can be a powerful way to make your content more engaging, but it’s important to use it carefully. Make sure your humor is appropriate for your brand and audience, and avoid offensive or controversial jokes.
Experiment with different formats: Try different formats for tying your brand into current events and trends. For example, you could create a blog post, a social media post, a video, or an infographic. Experiment with different formats to see what works best for your audience.
15. Create and share interactive video content
Video content is becoming increasingly popular on social media, and interactive video content can help you increase engagement and attract new followers.
To win with this kind of content:
Use live video to engage with your audience in real-time: Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer livestreaming features that allow you to interact with your followers in real-time. You can use live video to answer questions, provide demonstrations, or host Q&A sessions.
Create video tutorials or how-to guides: Educational content is a great way to provide value to your audience of existing customers, demonstrate the benefits of your products to prospective customers, and further showcase your expertise in the industry.
Use video testimonials to highlight customer satisfaction: Video testimonials can build trust with your audience and demonstrate the value of your products or services. Reach out to satisfied customers and ask them to record a short video testimonial that you can share on your social media channels.
Use native video on each social media platform: Many social media platforms have their own native video features, and using them can help increase your reach and engagement. For example, Facebook’s algorithm favors native video content, so creating and sharing videos directly on the platform can help boost your visibility.
16. Utilize employee advocacy programs to amplify social media reach
Employee advocacy programs involve encouraging your employees to promote your brand on social media. By utilizing your employees as brand ambassadors, you can amplify your social media reach and attract new followers. This can also improve company morale and foster employee loyalty.
To utilize employee advocacy programs:
Define clear goals: Before starting your employee advocacy program, define your goals and what you hope to achieve. This will help you measure the success of the program and determine its effectiveness.
Choose the right social media platforms: Determine which social media platforms are most relevant to your business and where your employees are most active. Focus on these platforms to maximize the impact of your program.
Train employees: Provide your employees with the necessary training and resources to promote your brand effectively. This includes teaching them how to create content, use social media tools, and engage with followers.
Provide incentives: Offer incentives to encourage employees to participate in the program. This could include prizes, recognition, or financial rewards.
Encourage participation: Encourage your employees to participate in the program by making it easy and fun. Provide regular updates and share success stories.
Recognize and reward success: Recognize and reward employees who achieve success through the program. This will encourage others to participate and help to create a positive culture of advocacy within your organization.
How to track and measure social media follower
Tracking and measuring your followers is critical for understanding the effectiveness of your social media strategy. By monitoring your analytics and metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your efforts for maximum engagement and growth.
To track and measure your social media followers, consider the following metrics:
- Follower count: The number of followers you have on each social media platform.
- Engagement rate: The percentage of followers who engage with your content.
- Reach: The number of unique users who see your content.
- Impressions: The number of times your content is viewed.
Also, make sure to:
Set specific goals: Before you start tracking your metrics, it’s important to set specific, measurable goals for your social media strategy. This will help you determine which metrics to focus on and evaluate whether your strategy is working.
Use analytics tools: Most social media platforms offer built-in analytics tools that allow you to monitor performance.
Analyze your competitors: Analyzing your competitors’ social media presence can provide valuable insights into what’s working in your industry. Look at their follower count, engagement rate, and the types of content they’re posting.
Experiment with different types of content: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of content to see what resonates with your audience. Track the engagement rates and reach of each type of content to determine what works best for your brand.
Regularly evaluate and adjust your strategy: Social media is constantly evolving, so it’s important to regularly evaluate your strategy and make adjustments as needed. Use your metrics to identify areas for improvement and optimize your strategy for maximum engagement and growth.
By effectively tracking and measuring your social media followers, you will be able to gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your social media strategy and optimize it for success.
Frequently asked questions
What are social media followers?
Social media followers are users who have chosen to subscribe to a brand’s or individual’s social media account and see more of their updates and content. Followers can engage with the content by liking, sharing, or commenting on the posts.
Growing a large following is important for brands if they want to maximize the return on their investment because it leads to more impressions for each post and a greater number of people eventually making a purchase for the first time or continuing to buy from the company.
Are social media followers and likes the same thing?
No, social media followers and likes are not the same thing. While followers are users who have subscribed to a brand’s or individual’s social media account, likes are a measure of engagement on individual posts. Likes can come from both followers and non-followers who come across the post on their social media feeds.
While likes are a good indication of engagement, brands shouldn’t focus on these alone. Followers are important as they represent a loyal audience that’s interested in the brand. Companies should focus on creating content that resonates with potential followers and encourages them to engage with your posts.
Why are social media followers important?
Social media followers are essential for building brand awareness, attracting new customers, and increasing customer loyalty. A strong social media following can help a brand establish a personal connection with its audience and create a community of engaged users. Followers can also act as brand ambassadors and share the brand’s content with their followers, which can help attract new customers.
What are some common mistakes businesses make when trying to grow their social media following?
Common mistakes businesses make when trying to grow their social media following include:
- Buying followers: While it may be tempting to buy followers to boost your follower count, it’s not a sustainable strategy. Bought followers are usually fake accounts or bots that don’t engage with your content. It looks nice at first, but won’t actually help you achieve a return on your investment. Buying followers can even be a violation of a social media platform’s terms of service and get you removed from the platform.
- Focusing on quantity over quality: It’s better to have a small, engaged audience than a large, disengaged one. Focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience instead of trying to attract as many followers as possible. If you get great engagement, even with a small audience, more followers will likely follow.
- Not engaging with their audience: Social media is a two-way conversation. Don’t just post content and expect your audience to engage with it. Respond to comments and messages, and use social media to interact with your audience.
- Not optimizing their social media profiles: Your social media profile is often the first thing users see when they come across your brand on social media. Make sure your profile is complete, visually appealing, and accurately represents your brand.
How often should I post on social media to maximize my reach and engagement?
The optimal posting frequency for social media varies depending on the platform. Your brand may want to post once per day on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, and several times per day on Twitter. However, the most important thing is to maintain a consistent posting schedule that works for you and your audience.
Experiment with different posting frequencies to determine what works best for your brand and your audience. Use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy and make adjustments accordingly.
What are some tips for engaging with social media followers and building a loyal community?
Engaging with social media followers and building a loyal community is critical for creating a strong social media presence. Here are some tips for engaging with your social media followers and building a loyal community:
- Respond to comments and messages: Make sure to respond to comments and messages from your followers to show that you value their feedback and engagement.
- Use social media in interactive ways: Ask questions, run polls, and share user-generated content to keep your followers engaged.
- Show appreciation to your followers: Show appreciation to your followers by thanking them for their engagement, offering exclusive promotions or discounts, and featuring them in your content.
- Collaborate with influencers and other brands: Collaborating with influencers and other brands can help you reach new people and improve your reputation in the eyes of niche audiences.
Engaging with your social media followers and building a loyal community takes time and effort, but it’s essential for building a strong social media presence.
Growing your social media following can be a challenging task, but it’s an essential part of any brand’s marketing mix. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can position your brand for long-term success. And remember, it’s about building a community of engaged and loyal followers who love your brand!
Jetpack Social: Plan, schedule and auto-post your social media content
Whether you’re a business owner, blogger, or marketer, Jetpack Social can help you optimize your social media strategy and save time. With its user-friendly interface and powerful automation tools, Jetpack Social makes it easy to plan, schedule, and auto-post your social media content in just a few clicks.
With Jetpack Social, you can streamline your social media strategy directly from your WordPress dashboard, and focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience. To learn more about the plugin, and how it can help you grow your social media following, visit this page: https://jetpack.com/social/
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