It’s no secret that access to a larger audience will also provide you with more opportunities to grow your business. However, figuring out how to increase your social media followers is a challenge that even professional social media marketers still haven’t mastered.
Let’s review some basic social media principles, and strategies for attracting more followers to your social accounts and business website without needing to spend any extra money on marketing or advertising efforts.
The basic principles of social networking
Social media platforms primarily revolve around three factors:
- Starting conversations within a community.
- Engaging in conversations about topics that are relevant to your business.
- Ensuring that conversations begin at the right times.
When engaging on social platforms like Twitter or Facebook, it’s important to humanize your business. Share enough information about your company to interest readers (your history, your mission), but don’t inundate users with too many ads or self-promotions.
Try sharing captivating imagery and videos instead of long, text-heavy posts. It’s also important to promote two-way conversations by responding to any comments or inquiries that you may receive.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you’re sharing content when users are most active on each social platform. This will optimize the number of people who are likely to see and interact with your posts.
Strategies for effective social sharing
1. Make it easy for others to share your content
Starting conversations within a community is necessary for social media success. But, as business owners, we need to be careful about coming off as overly promotional. Therefore, starting every conversation ourselves isn’t always the most viable option.
This is where Jetpack’s social sharing tools come in handy, as they add easily-clickable sharing buttons to your posts. This encourages readers to begin their own conversations surrounding your content, while sharing your brand’s message across their respective networks.
Social networking algorithms are designed to reward conversations that begin organically, so Jetpack’s sharing tools were created with that in mind. By adding share buttons to your website, you’ll be giving fans a convenient way to share your content with the click of a button.
With every new conversation that begins, your brand will have more opportunities to be seen by new readers and customers.
2. Know what to post
Engaging in conversations about topics that are relevant to your business (or knowing what to post) is another key to attracting more social media followers.
Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of studies conducted on the exact type of content that best generates engagement on each social media platform. The social media experts at Buffer compiled a handy guide to match your preferred content type with the social media platform that is deemed most appropriate for which to deliver it.
Once you narrow down the type of content you want to share (text post, video, photos, etc.) and your platform of choice, you can begin thinking about the information that you should include in your posts. Readers can relate to content that is relevant to them and the activities they’re interested in. So, research your target audience, read what they read, and watch what they watch to determine what most appeals to them.
The better you become at posting relevant content, the higher your chances are of soliciting engagement with followers. Successfully engaging followers will help generate more activity on your business’s social media pages. This might result in your future posts receiving optimal placements within your followers’ feeds, ultimately drawing more attention to your content and business.
3. Know when to post, too
Ensure that conversations on social platforms are started at the right times, as you want to spread your messages when your audience is the most present and receptive.
Multiple studies have been conducted about the best times to post on various social media platforms. In one of these studies, SproutSocial concluded that platforms notice spikes in their traffic volumes at different times of the day. Here are the prime times (based on user engagement) from these findings:
- Facebook: Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Thursdays between 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Instagram: Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m. Thursdays at 5:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and between 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Fridays at 5:00 a.m.
- Twitter: Fridays between 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
- LinkedIn: Wednesdays between 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
As business owners, we want to be sure that we’re working smarter, not just harder. One way to do this is by making sure we’re posting during these peak times, as it gives us the best chances to maximize exposure and get the largest return on our time investments. This may come in the form of views, shares, comments, new followers, or increased sales.
This can be an especially useful tactic to increase your social media followers because it doesn’t cost any money. All you need to do is adjust your timing or schedule your posts in advance with Publicize.
The bottom line with social networking
Attracting new followers can be both fun and challenging. Learning more about your audience’s interests will give you an advantage when it comes to establishing authentic connections with each user. This can also give you valuable insights into how people view your business and whether or not your messaging and mission aligns with their interests and values.
How have you increased your social media following? Tell us your story in the comments section below.