If you are a small business owner or are planning to be in the future, then knowing how to increase your social media followers is super important.
Which social media you use will depend on your business. If you are yet to sign up to any social media platforms or aren't sure what to use, then my 'Which Social Media Guide' is a great resource. It is in an easy to use checklist format to help you decide where to start.
Exposure for your business
Social Media has the potential to give your business great exposure, enhance your branding, build a loyal audience and raving fans, and most importantly increase your sales.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are the most popular platforms for generating sales through direct product/services purchase and affiliate sales. Their interfaces are built to increase your business by using their sales/link functionality to your advantage - as long as you know how to use it.
Tips to increase your social media followers
We won’t be going into how to generate sales on Social Media in this post, instead, we are just looking at tips to increase your social media followers.
Tip #1 - Timing is everything
Firstly, engagement if you aren't sure, means people 'liking', retweeting / sharing and commenting on your posts.
Did you know that higher engagement means your posts get pushed into the feeds of more people? Yep, that means just because you post something doesn't mean every person who follows you will see it!More comments on your posts provides an increased chance of your posts reaching more people.Click To Tweet
So if we need more engagement to increase our reach ie more people read our posts, how do we do this?
One way is to schedule your posts for when your audience is most active.
All of the main social media platforms provide free analytics that show you follower statistics, and what typical times of the day the largest number of your followers are online. You may need to change to a business account on some platforms to get the analytics.
Tip #2 - Scheduling Apps
Following on from Tip #1, the best way to get solid analytics, and to automate your posting to appear at the best times of the day, is to use a scheduling app. If you are on a few platforms, or you post often, it may just change your life and save you bucket loads of time.
Depending on the platform/s you are using, there are many available. Here are a few of the popular ones to consider. Most have a free option or the first month free but you will get limited posts per month and features with these.
My advice is to try before you buy. Use the free trials and see if you like the functionality. There is more than one option for every social media platform, and they don't all do the same thing.
Tip #3 - CTA
Calls to Action. To get people to follow you or to engage with your posts, the most obvious but often forgotten tip is to actually ask them to! Put a call to action in posts, captions, graphics, anywhere it is relevant.
Eg Click the link below to buy this product. Follow the link in my bio to book an appointment, type in the comments on this post what you think about………
Tip #4 - Increase your followers with your ideal customers
For finding people who fit your ideal audience/follower, look through the followers of your competitors/people you look up to and follow anyone who looks relevant.
Facebook & LinkedIn Groups are a great place to also find people with similar interests / potential audiences to connect with. Pinterest Group Boards are also useful.
Twitter has a functionality called Lists, which is a great way to find similar audiences to follow. Not everyone uses Lists, but if you look at the accounts of some of your competitors/people you look up to, if they have Lists in their main menu then you can go in and take a look around.
You can use the below link to watch a 45 second video on where to find Lists on a profile in Twitter.
Please note: This tip is only about looking for your ideal customer. See the 4 Social Media Don'ts at the end of this post, as I definitely don't recommend the follow/unfollow method. This is about genuinely following people who you think are aligned with you and the value you offer.
Tip #5 Group Power
Join some groups! There are multiple groups for just about anything on Facebook & LinkedIn.
Don’t go too crazy as it’s hard to keep up. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed with the number of posts they generate to read. But this is the best way to interact with other people with similar interests, and make connections to grow your social media followers.
Collaborations, which can lead to exposure to a new set of followers, can also be made through groups.
Groups often have share days where you can post your social media handles for people to follow you, and your products/services. Make sure you respect the group rules and only post these on days where this is requested.
Tip #6 Notifications
Use the notifications option and turn off notifications for all of your groups (or those that you don’t need / want to see every post from). This is found in the main bar at the bottom left of the group image when you first go into the group page. (see screenshot below)
You can still see all posts when notifications are off, but you will be able to read them by going into the group and scrolling through and reading. On your terms, not via the platforms algorithm which decides what it wants you to see based on popularity.
Tip #7 Pinterest
Use Pinterest to drive traffic to all of your other platforms, as well as your website/blog. Each pin on Pinterest has the ability to add a website URL.
Pinning images for everything you design/create for your business is worthwhile, eg Instagram images, sales brochures, blogs, competitions, product sales links. Use the link function to link back to your website/social media/shop/booking page etc when someone clicks the image to push traffic to your website.
Creating images specifically for Pinterest optimal sizings will also create more interest and repins of your images. They stand out more in the feed than oddly sized pictures.
Infographics on Pinterest are great for engagement and repins, and fit the sizing perfectly, as they are generally rectangular in shape. How do you use Infographics to increase your followers? Provide value to your potential followers. For example, if you sell organic fruit & veg deliveries online, you could create an infographic that shows customers some stats and background knowledge as to why they would benefit from buying organics over supermarket food.
How do you use Infographics to increase your followers? Provide value to your potential followers. For example, if you sell organic fruit & veg deliveries online, you could create an infographic that shows customers some stats and background knowledge as to why they would benefit from buying organics over supermarket food.
Tip #8 HashtagsDoing your research on Hashtags & using them on Instagram = Increased Following.Click To Tweet
Write out 30 or more words you think would suit your business and the types of posts you do. Search for them on Instagram with a hashtag in front eg #creativesoulmamas and then note how many posts are listed for it.
Anything between around 1000 and 300,000 posts would be a good starting point. Anything above or below those numbers may mean either too few people search that hashtag, or so many people use it that your post will be off the page in minutes or even seconds!
The idea of hashtags is to get your post into the hashtag feed so anyone who searches that hashtag sees your post and may click in to see your account.
Each hashtag has a Top Posts section (appears at top of feed), and a recent posts section.
Top Posts is done by an algorithm that puts your posts in this section by engagement (get those comments happening on your posts!). This is the goal as more people will see this section.
Recent Posts is organised by time posted. So the more popular your hashtag is the less time your post will spend in this section before it disappears off the screen completely.
Tip #9 Connect
As mentioned in Tip #1, engagement on your posts increases the number of people who see your post in their feed. This means that not every person who follows you will get your post in their feed. Generally across most platforms, the more popular your post, the more people will see it.
So if you want more people to like/retweet/share and more importantly comment on your posts, the most obvious thing to do is to like/retweet/share and comment on other people’s posts. Paying it forward means your followers will be more inclined to reciprocate and do the same for you.
Tip #10 Link in Bio
One of the frustrations of Instagram users is its inability for posts to have links in them. The only place a link is allowed is in the bio, hence Link in Bio appears on many Instagram posts.
The solution – Linktr.ee. This handy website allows you to create a free account, and add as many links to it as you like. I’d suggest limiting it to 10 at the very most so you don’t overwhelm your followers.
It then provides a handy url link that your follower can click from your bio and it gives them all of your possible links. It means you don’t have to go in and change your link everytime you do an offer on Instagram that requires a different link eg blog posts every week.
Click the picture of my linktr.ee below to show you what it visually looks like when you click on it.
Use every possible opportunity to advertise your other social media platforms to your social media followers on each platform.
Just because someone follows you on Instagram, doesn’t mean they follow you or even know you have a website, or an account over on Twitter. So tell them! Regularly!
New followers joining you won’t see the post you did last month about your Twitter handle. So regularly post or direct people to something like linktr.ee (tip #10) so they can connect with you elsewhere.
If your followers like what you are posting on one platform, they will want to follow all of your platforms. So make it easy for them and provide the links.
The 4 Social Media Don’ts
The above tips will give you a good head-start to building an audience, and when you are ready, generating sales.
But I have also included 4 Don’t for social media, as just as it can build your brand and business up, it can also knock it down if you don’t follow some online etiquette.
Here they are:
#1 - Don’t use other people’s posts/images without crediting them, and if relevant for the platform, tagging them. Not crediting them looks like you are claiming the post/image as your own.
#2 - Don’t use hashtags on Pinterest. They don’t work and don’t have any relevant function on these platforms.
#3 - Don’t use the follow/unfollow method to increase your social media followers. There are ways the people you follow/unfollow can see what you have done and it doesn’t create a good brand image for you. Follow people you genuinely think align with your business and have faith in the quality and value of your content. Your genuine followers will stay connected with you if you align and provide a consistent quality of content.
#4 - Don’t follow or invite people to connect, and as soon as they do send them a ‘sales’ related message. Build a genuine connection, let them get to know you and your business. Share some free content, value, and knowledge. Pick an appropriate time to offer them your products/services.
Okay so there is a lot of information here, and not all of it will be applicable or appeal to you and your business.
Just go with what you think may work for you to increase your followers. Try it in consideration with the time you have available to commit to increasing your followers.
If you are really stuck and don't know where to start, there are too many options, or you just don't have time but know you need to get things moving, then your next best option is to get the help of a social media expert.
There are a lot of people available who can help you with social media, and there are a lot of people who either don't actually know what they are doing or are charging fees that don't equate to the outcomes they achieve.
I don't recommend people lightly, as it's their reputation as well as my own, but I'm going to in this post.
Ella at Social Cut is a knowledgeable, professional, fun and results-driven social media expert and strategist. Here is a link to her website, and contact details if you feel like you need some hands-on help to increase your social media presence and followers.
My Social Media Services
I provide some services related to social media, including Social Media Content & Graphics Management, and Social Media Profile Writing.
You can get more information on what I provide here.
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I wouldn't be following my own advice if I didn't check that we are connected on social media.
May your creative soul always blossom,