It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re running or what industry you’re in, social media presents you with a unique opportunity to increase website traffic and, if done properly, generate more sales. However, without a substantial social media following, your reach will be limited and as such, so will your results.
But how exactly do you increase your social media following? Well, you could go out and buy some Facebook fans or Twitter followers for a few dollars but in all honesty, that would be pretty pointless. In order to build the kind of valuable social media following that will have a positive impact on your business, it’s going to take time, effort and hard work.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the fundamental requirements when you’re looking to increase your social media following and also, a few tips and tricks to help you achieve the most from your profiles.
Before you do any form of promotion for your social media profiles, it’s important to ensure that they’re optimised. So many businesses attempt to increase their Facebook fans or Twitter followers with half-completed profiles and typically, this will be detrimental to your chances of success.
Whatever social media profiles you’re planning to use, you need to make sure that you fill your profile out in full. Fill in the ‘about’ section with a meaningful description that potential followers/fans will benefit from. You should also upload a memorable profile photo that will stand out in most people’s news feeds. Typically, choosing a bright or bold colour will increase your chances here, but it’s important to remember that your profile image should also reflect your website/brand. Therefore, it’s often a good idea to opt for a logo or icon (like Oreo have done above).
Most social media websites (including Facebook and Twitter) allow you to utilise a large image as your cover image; you can use this to your advantage. This is a good place to inform potential followers about your brand and what you do. Take the Hubspot Facebook profile for example (pictured above); you can see that this helps to inform potential followers about the company’s products and services.
Promote Your Profiles (everywhere you can!)
There’s no point spending time and effort creating perfectly optimised social media profiles if nobody ever knows you have them. Therefore, you need to make sure to promote your social media profiles at every opportunity.
A lot of brands will feature their social media profiles on their website or blog (usually in the form of a Facebook ‘Like’ box or ‘Follow’ button) but usually, it doesn’t go any further than this.
If you’re not promoting your social media profiles anywhere else, you’re making a mistake. There are tonnes of opportunities to promote your social media profiles in both the online and offline world.
For example, consider putting your social media profiles on your business cards, flyers, leaflets, brochures or any other form of printed marketing material. You can also put your Twitter handle in your shop window (if you have a physical location).
You can also cross-promote your social media profiles in some instances. For example, you can add links to your other social media profiles on Google+. This is always a good thing to do as it allows potential followers to opt for the social media profile that is most suited to them.
For example, if a potential fan happens to come across your business on Google+ but they tend to use Facebook more, they’ll probably click through to your Facebook profile and follow you on there.
Clearly, the reason you’re looking to build a social media following is so that you have more potential customers to market to. Typically, brands will use social media profiles to let fans know about new blog posts, infographics, news, products or even special offers. This is all good and yes, social media profiles should be used for this.
However, if you want to really build an engaged audience, you need to ensure that you’re regularly posting out content that interests them. This can be a tough job if you’re only promoting your own content which is why it pays to share other people’s content too. Plus, nobody likes following a social media profile where all they see is sales pitch after sales pitch.
You can see a good example of this above from the SEO tools website; Ahrefs.com. Ahrefs.com regularly shares content on Facebook (and their other social media profiles), but it isn’t always their own. You can see in the screenshot above that they’re sharing a post from another SEO-related blog. This is because they know their audience will be interested in seeing/reading this content.
You can do the same with your brand too. Try sharing industry news, blog posts or infographics that you know your audience will be interested in.
Engage With Your Audience
A lot of brands make the mistake of not engaging with their audience on social media profiles. This often leads to fans feeling unloved and therefore, they soon decide not to follow you anymore.
It doesn’t matter what social media profile you’re using, you should always attempt to engage with your fans and make them feel like you appreiate them. On Twitter, you can do this by following them back and possibly retweeting their content (so long as it holds value for your audience). On Facebook, you might simply want to reply to comments and/or take people’s feedback on board.
Doing this will ensure that people are much more likely to engage with your brand which means they might ‘like/retweet’ more of your updates, share your updates with their friends/family and also, recommend your page/business to others.
Building a valuable and engaged social media following doesn’t have to be difficult, but it will take some work, time and effort. You won’t get anywhere by creating your profile, leaving it and hoping for the best. You need to share content regularly, engage with your audience and keep things fresh.
For many, it can be a seemingly slow process but for many businesses, your social media fans/followers can be extremely valuable and beneficial to your business.