“1,000 FOLLOWERS FOR JUST $5!” If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen hundreds of posts, comments and messages like this. Buying fake followers is such big business that there are even vending machines that sell Instagram likes and followers for pennies.1 However, there’s no value in taking the easy way out—the number of fans you have doesn’t matter if your audience isn’t engaging with you or consuming your content.2
Social media fan growth doesn't matter if your audience isn't consuming your content. – Forbes
To increase your social media presence the right way, you need a well-planned strategy that starts with identifying your goals and objectives and ends with happier customers. Here are ten tips to grow your social media presence in ways that benefit both your fans and your business:
1. Give Them What They Want
Social is not about pushing what you want to sell; it’s about providing a benefit to your audience. Stop peddling your products and instead offer helpful information and solutions.
2. Share Your Story
While most brands understand the value of visually driven content, they’re still publishing one-off status updates and neglecting to use sequential posts to tell their story. To increase your social presence, create an ongoing narrative that will entice your followers to share your content and engage.
3. Tell People Where to Find You
There are a number of ways to promote your presence in addition to adding social icons to your website.
Add social icons to the footer of your email templates, so they appear in every email you send.3
Highlight a particular social network in your marketing emails with an explanation of why readers should follow you.
Include social sharing tools on your website, with a “click to tweet” option for shareable quotes on blog posts.
Cross-promote across social networks. For example, add an Instagram tab on Facebook, include your Twitter handle on your YouTube channel profile, or tweet your Snapcode.
4. Always Go Above and Beyond4
If you’re looking to increase your social media presence, it’s critical that you provide exceptional customer service experiences. Keep in mind that your audience might contact you any number of ways—not necessarily on the channel you chose. Be prepared to find vulnerable customers fast, and have proactive conversations with those who don’t necessarily follow you or tag your brand.
5. Be Authentic
People want to interact with people, not brands. Give every customer an authentic, personal experience so they feel valued. Be conversational in your tone—not just on your posts, but also in your ads and direct responses.
6. Don’t Set It and Forget It
Post consistently and respond to every mention, but remember that consistently doesn’t necessarily mean frequently.5 It’s more important that you post high-quality content once every day than mediocre content two to three times a day. If you find your content is getting less engagement, prioritize the networks where your target audience is most active and focus on creating the best content for that platform.
7. Interact with Others
Follow others, retweet them and tell them how much you like their latest post, article or video. Be quick to respond when people share your tweets or mention you. Most of all, don’t wait until your latest blog post has been published and you want to promote it to be active on social networks.
8. Don’t Assume One Size Fits All
From ideal image dimensions to audience demographics, every social media platform is unique and should be treated as such. Using the same messaging on every social platform is a surefire way to lose followers. Take time to understand the best practices for each platform and include them in your content publishing plan.
9. Invest in a Tool, and Use It!
Invest in a social media tool that powers both social marketing and social customer service, and is usable enough that social media managers actually want to adopt it.
10. Measure Monthly, Minimally
Measure your increased presence by calculating your follower/fan growth at least once a month. How does this increase (or decrease) compare to the previous month and the previous year? How does it vary by platform? Are you seeing exponential growth on one platform but not the other? Analyzing your fan growth is an excellent way to determine where to shift resources. But remember, fan growth should not be viewed in a vacuum. If you have 100,000 Facebook followers but only a handful of likes on your posts, those followers are less valuable than you think. Increasing your social media presence is about attracting new fans and followers who want to engage with your brand.