What do you need for social media marketing to work for your company? You need people to market to! But growing a social media following takes a lot of work. Growth doesn’t happen overnight for most companies, but there are some practical ways you can help build a thriving online community.
Here are 8 effective ways to grow your social media following:
1. Post High-Quality Content…and Use Visuals
The content you post should be valuable information that relates to your business or educates your audience about your industry or company. When you consistently provide your followers with high-quality content that benefits them, they will begin to trust you as an authority in your industry. They may even share the information with their followers.
Social media is all about visuals, so make sure you include colorful images or graphics with each post. Keep these interesting visual marketing statistics compiled by HubSpot in mind:
- Content with images grabs 94% more views than content without images.
- Visual content is more than 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
- Instagram photos that show faces get 38% more likes than photos without faces.
2. Engage with Your Followers
One way to make a difference in your online community is to be part of the conversations. If someone makes a comment or asks a question, engage with and answer them. When you reply with empathy to negative feedback, it shows that you care about your followers and demonstrates good customer service. Turn the negative into a positive!
Most people like to interact with the companies they follow. And humor is a great way to engage your followers. Here’s a great example of how Netflix accomplished both:
3. Use Hashtags
You can expand your reach and increase your audience just by including hashtags in your social media content. The hashtag lets you connect with other social media users based on a common interest, topic, or event. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore. They’re also effective on other social media platforms. So, #givethematry
4. Consider Paid Advertisements
Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to engage a new targeted audience. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract organic views with only free social media posts. In fact, studies show that organic posts only reach 2 - 4% of your followers. Paid advertising also provides advanced customization options that enable you to target your custom audience and maximize your brand awareness. You can read more about the benefits of paid social media advertising here.
5. Share Your Blog Posts
Posting content regularly will increase your chance of connecting with your followers. But it can be challenging to produce fresh, high-quality material consistently. When you share blogs from your website to your social media feed, you not only provide fresh content, but you can also help drive traffic to your website. It’s a win-win! You can make your posts more engaging by asking a question that will generate discussion among your followers.
6. Link Your Profiles and Website…and Use Follow Buttons
Be sure to link your social media accounts to your website. This simple step will help increase your social media presence and website traffic.
You can also increase your followers by putting social media buttons on your website and email. These buttons let consumers know where they can find you on social media.
7. Optimize the Timing of Your Posts
When you really understand who your target audience is, you’ll know the best times to post so your followers will see it. What time of the day are they most likely to engage with your post? Most platforms provide analytics. Here are some general recommendations to help you get started.
- Keep time zones in mind as you decide when to share posts.
- On average, the best times to post on Facebook are 9 am, 11 am to 12 pm (lunch), and 3 pm – 4 pm. The best days to post on Facebook are Thursday – Sunday.
- The best times to post on Instagram, on average, is 1 pm (lunch), 5 pm – 6 pm (end of the workday), and even 8 pm – 9 pm. The best day to post on Instagram is Friday.
- On Twitter, the best times to tweet are 8 - 10 am and 6 - 9 pm. The best days for B2C companies to tweet are weekends, and the best days for B2B companies are weekends.
- Plan to post on LinkedIn on Wednesdays between 10 am to noon.
8. Analyze Your Competitors
It’s always a good idea to analyze your competitors in all marketing segments, including social media. What platforms are your competitors using? What kind of content do they share? How often are they posting?
This insight into your competitor’s social media strategies will help you create a plan for your social media marketing. More importantly, analyzing your competitors will enable you to identify ways you can stand out as a leading brand in the eyes of your target audience.
To grow your social media following, you need to be proactive and create new strategies and campaigns that will help you get noticed. Growth takes time, effort, and persistence, so don’t give up! Track results so you can see what works with your followers and what needs to be adjusted.
If growing your social media presence seems daunting and overwhelming, it might be time to reach out for help. Our social media team can set up your profiles, create custom content, engage with your followers, and provide analytical answers that will help grow your brand. Contact us today for a free consultation or to learn more about our social media management programs. We don’t believe in contracts, so what do you have to lose?