Social networking has turned into something more than a pastime; it’s a platform that is embraced by many consumers and businesses. As such, it makes sense to get involved, but we have to ensure that we approach social media in the right way.
The first foray into the world of social media can be a daunting one at first, and you may be at a loss as to how you can gain more followers. While there are some methods that work better for others, the following pointer will put you on the right track when it comes to your social media efforts.
1. Tag Guest Bloggers as Well as Others Involved with the Project: This allows you to thank others for their work, as well as allowing their followers to know about your product or service. This opens your content to your own users, as well as the users you have tagged.
2. Include Social Share Buttons on Each Piece of Content: The easier you make it for people, the more likely they are to share. Instilling social media share buttons on all content ensures that people see your content, as well as your profile.
If using WordPress, plugins like Monarch or Sumome would do the job just well. They give you an option to implement social sharing buttons on all of your posts, whether it’s a floating bar or a pop-up.
3. Mention Influencers and Authoritative Brands: If you have mentioned any influencers or brands in any of your contents, ensure to reach out or mention them when sharing the post. Some of them are very proactive and will be willing to share it with their followers, as long as you wrote something nice about them :). This tactic on its own can significantly broaden your post reach.
4. Ensure Your Content is Original: Trying to pass off other people’s works as your own doesn’t bode well in the social media arena. As such, you should ensure that each piece of content you produce is original, as well as engaging. This doesn’t mean that you can’t share other people’s work, just don’t claim that the work belongs to you or your business.
5. Cater to Your Audience: Researching what makes the most impact when sharing on social networks means you can ensure that any future posts are tailored accordingly.
6. Be Pro-Active: Not everyone’s going to follow you first, so it may be you who needs to make the first move. Follow influential social network users and engage with their work, you may find that they return the compliment.
7. Share Your Stories, Not Just Your Products: While consumers like to shop, they also like to listen to stories about their favourite brands. As such, try and balance your content, so it offers unique posts, rather than ones purely based on products and offers.
8. Share other people’s posts: Don’t just share your work, as this may be perceived as pure self-promotion. There is no crime in sharing quality content produced by other people or even your direct competitors. In fact, this helps to build up trust and relationship with others.
9. Make Use of Hashtags: Hashtags help tweets flare up on a number of different feeds, so ensure you never miss an opportunity to use them. Twitter often shows current hashtags that are trending, so you could even check each day as to whether your content is relevant for such hashtags.
10. Always Be Responsive: Posting engaging content will reap a number of rewards, but ensuring you answer customer questions and queries will yield even more. Customers love brands that support them, and will often stay engaged as a result. This is also applicable for negative comments and feedbacks. Try to resolve the issue by interacting with unhappy customers or readers.
11. Post Frequently: A social network with no activity often results in one with no followers, as there is nothing to follow. Therefore, try to build a schedule that suits your viewer’s needs to ensure your social media account is always being interacted with.
12. Be consistent: Remember: For your social media strategy to be effective and productive, you and your business have to be consistent with posting. Posting and tweeting for a week and then giving up would not bring the desired results. Hence, you would have to develop a habit of posting often and not leaving huge gaps in between.
13. Join Conversations: The beauty of Twitter, in particular, is that you can join in a conversation with almost anybody. If you have something valuable to say or want to share an opinion, simply mention the person. You will be surprised to see how many new followers can this simple hack lead to.
14. Run Giveaways and Contests: If you sell physical products, this strategy can be extremely effective. Encourage people to share and like your post/tweet in order to stand a chance of winning a free product from your company.
If you haven’t got a large following, you could potentially reach out to an influencer or a blogger in your field asking them to run a contest in return for a free product.
15. Try Ads: Most social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn offer paid advertising solutions for brands. With a sensible budget and smart campaign optimisation, you can get your brand or product in front of millions of people.
The vast majority of social platforms offer explicit ad targeting, based on demographic, interest, age and more.
16. Share Viral Content: Not always easy, but keeping a record of what your followers engage with will help you conjure up some shareable content.
You can use tools like BuzzSumo to identify trending & most shared content based on the topic.
17. Offer Incentives: People love a freebie or special offer, and will only be too happy to follow you in return for one or the other.
18. Guest Blog on Niche Sites: Guest blogging is an ideal way of introducing new audiences to your content, as well as your social network profiles. When writing a guest post, ensure that your social network links are included within your bio or signature.
19. Set Social Media Goals: Obtaining a strong social media following can often be attributed to keeping our eye on the ball. In this regard, we should decide on some goals, and determine how we’re going to reach them.
20. Promote Your Social Media Presence on Business Cards and Marketing Material: When designing your business cards or any other marketing material, such as posters or leaflets, make sure you leave room for your social media channels.
Big brands use this tactic to get potential customers to check out their social profiles and subscribe to regular updates.
21. Try and Use Consistent Usernames: Yes, we know that this can be difficult, but it can be worthwhile thinking outside of the box when thinking of usernames, as having ones that are similar offers users a more streamlined experience.
A tool like NameCHK will show you the list of available usernames across different social platforms.
22. Include Your Social Media Information on Your Website: Including links to your social media channels on your ‘Home’ and ‘Contact Us’ page can mean an increase in visits, as well as followers.
As well as social links, it can be worthwhile to embed a Twitter, Instagram or Facebook activity widget on the site.
23. Convert Email Subscribers to Social Media Followers: When sending newsletters and special offers to email subscribers, it doesn’t hurt to include your social media links. Every little helps when it comes to growing your social media empire.
24. Don’t Overburden Yourself: You may think embracing every single social network will help you grow, but it can mean that very little effort is being put into each one due to time constraints. Find what works best for you and start small.
25. Put Quality Before Quantity: While we all want to be on the ball when it comes to producing content, we have to make sure that we’re not overlooking the quality, or we could see our followers decrease.
Quality content takes time, hard work and expertise. Hence, don’t rush! Take your time and follow the best practices to ensure your content is of top-notch quality.
26. Cross-post on Social: If time is an issue, there is a great variety of scheduling tools that can help.
27. Test timing: When it comes to post reach and engagement, timing can play a significant role. There won’t be much sense in posting an article on “What to do on Friday night” on Monday morning.
Of course, there are many more strategies that can be used. But, you simply need to set up your social media foundations, and then build on them. Monitoring your social media efforts not only means you are able to see what’s working, but also what’s not working. This allows you to make changes in the first instance to ensure that your social media following is moving forward.