Whether you love or hate social media, its relevance in the business world is undeniable. Brands everywhere use it to drive their development, promote their products, and connect with their customers. Used effectively, it can even allow small companies to compete with much larger brands in certain regards.
If you’re going to make best use of it, though, you need to grow your pool of followers. Provided they’re relevant, having more followers is always better, offering more opportunities, more feedback, and more credibility throughout the online world. To help you build up your social media presence, here are 4 creative tips for growing your social following:
Social media users love taking part in competitions. It’s engaging, challenging, creatively motivating, and — most importantly — enjoyable. The typical tasks (design a logo, suggest a name, take a photo meeting set criteria) are fun in isolation, but they’re even better when the participants know others are getting involved.
If you can come up with a decent idea that pertains to your business (or personality) with clear terms and an adequate hashtag (Sprout Social has some tips for this), it can work extremely well: it can get your existing followers recommending you to others (or simply posting very prominently about you), and even catch the attention of the general social media world by getting into trending terms.
How do you engage with your followers? Do you stick to stilted business talk, eager to come across as professional? That isn’t the best way to proceed. People respond well to others like them: if they use very informal language online, they’re going to want to engage with others who are comparably formal. Tonal mismatch is a very common problem.
So how should you talk to social media users? Well, you’ll need to practice and iterate (to quote Jericho Writers on writing dialogue, getting speech right is an art), but the core idea should be to mimic the people you’re trying to reach. Look at notable influencers in your field to see how they phrase things. Are they upbeat? Cynical? Blasé? If a particular tone is resonating with people, consider how you can adapt your posts accordingly.
It’s quite obvious, but it’s important to note here that there are many large followings out there already, and many of them will have extensive overlap with the audience you’re trying to reach. You should look for influential social media figures with relevant followings but no overlap with whatever you bring to the table. For instance, if you’re selling things online, you should try to find influencers who provide services (or merely entertainment).
If you can find such influencers, you can propose some collaborations. The idea of a social media collaboration is simple: you work with an influencer on a project, with each of you contributing a significant portion, and you both get to take credit for it. When it’s finished, you link to the content and the other influencer, and they do the same in return. Each of you gets exposed to a new audience, and everyone benefits.
If you’re only using text (and possibly images) in your social media content, you’re wasting a great opportunity to get a lot more attention. Video gets noticed, and all the more so when it’s used in social media where it typically plays automatically as soon as someone scrolls over it. We can’t help looking at it: we see motion and we have to see what’s happening.
Not sure what types of video to create? There are plenty of options, but why not start by making some basic guides to industry topics? They can be quick summaries of vital issues or definitions (anything between ten and sixty seconds), with simple presentation and limited promotion. If people find them useful, they’ll share them, and anyone who happens upon them and is impressed with your expertise will be far more likely to reward it with a follow.To make the most of social media, you need as many followers as possible. Try using these 4 creative methods for expanding your follower base. It’s sure to make a difference.