There are many ways to grow your following on social media platforms. The best way to do it is the traditional way by increasing your presence organically. This is both reliable and potentially a long-term relationship with your audience. Organic growth involves a lot of investment from your end but gives you the satisfaction that your ideas are important and you did it yourself. Some ways or methods to organically grow your following are:
1. Content is King
There is no doubt the content you talk about will give you the maximum number of organic growth on social media. If your material is not informative or not well written, people will lose interest. When you are looking to write the right kind of copy, remember the content must be:
- Engaging: Engaging content will grab the maximum number of eyeballs. If you have quality content, the audiences are more likely to stay and absorb it. You can create engaging content in the form of posts, creatives, Infographics and more.
- Evergreen: Generating evergreen content is easier said than done. Often people make the mistake of only posting topical content. Instead, you should try to promote emotions such as shock, humour, or awe. This kind of post makes for an interesting read and is universally satisfying.
- Relevant: Social media consultants will tell you that you can tweak settings on the posts to reach the right kind of audience. This will not just make for targeted exposure of your content; it also ensures the reduction of the noise on an uninterested reader’s timeline.
2. Promotion vs. Information
It is important to find the right balance between promotional and informational content. Too much promotion and the audiences will read your bluff that you are all fluff and little substance. Alternately, too much information could make your social media marketing heavy or too serious.
- Timing is everything: An old cliche is ‘timing is everything’. This is true of your presence online as well. Social media experts will tell you that for you to gain popularity and grow your following organically, it is vital you post your information at the right time.
- When: Many people are under the impression that one should post when most people are online. However, most social media consultants will tell you this will only make your posts a part of the noise. Instead, social media advisers ask people to post during the downtimes.
- Context: Make sure you get the context right. For instance, if you are posting something over the weekends ensure the post is an easy read. People prefer to relax during the weekends. Heavy information after a long week’s work is something people can easily lose interest in.
- Relevance: You must write information at the relevant time (topical). For instance, if you are writing about an event, you are better served to push this information closer to the event date. This will make the conversation relevant, informative and useful.
3. Focus on what is important
There is a lot of information floating around on how to organically grow your following on social media. However, you must remember that not all the information available may be relevant to the kind of presence you want to create online. Also, take the advice you find online with a pinch of salt, focus on what is important to you, including:
- Presence: Make an informed decision on where you want to focus your presence. Most people think they should be present in all the social media networks, this is not necessarily smart. There are a host of options out there from Facebook to Instagram to Pinterest and more; research to know where you can shine with your skills. Also, research where your target audiences are most likely to be.
- What to write: Think about how you want to optimize your presence. If you want to know what your audiences are interested in, ask them. Ensure that you provide the option to share your content freely. This will help spread your word and expand your audience base.
- Study Competition: Never underestimate the importance of studying your competition. It gives you clues on what you could do better and gives you indicators of things you should avoid. Studying your competitors will also help you pick the right social media platform to reach out to your audiences.
4. Promote yourself
If you want people to follow you on social media you will need to first let them know that you exist in the social media platform. There are some things you can do to promote yourself using what could be considered soft push techniques. Some things you can do is:
- Join communities: Every platform typically has communities and engagement groups that focus on specific topics. These groups encourage like-minded people and people with the same interests to interact with each other and exchange ideas. Join these groups and become an active participant in discussions.
- Influencer marketing: If you are aware of influencers in the platform, go ahead and soft sell yourself to the influencer. When the influencer says you are good, a lot more people tend to look you up and will by default give you a listen and follow you.
- Follow competitors: Do not be afraid to be engaged with your competitors. It not only gives you greater exposure to their body of work, but it also exposes you to a bigger target audience and increases your chances of gaining followers if you can convey your ideas effectively.
- Offline and online presence: You must showcase and tell the world you are available online in all your communication. For instance, provide your social media platform details on your business cards, letterheads, posters, websites, email signatures and so on. This will spread your online details easily.
Talking and being open to comments and criticism always helps. So, interact with your user. This makes the follower feel important and engaged and makes him or her spread the word about your ability to interact. It is no secret word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of marketing. Engaging with your audience effectively increases the chances of word-of-mouth marketing. Some things you can do include:
- Respond to the reader: When you are sending out information in the digital space, know that you will get feedback. Despite whether it is a comment or criticism, always respond to them. Especially make sure you address criticism as opposed to deleting it or ignoring it (unless it contains unparliamentary language).
- Encourage conversations: Always try to encourage conversations between you and your audiences. Start topics to talk about from time to time and get people to engage and exchange ideas. This will be a great experience and learning and help break the ice between you and your audiences.
- Ask questions: Ask questions, conduct surveys, conduct polls, create digital marketing campaigns, and use other techniques to constantly be in touch with your audiences. This not only increases engagement, but it also gives you many data points to analyze the kind of audience you have.
6. Optimize your account
Optimizing your account is a very important way to meet the maximum number of potential followers. When your account is optimized, you are likely to increase your customer base.
- Finish your profile: When your profile is complete it sends a sign that you take the platform and the interaction seriously. This encourages people to take you seriously too.
- Brand and identity: Make sure your brand and identity are simple and easily identifiable amongst the crowd. This includes having an easy username, a photo or logo that is identifiable, and links to your relevant website.
7. Always strategize
Strategies are a very important aspect of any form of social media campaign or presence. When you start your presence in social media, questions like – what, why, who and where – are important questions to answer before you enter the digital presence space. This will help in targeting and provide the required focus.
- Create a plan: Always have a plan. What are you here for, why are you trying to get noticed, who’s attention are you trying to grab, and where do you want to shine. Get all of that jotted down to get clarity.
- Tweak the plan: Remember no plan is written in stone. Be open to the idea of change. Even after you have created the plan and the execution is underway, there could be circumstances or new data points that might indicate a need for changes.
- Features and benefits: Each social media network has its features and benefits. Make sure you optimize the use of them. For instance, Instagram, Twitter, etc can promote hashtag (#) information. Using this effective and tagging locations can help further target your audiences.
There are many social media gurus and digital marketing companies that will suggest that you do a whole bunch of other things as well. Always be open to suggestions from such experts. However, remember, at the end of the day you are what you say. So, stay relevant, and speak your mind with respect. The world is your playground, find like-minded people and go play!