5 Smart Ways to Increase your Social Media Followers

If you want to build your business, the Internet can be a virtual goldmine in developing new markets. Every day more than three billion people go online. That is almost half of the world’s population. Two thirds of that population is on social media and half is on Facebook!

Social media is a great source of cultivating new markets. The key is to increase your number of followers and subscribers. The greater your base, the greater your exposure is on the Internet.

Here are five smart ways to increase your number of social media followers:

1. Create Great Content

In the first part of 2015, much has been said and heard about the value of posting great content.

Search engine giant Google announced it would reward websites that regularly posted fresh, engaging and relevant content with higher search rankings. But what makes content great?

Search engine giant Google announced it would reward websites that regularly posted fresh, engaging and relevant content with higher search rankings. But what makes content great?

  • Original. Any time you post fresh and original content you are introducing something new on the Internet. You bring new resources for other people to pull from and contribute to the dynamic of the Internet. While you may use other websites as references for your content, make sure the final product remains unique and original.
  • Easy read. Remember that when you are creating content, you are writing for an audience. Make sure it will be an easy read. The first rule is to establish the context of your content. What is it about? Keep your terminologies simple or basic and if these sound complicated, take the time to rephrase them. Another good advice is to keep your sentences short and the idea to the point.
  • Relevance. Every article starts out as a piece that addresses an issue. Thus, the first step in creating content is to identify an issue that concerns your audience. Readers who go through your content must have takeaways or actionable ideas. They should come off feeling more confident and reassured of having found solutions.
  • Validation. Great content also means it must be well researched. If you cite data and statistics, you are stating your information has basis. Thus, you must validate it by citing references. If you pulled it from the Internet, hyperlink the references. If you used books and other printed material, indicate the sources at the end of your article.
  • Engagement. Great content is like a vacuum because it draws you in. Great content compels you to think; it places you behind the lenses of the writer and inspires you to give feedback. When your material encourages engagement, you open the first line of communication. Engagement starts the process of building relationships.

2. Take Steps to Limit the Number of “Un-follows”.

So you’ve spent the last few months building a massive base of followers and subscribers. It was hard work; hours and resources were utilised to post according to schedule. But the rewards are well worth it.

Then within a few days, you notice the number of followers begin to drop off. It starts off as a trickle before it cascades into a downpour. Faster than it took you to build up your base of followers, it seems like your structure just gave out.

What happened?

A study from Korea looked into the transactions involving 1.2 million Twitter accounts covering 51 days of transactions. The researchers identified three major factors that led to a series of un-following:

  • Too frequent updates within a short period of time
  • Posting topics that followers found uninteresting
  • Posting or sharing too many mundane aspects of one’s life

The researchers referred to the act of frequent posting as “bursts” and it accounted for more than 50% of the un-following.

Social media marketing requires thought, strategy and purpose. It also requires time. Most entrepreneurs will either devote too much time or too little time on social media. The best approach is to find a middle ground; the optimum schedule to run social media.

Here are two ideas you can consider:

  • Use Buffer; it will help schedule your social media postings.
  • Hire a Virtual Assistant; there are virtual assistants who have social media management experience and have the ability to write great content.
  • Be mindful of the social media community; each social media network has its own culture and unwritten guidelines on how the community functions. While the Facebook community may care about the sandwich you ate for lunch, Twitter will not.

3. Maintain your Social Presence

An important rule to remember in building your base of followers in social media can be summed up in one word: activity.

You have to be active in social media so you will remain in the consciousness of the community. As an analogy, think about the commercials that come out on television. Commercials can be annoying especially when “Mr. Detergent” shows up just as the hero meets the villain.

Now imagine yourself at the supermarket visting the home care aisle. Among the wall of detergent brands, who catches your eye first: Brand X or “Mr. Detergent”? Whether you choose “Mr. Detergent” or not is irrelevant. In social media what matters is that “Mr. Detergent” triggers familiarity.

But as mentioned in the previous tip, you should approach frequency with thought, strategy and purpose. Here are some tips on how often you should post on social media:

  • Twitter: Never more than once per hour; not to exceed 14 tweets per day and only seven tweets per weekend.
  • Facebook: Twice a day, seven days a week.
  • LinkedIn: Once a day, no postings on weekends.
  • Google+: Twice a day, none on weekends.

when to post on social media

4. Become an Authority

People use the Internet primarily to find information. Once they enter a search query, they will click on the link that they believe presents the best resource for their interest.

Of course, SEO plays a major role in climbing up the search rankings. But more than just applying the standard techniques, the best approach would be to become proactive. After all, SEO techniques will create the roads to your website. But in the end, success will depend on the end product. And the end product is you.

People will follow you if they perceive you as an authority. They are confident and feel assured of your content. Given the multitude of proponents out there, how will you stand out as an authority?

  • Content is king. Again, we go back to content. You can review the qualities of great content that we discussed earlier. As a source of information, your content must be well researched.
  • Guest blog. There are blogging communities that open its doors to other bloggers to share content. This is a great way to expand your network and reach out to a wider audience. You should also reciprocate and allow other bloggers to write on your website.
  • Become a contributor. You can work full-time on your online business but still find time to become a contributor to other websites. This is another effective strategy in becoming an authority. Websites such as “The Huffington Post” and “Mashable” have a large following and through the years have built a solid online reputation.

By expanding your scope and reach, you are effectively enhancing not just your profile but reputation as a resource. Remember to include your website address and social media accounts in your details when you post.

5. Be Accessible

Social media has given people a false sense of entitlement as well as a misplaced level of confidence. When you’re sitting all alone in a room, behind the computer monitor, you often forget that you are in the virtual presence of over three billion people.

This sense of entitlement and false confidence has driven people to post irresponsibly. Facebook, Twitter and Google have been subject to much use and abuse over the years as popular vehicles for ranting and complaining.

Sure, some opinions can be interesting and thought provoking but at the end of the day no one likes to be with a sour puss.

A study by Dan Zarella showed how qualities like tone, self-references and transparency can affect the number of followers you get.

Generally, no one wants to be in the company of people who whine and complain all the time. Negativity in all forms drains energy.

In the end, building your base of followers in social media is all about building relationships. Behind the virtual walls of the Internet, the rules of engagement remain the same. People will like you if you are genuine, respectful and positive.

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