Social media is a fantastic way to promote your personal or business brand. It’s free and your reach is endless! Increasing your followers should always be at the forefront on your mind because, honestly, there’s really no point wasting time and energy sending out content if you don’t have an audience. Increasing your social media followers is not magical or accidental – it is a process that requires a calculated and strategic social media marketing campaign, with set goals, strategies for achieving those goals and consistent evaluation of your successes (and failures). In other words, what precisely do you want to achieve? How can you achieve it? How do you track your successes and improve on your shortcomings? Got it, right? Let’s proceed.
- Setting goals
First things first, set a SMART goal. What do I mean? The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (timely). Your goal should be definite. As such, setting a goal like ‘get more followers on my social media page’certainly won’t cut it because it isn’t specific or measurable; ‘have 500 new Instagram followers’ isn’t time bound; ‘have a million new followers in 1 week’ is surely not achievable and realistic.A definite goal will look something like this: ‘Get at least 500 new followers on my Instagram page by the end of August’.You get the drift? Make sure your goals are SMART!
- Creating a strategy
After your goals are set, you would need to create defined strategies to help you accomplish them. When coming up with your social media campaign strategies, two things are to be considered – content and relevance. You have to have amazing content and it has to be relevant to your social media audience. In other words, you have to put the right content in front of the right people. Here are some tips in creating the right strategy to achieve your set goals:
- Understand your social media platforms and the nature of content to share on it. Social media platforms are different and have different purposes. Facebook is a networking platform. Instagram is preferred more in image and video sharing. LinkedIn is a more formal and professional platform that connects business professionals. Content about images of different wigs you have on sale will as such perform better on Instagram than on LinkedIn. You have to tailor your content according to the type of platform you are operating on.
- Make use of social media advertising. Ever scrolled through your Facebook page and seen a Jumia advert pop up? In fact, you might even see the exact gadgets and clothes you had just been looking at on their website. This is social media advertising. Paid advertising through page promotions and post boosts can actually open up your page to many people not within your immediate network and are quite cost effective. They are especially helpful if your page is a business page and you need to increase sales. You can specify the people who view your adverts. You can define such profile according to age, gender, interests, posts and geographic locations. This will help make sure you show your ads to the exact people that would be interested in them. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have linked ads whereby you can run the ads on both platforms at once.
- Increase your social media activity. Generally, increasing your activity can help increase your followers. Actively liking and commenting on other people’s pages can open up your page to people in the other’s network who are not in your own. So be sure to actively engage your social media accounts. Use popular hashtags and tag other people in your posts.
- Vary your content. Content should cover the ICEE format. In other words, they should inspire, convince, entertain or educate. Always be sure your content is not stuck on only one of the four. Varying your content can keep it interesting and unpredictable, but maintain the tone of your posts. Consider organizing competitions and quizzes on your page which would require participants to invite people to like and follow your page for them to win. This can drasticallyincrease engagement and followers.
- Understand your audience and adapt your content accordingly. If you understand the demographics of your audience, you can tailor your content to match their interests and give them what will appeal to them. This will lead to more page activity and ultimately more followers. Make sure your content is short but relevant andinteresting. Have a consistent writing tone and ensure you always start with a good hook or opening statement to provoke interest. Post consistently, not sporadically.
- Social media platforms like Facebook allow you to invite people to like your page. Make use of it. If after running a paid advert for one of your posts, you have people who are not your followers like the post, invite them to like your page as well.
- Evaluation: measuring success.
It is important to review your goals regularly. How much of them have you achieved? How can you improve on your strategies? Make use of social media analytics to track activity and engagements on your page. Check how many people engaged with your posts (shares, likes and comments), how many new followers you have and how they discovered your page. Track the content you publish to know which appeals more to your audience. This way, you can know which strategies work and which don’t.
On the whole, as we have seen, it takes diligent and consistent strategizing, implementing and re-strategizing to increase your followers on social media. Ultimately, no one can give you the right strategies to use. It’s up to you to determine what works best for you.