Members of the Pole Position Marketing pit crew answer your web marketing questions from their unique perspectives, with a “bonus lap” by a guest industry pro. See previous questions or ask a digital marketing question.
Today’s Question: What’s the Best Way to Increase Followers Social Media?
Kathy Gray’s Answer from a Social Media & Content Perspective:
First, let’s clear the air. Ask yourself why you want to increase followers. Is that how you’re measuring your social media success? If so, you need to go back to the drawing board. Measuring the growth of your social following is definitely something you want to do. However, it shouldn’t be your main focus unless you’re just starting out and need to build your audience.
Regardless of your motivation for wanting to increase the size of your audience, you need to be strategic in how you go about it. You can easily pay to get followers or run outlandish contests, but the key is getting quality followers who belong to your target audience, will engage with your brand, and ultimately will become paying customers.
How are we going to build quality followers? Follow these three steps.
1. Create Quality Engaging Content
Users are bombarded by brands that want their attention on social media, and they’re getting pickier about who the follow. If you want a user to follow you — and engage with you — you must create quality engaging content.
What this content looks like is going to be different for every brand, but there is a basic rule you can follow. Keep your content R.I.T.E.
When you’re creating your content, keep in mind these basic factors. And remember, when a user is active on social media, 95% of the time they’re not there looking to interact with a brand. They’re on social media to connect with friends and family, to catch up on news, and for entertainment. Creating content that is R.I.T.E. provides the least amount of disruption to those reasons.
2. Connect With Current Customers
The first group of social media users you want to attract to your profile are your current customers. These are your warm leads and the people most likely to follow and engage with you. Connecting with current customers on social media is also a great way to increase brand loyalty and repeat business.
Social media is not an “if you build it, they will come” scenario. You need to let your customers know you’re there. Here are ideas for reaching out to your customers:
- Send an email inviting them to join your brand on social media.
- Add links to your social profiles in the footer or header of your website
- For brick-and-mortar businesses, create in-store signage or a photo opp.
- Advertise. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ad platforms all have the ability to target your email lists and website visitors. Run follow campaigns to these audiences first.
3. Connect With Potential Customers
Current customers are great, but all businesses want to expand and attract new customers. If you haven’t already, it’s really important to determine your target audience/ideal customer/buyer persona. You have to know who you are trying to reach.
Here are several ideas for reaching out to potential customers:
- User-generated content. Get your current customers to create content on social media and tag your business. This will raise awareness of your brand with their friends and family.
- Influencer marketing. Work with influencers in your niche to write blog and social media posts about your business and products.
- Create contests. Remember to keep your contests as specific as possible to your brand and topic. For instance, if you were promoting the TV show Outlander, which is set in Scotland, you could give away a Scottish vacation. However, an even better giveaway would be an Outlander-themed tour of Scotland. My husband has zero interest in the TV show (I’ve tried), but Scotland is on his bucket list. He may enter a contest for a trip to Scotland with zero interest in the show. However, if it was an Outlander-themed tour of Scotland, he would steer clear of the contest! On the other hand, I would be all over that contest and would be sharing it with my Outlander-obsessed friends on social media. The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to attract your target audience.
- Advertise. Social media advertising has come a long way, and the targeting options continue to become more sophisticated. With Facebook ads, you can create a lookalike audience for your website visitors, page likes, or email list. This takes the users in one of those groups and creates an ad targeting audience with the top 1% of Facebook users most like the people in your audience. For example, you could take Outlander’s page likes, create a lookalike audience of the top 1% of users most like those page likes and then narrow that group even further by demographic or interest data.
You should always be working on building your audience, but don’t let follower counts become an obsession and forget about creating great content and actually engaging with the community you are creating.
Alan Waggoner’s Answer From a PPC Marketing Perspective:
You’ve probably heard all the buzz over the past few years about the success many different companies are having marketing their businesses through social media. But if you’re like most businesses out there, you probably don’t even know where to begin.
To market your products and services effectively on social media, you must have an audience to market to. But how do you build an audience?
My area of expertise is paid advertising. I run ads on Google, Bing, and Facebook. I’ve been running ads on Facebook since they first launched their ads platform, and I’ve worked with many companies advertising their businesses on Facebook.
I have two different strategies to share with you that will help you build your Facebook page following, and also build your email database. These strategies are extremely effective and inexpensive.
Let’s start with building your business’ Facebook page following. Are you disappointed when you look at the number of likes your Facebook business page currently has? Facebook has an ad strategy that will help you build your following. These ads are called Like ads. The ads run in the user’s newsfeed and the right-hand side with the goal of getting people to like (and follow) your page.
Like ads will bring high-quality followers to your page. When setting up these ads, you can choose to show the ads to the people that fall under the demographic and interest settings that you choose. Based on user information, Facebook will use technology to display the ads in front of people most likely to LIKE and follow your page.
You can set your daily budget at as little as just a few dollars per day. I recommend $3-$5 per day per ad campaign for best results. I currently have clients getting followers at $.03 -$.04 per like. I’ve been able to get as low as half a cent per like.
Facebook Lead Ads
Email marketing still has one of the highest conversion rates for most businesses. By increasing your email list, you can dramatically increase your sales in a short period of time. Facebook offers an ad strategy specifically designed for building your email subscribers.
This ad strategy allows you to run ads right in the user’s newsfeed where you can collect the user’s email address without the user having to leave Facebook. They don’t even have to enter any information if you’re only collecting names and email addresses. You can run these ads in the form of a contest, giveaway, or simply asking them to subscribe to your newsletter.
Using the same technology mentioned above, Facebook will display these ads to the people most likely to engage. I’ve been able to collect email addresses for as little as $.10 per subscriber. These are all high quality, high converting subscribers since I’m running the ads to the people that are in the demographic and interest categories I choose.
Using third party apps, you can even set up auto-responder emails to the subscribers once they’ve subscribed. You can actually create an entire sales funnel using this method.
Start using these strategies to quickly and easily build your following. Contact us today if you’re interested in hearing how we can help you with these ad strategies, and many more Facebook ad strategies. I love to talk strategy, and I would love to hear from you.
BONUS LAP WITH: Mindi Rosser
Mindi Rosser is a social media strategist for hire who specializes in helping brands, businesses, and people look great online. She also consults for The Conversion Company, building and managing employee advocacy, social selling, and social media marketing programs for B2B companies. She has a passion for one-on-one relationship marketing: doing marketing that matters.
Too many businesses and brands are eager to increase followers across their social channels. They go for quantity over quality, and their brand image suffers as a result. The best way to increase social media followers is through organic, authentic engagement. But, what does this look like?
- Social Listening – Be on the lookout for conversations that matter most to your brand and your customers. Set up a number of searches across the social channels that matter most to you. Then, be helpful by answering questions and sharing resources. This is not the place for a product pitch or to offer a demo. Instead, point them to a great piece of content, even if it’s not yours. In being helpful, you will gain followers who are both engaged and interested.
- Social Engagement – Be proactive about engaging with every single avatar that interacts with your social media accounts. Acknowledge them and respond with a personalized comment, if possible.
- Social Following – Be actively searching for interesting profiles to follow and engage. If you’re hoping for accounts to simply follow you because you’re awesome, you won’t get many follows at the beginning. You need to give follows to get follows, especially in the early stages of growing an account. Be generous with giving out your follows, and you can be more selective after you have gained a solid, engaged following.