Social media is an important part of your online marketing strategy.
I don’t think it’s the most important part, but I do think it’s important.
I’m a fan of focusing on the things you own and control first, which include the content on your own website (especially a blog) and your email list (more control over the message than a social media feed).
But social media is a huge opportunity. Tons of people use social media including your target customer. To get their attention you have to go where they are and many are using social media.
The biggest question I see business owners and managers asking in regards to social media is how to get more followers.
Here are some quick ways to get followers without seeming too needy with people.
1. Mention Complementary Brands
The way to grow your follower count on social media is to gain exposure to your target audience. Your audience is already following a number of brands on social media.
To get more followers, identify brands that are complementary to yours.
For example, an ice cream shop and a local bank are complementary businesses. They share the same target follower. A plumber and a handyman are complementary businesses. An designer and a developer are complementary businesses.
You get the idea.
Once you have those identified then it’s time to create content and mention those brands.
Share something they’ve done and give them praise. If they have an event coming up, mention the event and the fact that you’re going and that others should.
The idea here is that when you mention the brand, chances are good that they will re-share your update with their followers. That’s exposure to followers that can see your brand and potentially follow you.
2. Mention Industry Influencers
Like the previous point, you want to do the same with influencers in your industry.
Influencers are business owners, managers, marketers or even celebrities.
Give them compliments on your account and mention them. Don’t go overboard with the compliments. They won’t really want to share a bunch of compliments, but they will want to re-share if you share one of their articles or one of their interviews.
3. Participate In Interviews
Something I’ve been ramping up lately is to do more interviews in the industry.
There are more and more podcasts every day in just about every industry. Go on iTunes and search for your industry. Chances are there are some in your industry. Search Stitcher and find podcasts.
You can start small and work your way up. It works kind of cool. You can start with a really small or new podcast. Then you can go to someone with a bigger audience and say, “I was on this podcast…”
That’s proof to them that you’ve done it before and that you can be a great interviewee.
You can also ask to do interviews in blog post form where you might answer questions via email.
When these are published, make sure the owner includes your social media information so listeners can follow you or your company.
4. Write Guest Posts
Like doing interviews, guest posts are all about getting yourself in front of established audiences.
Search for blogs in your industry. Some will accept guest posts and even if they don’t they might have an email where you can reach out to the editor to ask if they would be interested in your content.
It’s common that at the end of guest posts you can include your social media content.
Guest posting takes work and it will take about six months of doing it over and over before you start seeing results, but if you stick with it you will see results.
5. Publish Commonly Re-Shared Content
This differs by industry a little bit, but you can pick up on the type of content that gets re-shared on social media. For points one and two you’ve identified brands and influencers.
Look at the content they share that their followers re-share. Then post the same type of content.
It might be photos or videos from YouTube.
The reason to do this is that when your followers re-share your content they are sharing it with their followers. They’re telling their followers, “This is someone you need to follow”.
6. Publish Interactive Content
Interactive in this sense is getting people to leave comments on your posts, which exposes your updates to their followers in some or many cases.
Ask questions on social media. I follow a few brands and they’ll post a photo and ask for a caption or they’ll post a photo and ask for thoughts on what is in the photo.
In this case, I follow a few hunting brands. They’ll post trail camera photos and they’ll ask followers what they see or what a whitetail buck might score.
Getting that kind of interaction makes your posts more likeable for potential followers and when people interact it can expose their friends or followers to your content.
Getting social media followers, even early on in your efforts, is all about getting others that have followers to interact with your brand on social media. That’s usually through a re-share or through some kind of interaction with your social media content.
I’ve done it with GBW where I’ll write a post that includes something like 10 Brands Doing Great Things With… Then I’ll share the post and mention those brands. Some of those brands will usually re-share the post.
Or I’ll do something like 10 Experts Discuss Their Thoughts… That has the same effect.
Try these things if you’re struggling to get followers. It works for me and it works for other people and brands.