Let's just admit it! Whatever we may say or how much ever we may deny, we do bother about the number of followers on our social accounts. However, big or small brand we may be, numbers are our prime concern. Even if you do not care for numbers, your influencers do before collaborating with you. Others would before starting to follow your page.
The number of followers does create a brand value in the users' minds. More the number of followers more is your page worth following. Being a digital marketing expert, you would know the value of organic and inorganic traffic, but trust me, 50% of your followers won't care about your engagements or leads. All they care about is the number of followers!
So the knotty question is how to increase your followers and that too worthwhile followers?
The simplest answer to this million-dollar question, which everyone is scratching their head for, is "Keep Producing Content." Yes, it is this simple! You just need to be regular on your page.
The next question that comes is what content to produce?
If you, too, have the same question grooving in your mind, you are at the right place. Though content is the key to social media progress but do remember it takes a second for your followers to unfollow you if your posts do not interest them. So, the first step to growing your social audience is to know why you are on the following channel Facebook/ Instagram/ YouTube/ Linkedin, and so on.
What is the product your brand is targeting at and what its goal is behind digitalization? Are you on Facebook to sell your product/ service, on Instagram to increase your popularity or to follow the trend on YouTube to demonstrate your service, to go free, or sell?
First, you need to find answers to all these questions:
Q) Why am I on this channel?
Q) What is my goal?
Q) Who are my target audience?
Q) Am I hear to earn or popularise?
Q) What content should I focus on?
Getting the answers one by one, you will go clear in connecting with your audience and improving your brand value.
Types of content
Going by the kind of contents you can create, there are six kinds:
- Sharing your thoughts/ opinion
- Factual/ Information sharing
- Self Promotion/ advertisement
- Questions to follow
- It's me today doing this (self kind)
- Hey, did you know this (going trendy)
Whichever style you may proceed with, you will either be a "Meformer" (sharing your views or products or services) or an "Informer" (sharing real benefits).
Now the next question brewing up is: "Which is beneficial Meformer/ Informer?"
Would you like to follow a brand that keeps speaking about itself? Won't you get bored of its ME SHARES one day? Do you follow a brand for its service or just to know their success graph? You want value out of a brand. Don't you?
Yes, you got it right! It is advantageous to be an "Informer" in the long run. Give the people what they want and get your brand what you want. They are following you because they believe in you and so balance their trust with useful and organic content.
Of course, relying only on organic traffic needs months to build your audience, and in this competitive market who has so much time to go slow?
Here are a few strategies to be consistent and simultaneously digitally smart to increase your followers:
- Give people a reason to follow you
Nobody will be following you blindly. To reach a level of brand loyal followers, you first need to give people a reason to believe in you. However, attractive or right content you may have, you won't increase your following without the right approach. 81% of the young crowd expects their favorite brand to be socially responsible. Give the people a reason to bind faith in you with the "We Care" approach towards all social instances.
- Connect to your audience
Nobody has so much time to follow your daily chores unless you are an individual influencer. Without going round and round, be direct in your approach, speaking directly about your brand and focusing on your goals. Involve your followers by asking them about their feedback, opinions, and what more they look for.
- Follow and repost other influencers and brands
Never make the mistake of assuming I know it all! This is the digital age, and everyday new talent is coming up. Follow other influencers and brands in your segment. Though this game of following and unfollowing is the last thing you would like to do, but trust me, it works. You just got to be smart to segment followers.
Categories your followers into 2 steps:
- Whom should you follow?
- Who are the brand icons in your sector?
Follow these big names and share, repost, and retweet their social posts to make them know you do follow them. Make your brand existent in their eyes!
- Be spontaneous in replying to your engagements
Who doesn't likes it to get an instant reply? It is a natural human instinct to wait for a minute for a response before browsing back. Make your followers feel valuable by giving an instant reaction to their text or comment or any query. Go automated with social media channels to send instant replies. Connect to your audience personally by replying @so and so. Even if you aren't on the chatbox, do let them know: for example, "Hi, Rohan. Sorry for not being available, will get back to you." Whatever it is, be in constant touch with your followers.
- Cross share your old contents
To increase your social media followers, you need to be available and active on different platforms. You got to be easily accessible for people to track you. Share your Snapchat profile with a follow button on Instagram or Facebook or vice versa anyways to rotate the wheel of your followers. Learn to grab your existing followers by bringing them to all your social channels rather than investing 200% of your time in rewheeling it afresh every time.
- Be active on social communities
Every social media channel has its own groups for related people to connect. Be a part of these groups, answer questions, share your post, and learn what new trend is. For example, Linkedin has a "Discover" button on the top of the page to find relevant groups; Twitter has a feature called "Tweet Chats"; Facebook has "FB Groups." Your only motive to be active in these social communities is to build your brand and not to sell or advertise.
- Target the right hashtags
Hashtags: another king of social media. Speaking of hashtags, Twitter, and Instagram are the sovereign. One right #tag at the right post can increase your followers in multiples. Remember, the entire game is of that one right hashtag at the right place. People look for real content and not a brunch of #tags to go rolling in it. Search for that right keyword to take you to the right place.
- Invest in paid ads
Of course, everything around isn't for free. Click the right advertisement to maximize your benefits. The simplest way to market your brand is "To Keep IT Simple." With less of words and a perfect picture, create the most attractive yet elegant promotion. Let your post speak for itself. Sales ads are good to sell products, pictures/ videos are good for explanatory service.
If you ask me what I would prefer an organic page with 1000 followers or an inactive page with 1,00,000s followers, my answer would be 1000 organic followers on any day. Following the right post, repost, sharing, communicating, and most importantly, being continuously active on social media, I would grow my followers from 1 to 1 million with the right approach rather than going sneaky.