Social networks are always pushing for global market share in a quest to find the most active users. Because of this, huge social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are constantly introducing innovative features to their platforms. This helps in increasing the popularity and relevance of social networks in our lives.
Social networks are not just popular with billions of users across the globe, they are also popular with the brands that intent to market themselves to those users. Brands are seeing plenty of success regarding brand building, lead generation, and even customer sales on social media.
If you want a taste of that success, you can jump onto a social network now and try growing your brand there too. The guide below will help you to get started with growing your social media accounts.
Before You Get Started, Define Your Goals
If you are a company that is looking to grow its brand and online presence on social media, then it is crucial that you set your goals first before you begin. Brands with a clear goal are able to create solid social media strategies.
More importantly, brands are able to stick to their strategies because of their goals. Growing a brand on social media is a long term plan and consistency is key. Without goals, you can easily become frustrated and helpless in the early stages when there’s little to no results.
It’s common for brands to just jump onto social media without a plan. However, you run the risk of creating some of the following issues for yourself:
- Losing patience and forgetting about the long game
- Not being consistent enough
- Not engaging with the audience regularly
- Not producing enough content
- Poor content
Even celebrities and personalities that have plenty of followers on social media suffer from the above issues. They may have landed tons of followers due to their popularity. However, having a lot of followers does not mean that they are successful in social media. Lack of engagement with followers and little to no content can hurt your brand.
Examples of Social Media Goals
- Drive traffic to your website – Social media platforms have millions (if not billions) of users. It’s a no brainer to get a taste of their online traffic
- Connect with your customers – If you want to stay in touch with your current client base, you can with social media. Social media can be an ideal way for you to retarget customers
- Build a community – There’s nothing better than having a community of like-minded people that are interested in your brand. You can develop and maintain online communities on social networks
- Increase brand awareness – Consistently posting high-quality content that’s central to your brand on social media can lead to users discovering your brand for the first time. Users that may have heard of you can also get to know your brand better
- Customer feedback – Feedback from customers is a vital aspect of any business. You can potentially get valuable feedback from customers regarding your products and services, then use that feedback to improve your offerings. Companies usually pay for this sort of information
Top 10 Ways to Grow Social Media Accounts
1. Create an Excellent Profile
Your profile page can be considered as a landing page for your brand, or even a sales page to some extent. If a user wants to find out more about your brand, they will visit your profile page. Having an excellent bio, profile picture, and cover might just be enough for a user to click follow.
If you have a link to your website (or a link to a new product landing page), then users can click through to those pages. Try to portray your brand’s image as best as possible with the options that are available. Here are some tips:
- Profile picture – Preferably your brand logo or a professional image of yourself (low-quality selfies are unprofessional). You can keep things fresh by adding a holiday theme to your logo or picture and update it regularly.
- Bio – Keep your bio simple. Short and sweet is always effective. Use your bio to confirm who you are and what you do. Try not to add long sales pitches. Users who don’t know you will think you are just here to sell them something
- Cover image – Your cover image can be an effective way to market your latest campaign or display your products. Keep updating your cover to coincide with seasons, holidays, new product releases, and campaigns
2. Produce High-quality Content Relevant to the Platform
Yes, I know you heard this a thousand times. Produce high-quality content that will get people to like, comment, and share. This isn’t far from the truth as people on social media want to see exceptional content and when it comes to content creation, the bar has definitely been lifted by brands and celebrities.
If your brand sells clothing, random pictures of dresses hanging on a rack won’t work. Especially if you want to take things to the next level. You have to be more creative. Plan a photoshoot with proper models or setup your clothing against a clear background and use Photoshop to remove the background and add effects.
This might seem tedious, but the results will be worth your time and effort. You also don’t require an expensive DSLR camera to take high-quality images. Modern smartphone cameras are excellent and will do just great. Here are some mobile tools that you can use to edit your pictures:
- Photoshop Mix (Android/iOS)
- Lightroom (Android/iOS)
- Snapseed (Android/iOS)
- Canva (Android/iOS)
- Quik (Android/iOS)
Posting Relevant Content
A common mistake that most brands make is to post the same content across all social media platforms. It’s important to remember that not all social networks are the same and have the same content.
Your glorious images and memes might blow up on Facebook or Instagram, but it won’t work on Linkedin or Twitter. If you plan on growing your followers on four different social networks, customize your posts to suit the content that is popular on those social networks. David Campbell, Marketing Strategist at Right Inbox believes “you need a clear-cut, actionable content strategy if you want to grow a presence and attract customers on each of the different platforms.”
3. Use Hashtags
Hashtags allow social media users to discover your posts. Your posts will show up in the feeds of the users that follow you. However, other users will only be able to stumble onto your posts when browsing through hashtags that they have chosen.
If you add the hashtag #TBT (throwback Thursday) to your post, then your post will end up in search results related to #TBT. If your post performs well by receiving plenty of engagement, it will climb up the hashtag rankings and become more popular. This can lead to further exposure of your post and more potential followers.
4. Post Consistently
If you want your posts to climb up your user’s feeds and receive more engagement, you will have to post content regularly. Consistently sharing content increases the chances of receiving more engagement from your followers. If a follower keeps liking your posts, there’s a good chance your next post will be at the top of their feed the next time they log in.
There is no set rule for the frequency at which you should post. You can post daily or weekly if you want to, as long as you make sure you stick to your routine. This will let your audience know when to expect content from you.
5. Connect with Your Audience
Simply posting content to your social media accounts won’t be enough to grow your followers. There’s no point in having all this excellent content when you don’t make time to engage with followers and other users on social media.
When you engage with your audience, they will feel like they have some form of a connection with your brand. This connection will drive them to learn more about your brand, which can lead to lead generation and sales.
You can engage with your audience by:
- Responding to comments
- Replying to direct messages
- Tag other users in your posts
- Share your followers content on your profile
- Create personalized content directed at specific followers
6. Sharing is Caring
If you share or retweet one of your follower’s posts, it will certainly make their day. If they share your content, then your post will become visible to their followers and friends. This is an ideal method of extending the reach of your posts organically to users that don’t follow you.
When you post a special piece of content that deserves to be shared all over social media, ask your followers to help you out by sharing the message on their profiles. This will help to boost engagement on the post, leading to more likes and comments.
The more likes, comments, and shares there are on a post, the more enticing that post will become to people on social media. This theory is based on social validation. Users tend to automatically appreciate posts that have tons of likes, comments, and shares.
7. Host a Giveaway
One of the quickest methods of building tons of social media followers is by hosting a giveaway or a contest. A Facebook contest will allow users who follow you on social media can stand a chance to win a prize that you sponsor. You can also include bonus actions (to boost engagement) such as:
- Like our post
- Share our post
- Leave a comment
- Tag a friend
Giveaways are regarded as viral content and promote sharing and engagement among social media users. If done correctly (selecting a relevant prize and properly managing the giveaway), you can boost your followers drastically within a short time frame.
The issue that some brands have with hosting a giveaway is poor management. Selecting the wrong prize can attract the wrong audience and manually choosing a winner leads to distrust. However, giveaway management tools like VYPER can make hosting an online giveaway incredibly easy. VYPER also has tons of resources on their blog to help you plan and promote your giveaway.
8. Partner up with an Influencer
Social media influencers are celebrities, popular leaders, and famous people that have a healthy social media following. Brands that partner up with social media influencers can gain exposure to that influencer’s followers. The influencer also gains exposure to the brand’s followers.
Source: LG Home Appliance – LG partnered up with popular Instagram and YouTube influencer Zack King to promote their new range of smart fridges
You can acquire a social media influencer through a sponsorship deal or any other mutual agreement (eg. exposure to each other’s social media followers or free products). Before you begin your search for a social media influencer, it’s crucial to consider the following:
- Your influencer must be an ideal match for your brand
- The influencer’s followers meet the requirements of your target audience
- The influencer must be known for using products similar to your products
- Influencers with a small following are ok, as long as they engage well with their followers
9. Link Your Website to Your Social Media Accounts
Adding links (in the form of ‘follow us’ buttons) to your social media accounts on your website will allow visitors on your website to quickly access your social media profile. If a visitor on your website likes your brand and they want to keep in touch with you on Twitter, they can simply click on the ‘follow us on Twitter’ button.
Without social media links, website visitors will have to go onto Twitter and search for your brand. This can be an inconvenience to most, causing you to miss out on additional traffic to your Twitter profile.
You can get creative by adding social media profile ‘widgets’ in your website’s sidebar. These widgets display your social media profile and activity feed. Embedding some of your popular or relevant posts into your blog posts is also a great way of redirecting traffic from your website to your social media.
10. Sponsored Posts
Growing your social media followers organically is always recommended. However, if you don’t see much progress in your social media stats, then you could try paid promotions that are offered on most social media platforms.
You can use sponsored posts to reach out to a highly targeted audience. Ads are customizable, and allow you to select the audience you want to see your posts. You can choose to target users by demographics, location, and interests.
You may not directly land followers from ads. However, because of the extended reach of sponsored posts, your brand will become more discoverable by users who could potentially click through to your profile page and follow you.
Social networks are indeed useful platforms for companies to grow their brands. Growing your social media accounts is a long game, but if done correctly, you can carefully craft out an excellent image for your brand.
What is your most effective strategy for growing your social media accounts? Tell us in the comments below.
Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build viral giveaways, referral and reward programs. After millions of dollars spent testing different marketing strategies at his marketing agency. VYPER was built to be the perfect balance between gamification and incentivization to build email lists, social engagement and revenue.