If you are of a certain age, you remember carefully folded notes passed your way behind the teacher’s back before it was commonplace for students to send and receive text messages in class. As you tried to unfold the worn edges of the note in relative secrecy, the words, “Do you like me? Check yes, no, or maybe” scrawled across wide-ruled notebook paper made your heart flutter.
The note was signed “from Brandon,” but there were 2 Brandons in your class. Was it from the Brandon on the soccer team or the Brandon who trades Magic: The Gathering cards in the cafeteria? Or was it someone else entirely pretending to be the interested Brandon? You needed to know which Brandon sent you the note to figure which box to check depending on your interest level.
Start With Who Already Follows You on All Social Media Platforms
Fast forward to today. You’re not in school anymore, and you’re sitting at your grown-up desk at your social media marketing job. You just took over the social media accounts for your company’s clients. While you may not get a note passed to you, notifications are awaiting your review. You might still get that exact same fluttering feeling of excitement when you begin to build your social media campaigns. Someone LIKES me! Wait, who is it? And if this one doesn’t work out, how can I attract followers with mutual interests?
Any new notification of a like or follow can send thrills of pride up and down the spine of a social media marketer. You did it! You’ve gained one follower! However, don’t get too excited just yet.
It’s not about the sheer number of people who like your accounts. Much like your old middle school self who wanted to find out more information behind that name, you’ll need to spend some time going over your followers lists, whether you are first starting out or already have a strong following. You may have 8,000 followers, but if they’re all accounts with names like Have100sFollowers or other red-flag indicators, you should weed them out and focus on people genuinely interested in your brand.
Are you attracting the kind of quality followers that will help build a community around your brand, or is your list filled with spam accounts just to boost your numbers? Performing due diligence from time to time can protect your business and even your followers from devastating consequences of fake social media accounts.
Attracting Social Media Account Followers: Do You Like Me? Check Yes, No, or Maybe
After you’ve checked out your followers, you need to get followers that will help you build community. Other than asking your grandma who just joined Facebook to go like your company’s page, here are 9 ways to attract authentic followers on social media:
- Start with the people in your company. Your coworkers can leverage their own social media presence to share industry knowledge, promote education, and serve as experts in your field. Do all your employees like your clients’ accounts? Authentic enthusiasm for clients doesn’t have to happen just within the 8-5 time frame.
- Pick a few people who follow you and see who follows them. Chances are, if you find them interesting, their followers could find value in what your company has to offer as well. Think of this exercise as networking at the water cooler or at a conference.
- Identify and interact with the influencers in your field. Do you know who the main voices are in your industry? They don’t have to be the ones with the most followers, but find thought leaders in your field who post genuinely interesting content relevant to your interests. What types of posts get the most engagement from them? Share their content and interact with them on social media by providing your own useful content their audience would appreciate.
- Speaking of what you have to offer, provide meaningful, relevant, original content on your clients’ sites. Poorly written or duplicate content isn’t going to do you any favors. Consumers want to know you’re offering them fresh ideas with content that answers their queries. Give them what they’re looking for.
- Form a social media strategy, and make sure your strategy is aligned with company goals. It’s not enough to post random thoughts whenever they strike or sit back and wait for followers to stumble across your profile pages. Instead, achieve a balance of what you post. In addition to creating your own content, find a balance with promoting your company and curated content. You can figure out what’s trending with sites like BuzzSumo, giving insight into what people are sharing for any given topic, major influencers, and more. Work with your marketing, sales, design, and content team to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Interact with your audience. Repost particularly interesting material you think your audience would appreciate. Ask or answer questions to open a dialog. Be sure to tag companies or people to interact with them on multiple levels. Discover trending hashtags in your industry and use them effectively.
- Share pictures, videos, and infographics that provide value to your audience. With resources like Piktochart and 123rf, you don’t have to possess amazing design skills to make a great infographic or find the perfect picture to accompany your content.
- Understand each social media platform. What works on Twitter won’t necessarily work on Facebook. Be aware of when to use (or not use) hashtags, character count limitation, selecting the correct image size, and shortening links using a service like bitly. Know the best times to post on social media to cater to when your audience engages the most.
- Be consistent. Give strategies a goal, and give them time to perform. Don’t change up strategies too quickly. If you want more social media presence, you have to consistently put in work to attract followers. It’s also important to practice consistency across platforms with user names, logos, and more to establish your brand. Utilize tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite to help maintain a social media calendar.
Don’t leave visitors to your social media sites wondering if they should choose the Yes, No, or Maybe box. Building your social media presence won’t happen overnight. If you follow these 9 tips, you’ll have authentic followers always checking the Yes box, apparent when you check your social media data analytics reports.
And who knows — you may even find both Brandons on social media after all these years.