Twitter, instagram, facebook, google+, youtube. Virtually everyone who has access to a smartphone and an internet connection is on social media. Reasons ranging from the desire to have an online presence to wanting to satisfy our need to see and be seen in the digital space. But simply having a social media presence with no followership is as effective as having a megaphone with no crowd to talk to – no use whatsoever. The result of this is an increase in the search for social media followers by individuals and organizations in order to increase the people they can reach. Twitter and instagram are rife with “follow trains” that claim to give users hundreds of followers in a matter of days. One flaw in this method is that since everyone wants to have a followership higher than their followed crowd, people follow you, only to sneak back later to unfollow. Barring buying of accounts with an already established followership, the only sure method of getting faithful social media followers is not a single method at all, but a set of practices involving quality content, continuous commitment and a target demographic.
These are some of the most effective ways to boost your social media followership.
- Use groups: Social networks like facebook and linkedin have several groups dedicated to diverse topics that users can take advantage of. The more groups you join, the wider your reach. More friends and followers can be obtained from these groups and posting in a group is an easy way to reach a large audience interested in a particular niche.
- Get a celebrity mention: This one is fairly difficult to get, but if you can manage to get a celebrity or influential personality with a large follower base to mention you, your followers will multiply overnight.
- Get friends of friends to follow you: This is an easy way to get a social media account off the ground. Getting your friends and their friends to follow you can get you your first 100 or so followers. Build on this initial base with the other points in this article.
- Treat your social media accounts like a brand: Your posts on social media have to be uniquely identifiable from the regular selfies, photos taken during hangouts and pictures of your pet that everyone else posts. Think of your accounts like a publishing brand. Find that thing that you do and do well and make it the point of your social media accounts. You could be a fitness buff posting motivational fitness tips or a photography geek giving tips on how to take that perfect selfie, capture a landscape or take group photos like a pro. Build your brand around what you’re good at and your followership will come from there.
- Know your target and post regularly: If you want to build the most social media followers, first know your target demographic and seek to post quality content with them in mind. When you post engaging content on a fairly regular basis, the result is a larger crowd that is interested in your brand and look forward to your posts. Think from the point of view of your audience and post content that will benefit them in some way. You don’t need a large budget to produce that steady stream of content. With a smartphone – which virtually everyone has – and the internet, you can take photos and find information that will interest any audience.
- Take advantage of hashtags: The entire point of hashtagging is to open up your social media posts up to a much wider audience. Hashtags show people interested in a particular subject matter the posts related to that subject. However, most people go overboard with hashtags and use dozens of them in a single post. Attempt to use hashtags intelligently and restrict the number in a single post to five, no more. Your hashtags should be relevant and interesting. Play around with different words to find suggestions for higher volume hashtags that have some comedic or entertainment value. Don’t be one of those people who look like they need lessons in hashtagging with every post they put up.
- Get outside your zone: While interesting posts concerning your niche are nice, you will miss out on opportunities to engage more people if that is all your social media updates are about. From time to time, try to go outside your zone by adding variety and posting more mainstream content.
- Interact with others: Find topics relevant to your interests and interact with people who have similar interests. This is one of the best ways to build your social media following. Don’t rely solely on the power of your own content to build a following. Attract new people, join bigger conversations you relate to and make yourself heard and seen. When you share your opinions and views, people begin to consider you as more of an authority in your field.