[373] How to get more followers on any social media platform

Want to sell more of your products or services online? Getting more of your ideal customers/clients to follow you on social media can help - a lot. 

But how do you increase your social media followers? Do you need to use different strategies for different social media platforms e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram? And how long does it take to grow your following on a particular platform? 

That’s exactly what I cover in this podcast episode. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode.}

1.Share compelling content 

Think about the people you follow on social media. The people whose posts always seem to pop up in your Facebook or Instagram feed. The accounts you actively check out to see what they've been posting lately. 

You don’t follow them because they post boring updates about their products/services. You follow them because they inspire, entertain or even challenge your thinking. In other words, they make you FEEL something. 

Now think about your own account. Are you posting compelling content that makes people feel something? Or are you putting out posts so you can tick social media off your to-do list. If you’re posting dull updates about your products/services, whimsical reflections about what you did at the weekend and/or 'must do' tips no one ever comments on, why would anyone want to follow you? 

If you’re not getting much engagement on your content - amongst the followers you already have - that’s a sign you need to change something. 

After all, if you can’t get the people who already know, like and trust you to comment on your content, why would anyone new want to follow you? 

For an example of someone who is publishing excellent social media content that inspires people to follow her, check out copywriter Jo Watson on LinkedIn.

Want to get more engagement on your social media posts? Check out my social media engagement playbook.

2. Don’t follow the rules 

If you’re trying to build your following on a particular platform, don’t feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing. In fact, sharing content that challenges the ‘norm’ can be a great way to stand out. 

For example, Baggage Reclaim founder Natalie Lue’s following on Instagram only really took off when she stopped worrying about ‘posting pretty pictures’ and starting posting hard-hitting quotes from her blog and podcast. As Instagram is a visual platform, this was a brave move on Natalie’s part - but doing the opposite of what everyone else was doing - and doing it consistently - is what helped her reach her first 10k followers.

3. Spend more time on other peoples’ accounts than on your own

What’s the first thing you do when someone new comments on one of your posts - a name you don’t recognise? You go and check out their profile of course. And that’s exactly what other people do when you comment on their content. They just can’t help but check you out. 

This is why something as simple as making a list of your ideal customers/clients and committing to spending half an hour a day commenting on their content can be so effective. 

Alternatively (or additionally) you can use the Gary Vee $1.80 strategy. 

  • Step one. Find the 10 most relevant hashtags in your niche and follow those hashtags
  • Step two. Reach out and comment on the top nine posts in each of the 10 hashtags
  • Step three. Continue to like and comment on posts each day

The $1.80 strategy gets its name because you’re giving your two cents on nine posts for 10 hashtags every day. If you add that up, it equals $1.80 per day.

4. Use hashtags on all your posts

As Chris Taylor explains in how to grow your Instagram following to 27k - fast, hashtags are like the index in the back of a non-fiction book. People search hashtags to find content on the most relevant topics to them - just like they would if they were looking something up in a non-fiction book.

While expert opinion varies, current advice commonly suggests that using up to 30 hashtags on Instagram (which is the maximum), three on LinkedIn, two on Facebook and two on Twitter is the optimum number. 

You could even create your own hashtag and awareness day like dog photographer Kerry Jordan did. This helped her go viral on Twitter.

5. Cross-promotion 

Running joint competitions can be a great way to get more followers. For example, dog photographer Kerry Jordan hosted a joint competition with Quirky Campers founder Lyndsey Berresford and added 1.5.k new email subscribers, along with tons of new social media followers, to her audience. 

6. Collaboration 

Creating content for or collaborating with other business owners e.g. guest blogging, podcast interviews, Facebook Lives, Instagram takeoevers can be a great way of getting in front of other peoples’ audiences. This will help you grow your social media following.

Be smart about who you collaborate with though. It’s best to target people with a similar or slightly larger audience than your own - ideally those who have a similar audience to you, but serve them in a different way. That way, there won’t be a conflict of interest.

If you do want to target the big hitters in your niche, think carefully about how you can add value to them. If they’ve already built a large online audience, they probably don’t need to get in front of your audience, so why would they want to collaborate with you? So before you ask, think carefully about what’s in it for them. If your ‘pitch’ is all about you - and what you hope to gain from the collaboration - they’re far less likely to say ‘yes.

7.Secure press coverage

Getting press coverage can be a great way to increase your online following. For example, Baggage Reclaim founder Natalie Lue gained 2k followers after she was featured in Cosmopolitan magazine recently.

However, stories like this tend to be the exception rather than the rule. While it’s rare to get thousands of followers from a single magazine article or radio/TV appearance, over time, regular press coverage will help you grow your following.

Find out: how to get press coverage for your business. 

8.Work with bloggers/influencers

Asking bloggers/influencers to promote your products/services can be a great way to grow your following. Ideally they need to have a larger audience than your own. But they don't need to have a massive audience for this to be effective. This can either be done on a paid basis or in exchange for free products/services.

Find out more about working with bloggers/influencers.

9. Speak at live events

Every time you stand up and speak in a room of your ideal customers/clients, you will attract new social media followers. So if you don't mind public speaking, why not give it a go?

Find out how to land more speaking opportunities.

10. Post the links to your social media channels everywhere

The more places you post the link to your social media profiles, the easier it will be for people to follow you. So make sure they’re on your email signature, website, any landing pages you create...and basically anywhere you show up online.

Podcast shownotes

  • Why you need to post engaging content that makes people feel something (2:48)
  • How to get followers by posting memorable, inspiring content (7:08)
  • Why your social media bio needs to be compelling and understandable (10:44)
  • Why you should break the ‘rules’ of the platform and post your own original content  (11:35)
  • Why you should spend time on other peoples’ social media accounts (19:59)
  • Hashtag strategies you can use to increase engagement and followers (25:05)
  • How to grow your followers by collaborating with other social media accounts (28:50)
  • How to use press coverage to get more followers (but it needs to be consistent coverage) (33:30)
  • How to work with influencers that have a bigger audience to reach new followers (37:34)
  • How speaking opportunities can help grow your social media following (40:11)
  • Where to put your social media platform links so that people can find you (40:29)
  • Why follower numbers are a vanity metric and sales and engagement are more important (40:54)
  • Why you need to build an engaged audience before using Facebook ads  (44:08)

Resources

John Espiran LinkedIn
Jo Watson LinkedIn

Natalie Lue Instagram
Simon Bourne LinkedIn
Cath Janes Facebook
Kate Lister LinkedIn
Neon Marl
Arii
Journo request

Five easy ways to get press coverage (blog)

[161] How to work with bloggers and influencers with Kat Molesworth (podcast)
[309] How to go viral on Twitter with Kerry Jordan  (podcast)
[329] What’s working on Facebook right now with Liz Melville (podcast)
[348] How to write social media posts that sell (podcast)
[358] 13 ideas for engaging social media posts (podcast)
[362] How to grow your Instagram to 27K- fast (podcast)
[363] Five ways to bust through an audience growth plateau (podcast)
[369] Why opinionated content works well for your Facebook page (and how to do it well) (podcast)
[370] How sharing personal experiences can boost engagement on your Facebook page (podcast)
[372] How to build an engaged online audience (podcast)

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