Social media growth seems really easy to us as individuals, especially when we first join a platform. We share photos of our food and our pets. We’ll check in at our favourite restaurants. We tweet to our favourite celebrities and sometimes participate in Twitter chats. It’s so simple to just post a few updates across our profiles.
But what if we want to experience growth in each profile?
That simplicity isn’t going to help if you want to really grow your followers.
Some things to consider before:
- Why do we want social media growth?
- What is our following like right now?
- What would we like our following to be?
- Do we have a timeline in mind for that to happen?
Why do you want social media growth?
Do you want a bigger following because you’re in business and want to be able to reach more potential customers? Maybe you have a cause or event coming up and you want to gain visibility. What are you wanting to promote? Whatever the reason, having a reason will help you to stay motivated with growing your presence.
The key to true social media success is definitely consistency. If you aren’t posting at least daily, you aren’t active enough in your efforts.
I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram and Twitter. I think it’s because so many people are focused on the quantity of followers and not the quality. On these platforms, it’s common to be advised to follow all the BIG accounts, and then the followers of those accounts in the hopes of gaining massive followers for themselves.
That’s not quality growth.
Follow accounts that share quality, interesting information or people that you’d like to connect with at some point. It’s also smart also like to keep track of who isn’t following you back, through apps like Crowdfire (no longer works with Instagram) and Followers for Instagram. It’s not fun to follow someone back and discover shortly after that they’ve unfollowed you (this happens way too frequently).
However, posting consistency is, and will always be, KEY.
1. Where does your account stand right now?
In order to get to where you’re going, you need to start out with knowing where you are. This might involve taking some notes about your social media profiles:
Identify the profile you want to start with, and take a look at some of your analytics. For this example, we’re going to use Twitter.
This is just an example, but looking at this graph, you can see what days earned the most impressions and engagement. Twitter analytics also show you what days and times are the most popular, and what your tweets were. All of this information is helpful because now you can write down what tweets were most popular, and the dates and times that are best to post updates. You should definitely be making notes about this because you’ll be using this information later.
2. How much growth are you aiming for (and by when)?
Knowing how much you want to grow your following by gives you a basic goal to reach. Having some sort of deadline will give you focus and give you a measuring tool. Whether you meet the goal by your deadline or not, it plays an important part in your social media planning, letting you make adjustments if necessary. Aiming for 200% growth in two weeks, while not unfathomable, it’s also not realistic unless you have 10 followers at the moment. Start with small goals and watch your progress as you go.
3. Identify your ideal follower
Let’s look again at your analytics and let’s click on some stuff! Let’s find out who is engaging with you.
- Who is retweeting?
- What kind of followers are commenting?
- Who is liking your tweets?
- What is your online voice with your most engaged tweets?
- What type of content are you sharing that gets the most interaction?
- Does your profile’s bio give potential followers enough reason to follow you?
So, by now you know what kind of tweets your followers are engaging with most, and you’ve identified your ideal follower. You’ve also begun following more people like your ideal follower.
Are you interacting with them, or just following them?
People like people. Social media is supposed to be social, and being on a computer or on a mobile phone shouldn’t make a difference when it comes to being social. Talk to your followers. Comment on their tweets. Like their tweets. Show them the love by retweeting their tweets. Answer questions. Start conversations. Mention other followers. Be human and interact.
This all boils down to building relationships.
5. Set up a schedule/Automate Your Tweets
Obviously, complaints about your product should be answered one-on-one with every intention of helping the customer out. These tweets should not be part of your automation.
Setting up automation with one of many of the great options out there is a great idea for planning your topics and sharing at your ideal tweeting times. You know when the best times to tweet are because you’ve done your research.
Use keywords and hashtags relevant to your business in your Twitter bio. When people search Twitter for those keywords, BOOM! Your profile will show up in search listings.
7. Use images
Tweets and posts with images get more engagement than those without. This is important. What kinds of images can you use? Photos of:
- events you’re sponsoring or participating in
PicMonkey and Canva are great, free imaging tools you can use. Click here for a basic rundown of how Canva works.
8. Let people know how to follow you
Put your social media links on everything. Your website, your business cards/pamphlets, email signatures, guest blog posts, promotional items for your business.
9. Don’t retreat from being social
Once you start, you can’t stop. Literally. If you want to reach your social media growth goals, you have to put in the time to keep at it. It doesn’t have to take long. Ten minutes checking Twitter, retweeting a few things that catch your interest, answering some tweets that clients have asked questions in, and liking a few tweets here and there go a long way to making sure your followers know you’re still involved.
10. You’re on your way
By now, you have a good handle of how to stay engaged on social media, and your follower numbers should be increasing. To keep this social media growth trend on the up and up, continue to check in on your analytics, and once in awhile, reevaluate who your ideal follower is… trends change. So do interests. Staying ahead of those trends will do wonders in growing your audience now, and long into the future.