23 Mar Growing Social Media Followers: Businesses that do it better than you
Are you suffering from social media envy? It’s okay to admit that you sometimes browse the profiles of other brands and assume they must have a magical wand that instantly turns one follower in millions of followers. Of course, strategy trumps magic when it comes to successful social media marketing. We’ve compiled a list of tips from business owners and media managers who have mastered the art of social media.
One of the first things marketing majors learn is that everybody loves free stuff. Running a promotional contest or giveaway is a great way to engage current followers and attract new ones. An ideal contest event offers incentives for participants to share the contest with their friends on social media.
“Contests and giveaways are a great way to build brand awareness. My company Kitchen Cabinet Kings was looking for a way to grow our email list and social following to attract new customers and decided to run an iPad Mini giveaway on Facebook. To enter the contest, a user had to like our Facebook page and provide their email address. We gave bonus entries for referral link sign ups and following @CabinetKings on Twitter. Our most recent contest ran for two months and resulted in over 10,000 new email signups and Facebook likes, and over 1,000 new Twitter followers.”— Kitchen Cabinet Kings
What good is social media if you aren’t actually socializing with your followers? In addition to dishing out content, be sure to get a great conversation going. Feel free to use polls or invite followers to provide clever captions to photos to promote engagement on a personal level.
“We respond to customer comments about their trip to answer any questions or concerns they might have. We want to be a resource beyond just a rental company. We also invite customers to tag photos of their trips on Instagram. The customer experience is a huge priority to us. Posting our mantra, ‘Stay Warm and Look Hot’ spreads awareness of the brand as an outdoor clothing company with style. We’ve found it grows followers, converts new business and builds real connection with our customers.”— Kit Lender
Understand the Power of Collaboration
Teaming up with social influencers or a brand your customers respect can strengthen your own brand identity and increase your social reputation. Collaborations can come in the form of cross-promotional campaigns, guest blogging, or giveaways. Both your brand and the brand or influencer you collaborate with can gain exposure and credibility through this symbiotic arrangement.
“There is great strength in strong collaborations. When working with other brands we have to go into any project truly understanding that this is a business partnership no matter the length of time. We are working with others to help build our voice as well as our credibility in the space so we want to make sure who we are working with truly aligns with our brand DNA. Our brand taps into a new market of 89 million women ( those that watch / love collegiate sports ) so our collaborations have to directly speak to those that love the collegiate market.”— Pride & Glory
Ask Questions Often
Have you ever had to sit through a conversation where the other person never stopped talking long enough to ask how your day was going? This is what social media can feel like for a lot of customers. Be the brand that poses interesting questions to followers instead of the one that never stops talking.
“Far too often, we forget that social media is intended as a discussion, rather than just a proclamation of our own ideas and accomplishments. By engaging your audience in open conversation, you not only are able to draw more traffic to your page and gain more exposure, but you also give yourself an excellent forum to gather insight as to who your client is and how you can best serve their needs and desires. Rather than constantly posting about yourself, ask your audience fun questions, begin a discussion about an upcoming holiday or relevant news topic (but keep it on the less controversial side unless controversy suits your brand), discuss a memory and ask your audience to contribute memories and photos of their own. Remember to keep your business in mind, but that it doesn’t have to always be business 24/7. Appealing to the individual is much more powerful, makes your business look less corporate and more personal, actively engages your audience, and therefore increases their exposure to you!”— Amanda Picone Photography
Make Content an Asset
Curate information so your followers don’t have to. Instead of only posting content that you’ve created, create a dynamic experience for followers by sharing entertaining or relevant blogs and articles from other sources.
“By sharing articles and content from publishers relevant or similar to your brand, you benefit your social media platform immensely. First, it helps fill out your timeline, so that you’re providing content that isn’t exclusively about your product or service and is therefore more dynamic. You also demonstrate your relevance to your followers. At Yeeldr, we’re a tech-recruiting firm, and post about much more than just recruiting. The tech world is constantly evolving, and it’s necessary that we demonstrate our knowledge of trends and innovations. By doing so, we’re helping our followers stay ahead of the curve as well. Also, by reposting, we’re growing our community; when we retweet or share content from another outlet (giving source credit of course), those publishers not only take notice, but they may return the favor in trade, expanding our reach into their network.” — Yeeldr
Become a Knowledge Hub
The job of a small business or brand is to be that friend you can always count on to have the right information. Hinge your social content marketing strategy on providing and promoting useful content that people will want to share. Make a point to post carefully vetted tips and insights instead of merely promoting your product.
“Companies obsess over things like promotion and acquisition. However, adding value to the community is often neglected. Brands that invest on being the knowledge hub for their users can spend less on retention and achieve better business growth in the long run.”— CosplayShopper
Leverage Each Network’s Behavior
The behavior for each social network varies on how users utilize the platform to connect with their family, friends, and businesses. Twitter’s micro-blogging stream encourages real-time conversations and thought leadership, while Instagram fosters a younger story-telling community through sharing images and short clips. Leveraging a social channel by simply understanding it’s intended use and staying ahead of the changes and trends of its features, will help you lead your business or brand to further grow your engagement.
“When it comes to our social presence, we had a very simple strategy. Use the platform in which it was originally designed/created for. All too often marketers are trying to exploit existing/new social platforms without having a fundamental understanding of why their customers use it or why the platform was developed. Your customers are being sold in every direction from email, search, banners, direct mail, cold calls, etc. What makes you think they want to get sold on Facebook? They don’t. Sell them by attracting them; retain them by providing value thru inspirational, controversial, passionate and or comical content. Use these social networks the way they were designed and you will see true engagement.”— Fortina Pizza