You’ve created social media accounts for your business, but how do you actually get people to follow your page? Social media followers are potential loyal customers and advocates for your business. Ninety percent of shoppers say they buy from businesses and brands they follow on social media. A major focus of your social media marketing strategy should be growing your followers and cultivating your existing ones. This will help you increase your audience reach, boost engagement, and build a loyal following. We’ve outlined steps businesses should take to do just that.
You will attract new followers with content that engages and adds value. Consider content that is:
- Helpful Useful tips and tricks go a long way with followers, and they have high reach potential – meaning followers may send it to friends or reshare it by posting it to their Facebook page, Instagram stories, or retweeting.
- Thought-Provoking Anything that gets followers to leave a comment on your posts is well worth a shot, so ask questions. Does your company install micro-markets? Ask followers what their must-have snack is. Coffee service providers can ask “Do you prefer flavored or traditional roast coffees?” The options are endless.
- Exclusive Give followers the advantage of hearing exciting announcements first on your social media page. This can include sales, new product offerings, or exciting business updates. You don’t need one type of content to work for everyone; try experimenting to discover what works best for your audience.
- Visually Pleasing Some people just love a good aesthetic and seek that during their daily social media scroll-throughs. Remember each post is part of the same story!
- Entertaining You can’t go wrong with a good meme. They’re easy to create and easily editable so that you can make them relevant to your business’s offering.
Follow Relevant Businesses
Following the social media accounts of potential customers in your area can serve as a great discovery tool. They’ll most likely follow your business in return, and this will help your page get suggested to their followers too. However, there are likely other prospects not even on your radar. We suggest partnering with your local Chamber of Commerce to get access to the names of decision-makers and notified of new businesses coming to your area. Following community organizations, especially those you support can also serve as a discovery tool. By liking and commenting on their posts, you’ll catch the eye of potential customers – and stay top of mind when they are ready to make a purchase.
Partner With Your Suppliers
In addition to following relevant businesses, you should follow your suppliers and partner with them to curate your social media posts. Brands have a wealth of pre-made graphics they are willing to share. This will ensure you use high-quality content that’s engaging and consistent. It also makes it easy for brands to feature you in their own content, which can lead to more exposure and more followers for your business.
Another strategy is to encourage user-generated content. This popular tactic involves reposting content created by customers. User-generated content (UGC) can include photos, videos, and product reviews that speak to the quality of your business’ products or customer service.
By rewarding customers with the possibility of reposting, UGC encourages engagement and exposure. For you to see their content, make sure they tag your account or incorporate your branded hashtag in their posts. This simple process introduces you to their followers, who could soon become yours.
Try commenting on the posts of other businesses or individuals in your community. You can answer questions, leave a helpful tip, or just provide some kind words. When people see your comments, they may be inclined to check out your page and eventually follow you. You can search for people and places by location using Facebook and LinkedIn.
Include Your Social Media Links on Everything
If possible, make sure that non-social media touchpoints can be used to access your social media accounts. Website pages, email campaigns, and other digital assets should include direct, functioning links to your channels. Run a micro-market? Tangible items like receipts or shopping bags can include your social media handles, too.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Give users a way to find you based on their interests, because there’s usually an intention to follow with hashtag searches. Use the names of your products and services, as well as popular terminology among your target audience (think #coffeebreak) to boost your chance of catching a potential follower’s eye.
Use Location Tags
This is another quick and easy way for people to find your page. Many people search by location — specifically cities — to find new businesses in their area. Others may search by location to find additional content of interest. Using location tags can be a powerful tactic, requires minimal effort, and helps increase traffic to your business. To stand out among the competition, ramp up your strategy by adding a location to your posts and stories.
Contests and giveaways are great for boosting engagement and gaining followers. To enter a giveaway, one must follow you, “like” the giveaway post, and tag a friend (or several) in the comments. It’s possible that some of those tagged friends will be interested in your content and follow you. Running a contest after an install for VendBucks or micro-market credits is one idea that’s easy to conduct. It will help drive traffic to your social pages, as well as the potential to increase sales.
Some other techniques to incentivize new followers include offering freebies or perks for proof of a follow. One idea is to hold a coffee tasting event and offer a free danish or pack of donuts to any employee that follows your business on social media. Be sure to have signage that includes your social handles, so it will be easier for those on-site to find and follow you.
Now that you have some ideas for content to post, you need to make sure it’s posted on a consistent basis. A sporadic posting schedule can put people off, because how valuable can your content be if it’s only posted once every few weeks? On a more technical level, consistency plays a big role in how algorithms determine what content your followers will see. To put it simply, consistent posting leads to consistent engagement and new follower growth, which is the goal.