I have to admit out of all the aspects of Internet Marketing, I don't really work at getting followers on social media for my own company other than pushing content; But I do social media for my client companies and manage people who do as well. So these are the top 10 things that professional social media managers have told me they use to get followers.
But first, why should you want "followers"? Well because followers automatically get your great content when you push it out to your social media pages in their feed and therefore, you will get more reads, likes, and shares which improves your SEO and rankings with google and other search engines.
Social media followers also improve your overall brand loyalty and that is important because people are smart, they follow the herd, which in many cases gives them price advantages and support advantages. They know their vendor of choice is going to be around for a long time because a lot of people follow them; Interconnectivity isn't going to be an issue because we are all following the same format.
So now that you know why you want them, here's how to get followers. There are a lot more social media out there, but I cover the biggest 4 in this article: Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Top 10 Ways to Get Followers on Social Media
1) Push Out Great Content via Your Social Media Pages
What do I mean by that? A good place to create content is to start with a blog. Then every time you publish a new article, go across the top of it and "like" or share it via all your social media accounts. Marketing Automation Software will also push it automatically to your company pages.
A good way to get followers is to publish articles where people of similiar interest are expecting to find content of the kind you publish. For example, if you go to Reddit dot com or tumblr and you choose "sports" you can publish and article about baseball, under"travel about your trip to St. Thomas, under "marketing" an article about how to get followers on social media. You'll definitely get more new followers and likes.
2) Have Company Employees Follow Your Content via Social Media They Participate In, Make Comments, and Like
Ask all your employees to follow you on social media. Then, every time you publish a blog article, send a company-wide email with a link embedded to the blog article and ask all your employees to share it via all the social media channels they belong to. After all, your employees interact with your customers; And who is more interested in what you have to say that your employees and your customers?
This will not only improve your rankings for your target keywords, because google gives credit for articles with "likes" and shares, but it will also cause more people to "like" and share it because all of your employees' friends and family will see it. And there is something about an article that has gotten a lot of likes that will get you more likes. We are all sheep folks, baaahhh!
An offer I did this week to increase my followers on Linkedin, and get new customers, was very simple. I posted on facebook that I would give a free internet marketing evaluation and recommendations to people who followed me on Linkedin. I more than doubled my Linkedin followers in one day.
4) Paid Advertisements
Paid Advertisements On Facebook
I wanted the offer I mentioned in the paragraph above to stay on the top of the facebook feed, so when all my personal friends logged in, it would be at the top of their feed so they would see it. Facebook is trickier for companies that sell B2B products and services. While I have gotten business referrals for jobs from facebook simply because people who know me know what I do because I push content to facebook, in general, people are on facebook to relax. So often business posts go without getting the "likes" to keep you at the top. But if you will pay just $6.99 for a day your offer will stay at the top of the feed of Everyone you are connected to and you will get more traction on your offers.
Paid Advertisements on Linkedin
You can also pay for advertising on Linkedin. That can be tricky too. It may not get you business unless people expect to shop on Linkedin for what you are offering.
In example, I went out to speak with a VAR of PBX SaaS who was looking to hire my services and he asked me if I thought a Linkedin Ad would get him business. I told him instinctively that it probably wouldn't. He confirmed I was right, he had tried it and it hadn't yielded him anything, but it didn't cost him anything either because Linkedin didn't charge him since he didn't get any response to his ad. So that is always an option, give what you sell a whirl by trying it out on Linkedin and get your money back if it doesn't work.
There are a lot better ways to sell things that Linkedin Ads don't work for, via the internet, and I can outline those for you in great detail, just give me a call.
Paid Advertisements on Twitter
Recently ran an ad campaign on Twitter. I only checked the boxes for "Marketing" and "Technology" for demographics, and the 17 articles I chose to push for my campaign were all targeted toward that kind of audience. I received about 8 new followers a day, but only about 10% of them seemed to be in my target demographics.
The Dark Side of Social Media, Thousands of Followers for Just Hundreds of Dollars
I also just received an email from a company offering me thousands of twitter followers for $20 and also for the other social medias. I have never done that, all the 750 people who follow me on linkedin and the 500 who follow me on facebook know me and know my work. When I interview people make comments about other people who have lots of social media followers, I have to mention that you can buy thousands of followers for Hundreds of dollars. Not sure that 1000s of people who aren't in your target demographic and are selling their tweets for pennies are going to be the right audience for the B2B and B2C tech products that I market.
5) Put Social Follow-Me Icons Everywhere
Make it easy for people to follow your company. The little icons that look like a blog rss feed, "f" for facebook, a bird for twitter, a "p" for pinterest and "in" for linked in should be on your emails and all your employees emails, on the top of your blog so when people are drawn in to your blog content, they can quickly click to follow you, and they should be on all your web pages. They are sometimes called follow-me widges in the "biz".
6) Twitter Follow-Me Fridays #FF
All of Bay Area Inbound's Twitter followers just started following me because they saw our content on twitter and liked it. But a trick I heard recently from a full-time social media manager is to do "Follow Me Fridays" on Friday, of course. You follow 5 people in your industry and they will hopefully follow you back. Post it as: "Follow-me Fridays" and follow with hashtag #FF. And when you do it, people in your mutual industry will see you following and will follow you back.
I read recently that there are click farms out there that you can pay to get followers. But the article also said google is cracking down and can tell when they have been used so will rank your site lower if they were used to like or share a page, which is the opposite of the desired affect. Glad I have never done anything black-hat like that. It is reminiscent of the old trick of buying inbound links, which google cracked down on a long time ago and will demote your site rankings for doing it.
7) Linkedin Chat Groups That are Relevant to Your Industry
Joining a chat group that is relevant to your industry and "starting provocative conversations" will get you followers. My idea of "provocative conversation" is someone who gives me tips of how to do my job better or earn my company more money. In other words thought provoking or educational tips will cause people to follow you to learn more from you.
I've got to spend some time on this. I certainly give away a lot of the pearls of wisdom through my blog, why not give them away to get followers who will then regularly see my blog articles and offers in their social media feed!
8) Simple Linkedin Post
This week I also did a simple post on the main feed of Linkedin in which I uploaded my "Bay Area Inbound Marketing Consultants" logo and added this text: "Follow for the latest on how to drive traffic to your website, capture warm leads, and nurture them towards sales."
I got a couple of "likes" and a couple of followers from that post I believe, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was contacted by a recruiter or company for a new job every day for 6 days in a row after I posted it. Wow, I ought to do that more often. I even had a person who works in my industry refer me to friend of hers who was recruiting for a Director of Demand Gen position at another company.
In my opinion Linkedin is very effective for B2B. A colorful logo with a straightforward message that solves the customer's pain points will always get noticed and get results.
9) Pinterest Following
Join or follow boards of people in similiar market segment and hopefully they will follow you back. To get a following on pinterest, just pin, pin, pin great content. People with similar interests will see your pins and if they like enough of what they see, they will follow you.
There is a mechanism to look up all your contacts via Pinterest's auto contact finder to invite them to follow you. It is a little trickier than facebook or Linkedin because you can only invite 3 people at a time to follow you.
Also, once your personal pinterest account is connected to an email or a facebook auto-lookup list, for example, you cannot go back in and create a business account and access that same email list to invite followers to your business page. But you can convert what was once a personal pinterest account into a business account, just make sure the content you have pinned is relevant to your target customers.
10) Ask People to Follow you via Facebook's Auto Follower Finder, Linkedin Doesn't Have One, Twitter, and Email Your Friends
Just as with Pinterest, Facebook has an automatic way to send an invite to all your email contacts, they support several email programs. And unlike Pinterest, facebook will let you blast everyone an invitation to follow your page at the same time by checking the box next to their picture.
Linkedin on the other hand is structured differently than most social media, you always have to start with a personal account, and you can build a business account but your login is always personal. So you can't auto-lookup people and mass email to your Linkedin contacts to advertise your business page.
For Twitter, you just look up anyone you want to follow, and hit follow, it's a free-for-all. You don't need permission. People follow you whether you want them to or not. Often when you follow people they will follow you back and that includes your business page.
Bonus: Post Content Where Like-Minded People Will Find It on Tumblr, Reddit, Linkedin Groups, or Facebook Groups To Get More Followers
There are places where you can go to find people who have already declared what interests them, you just need to post to these places to get more followers. In example Tumblr, Reddit, Linkedin Groups, and Facebook Groups. Very easy to pick up a follower in one of these forums where you know they are definitely interested in the topic you are posting blog articles about.
Last, but not least, the most obvious way to get followers is to just ask your friends and family to follow you. Sadly, this is where a lot of people start and stop their strategy for getting social media followers.
Hope these tips will work for you and admittedly I need to spend more time on them for my own company as well. I assure you these tips always work when I do them, or have someone else do them, for my clients! And my goal is to put more hours into working on my own company's social media followers as well.
Do you have any tips for me that I didn't mention?
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