How to Build Your Audience on Social Networks
Now that you have your social media profiles set up and ready to go, it’s time to start building your audience of followers. But how, exactly, does this happen, and what does it entail for you as a business owner?
In this article, we’ll cover a few different ways you can attract new followers to your social media profiles so that you can stay in touch and encourage first-time and repeat business.
Link to Your Social Accounts from Your Online Properties
The easiest way to gain followers is to make sure visitors to your online properties know you’re on social. Make sure to include links on your website, blog, and online listings pages. For consumers who already know and love you, all it takes is a visual reminder that you’re on social to prompt them to connect with you.
Include Your Social Handles and Links in Every Email You Send
Whether you’re sending an email to a business vendor or a current customer, you should be including links to your social media profiles. Most businesses include these links in the header or footer of their email templates.
Ask Customers During a Transaction
If someone has made a purchase, you know they’re interested in what you do and would likely be interested in what you have to say. You can verbally ask people to follow you on social during a transaction, or put a reminder card in their bag or on their receipt.
Post Great Content on a Regular Schedule
The more content you post, and the more valuable people find your content, the more likely you’ll be to gain new followers. This happens in two ways: current followers can share your posts with others, or social network engines can recommend your posts to other users based on your content (hashtags often contribute to this discovery method on networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Google+).
Engage in Conversation
In addition to posting your own great content, it’s important to take time to engage with your followers and comment on other peoples’ posts. The more you interact with others, the more meaningful your presence will be—and with shared activity on networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, the conversations you have with your followers may be promoted to other non-followers, giving you the opportunity to gain new likes and follows.
Run Contests and Sweepstakes
Social advertising comes in a variety of formats and flavors, but contests and sweepstakes tend to be a more effective type of promotion to run because readers have the chance to get something in return for their follow. While there’s always a chance that some people will follow you just for the chance to win something, the majority of online users won’t like or follow a page unless they’re interested in what you do.
The Bottom Line
Making sure that it’s easy for potential followers to discover your social channels—and making sure you provide relevant, interesting content once they get there—will ensure that your follower count keeps growing month over month. Engaging in real conversations with your followers will help them stay engaged once they become part of your network.