Creative ways to build your business’s social media following

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There are many things working against a business on social media — thousands of other businesses fighting for people’s attention and those crazy algorithms. Plus, don’t forget that people aren’t on social media to follow your business; they’re there to follow their friends and make new ones.

How can a business compete? How can you help your business stand out, draw people in and make them want to continue following your brand?

Here are some creative ways to build your business’s social media following — a following you might eventually convert into loyal customers.

1. Share photos of the office on a typical day.

People love to see the inner-workings of a company. Share photos of the weekly staff meeting, the breakfast spread or employees hard at work. If team members are at a conference or other event, share those photos, too.

2. Highlight employees and team members.

Is it someone’s birthday or work anniversary? Share! Did something significant happen in their personal life (baby, marriage) they are willing to share on the business page?

Remember, people are on social media to learn about other people, and the people who work in your company are no exception.

3. Dig into Throwback Thursday.

I am a firm believer in the #TBT. Throwback Thursday creates an opportunity to post older photos. People often post baby or childhood pictures. A business can post old photos of the company’s office, staff or products — or even an old logo. You might even revisit old blogs or videos. A baby photo of the CEO would also go over well on social media.

4. Be a source of information.

Rather than sell, inform. You know your product better than anyone. You know everyone would benefit from using your product. Show you know what you’re talking about by being on top of trends, reports and other news pertaining to your industry. Then, share your thoughts (whether you agree or disagree) on what you are finding.

5. Don’t look at social media as marketing.

A business should not look at social media as direct marketing; it should be looked at as PR and relationship building. It supports other marketing. The goal of social media is not making the sale; it’s building relationships and helping people remember your business. And when you are that constant source of information we discussed above, your company will be the name people remember when they are looking to buy.

6. It’s OK to sell, too — sometimes.

If you have a special sale or contest coming up, by all means promote it on social media. Remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of content should be interesting and sharable; 20 percent should have direct calls-to-action.

Social media for business takes time, and having a plan is imperative. Incorporate these ideas, and you’ll be on your way to building your business’s social media following — one #TBT post at a time.

Dani Cutler
Dani Cutler is a freelance content marketer and podcaster, focusing on helping small businesses manage their social media campaigns and develop strategy. She also volunteers for 93.9 fm as the station’s midday announcer. Dani believes telling stories helps engage an audience, whether personally or professionally, and that creating relationships is the path to creating a successful business.