A large social media following of engaged potential customers is the goal for many businesses, but how do you go about attracting new followers?
Getting new social media followers can be a challenge, particularly if you’re just starting out on a platform.
These techniques should help attract followers who are interested in your business and what you have to say.
1 Connect with existing customers
If you already have existing customers, make sure they know where they can connect with you on social media. You can do this by including links to your social media profiles on your website and in any emails you send.
Connecting with existing customers on social media lets you share your content with them and gives people new ways to interact with your business. Plus, it increases the chances that happy customers will sing your praises to their followers.
Also, if you include links to your social profiles on your website, potential customers who aren’t ready to buy yet have another way to stay in touch with your business.
2 Engage with people
Interaction is a crucial part of social media, so make sure that you’re engaging with people.
The bare minimum is replying to people who use your social media profiles to contact you, but there are also other ways you should be interacting. These include:
Engaging with people who mention your brand, but don’t directly contact you
Monitor mentions of your brand on social media to see what people are talking about you. If someone has had a bad experience, get in touch to see what you can do to help. If they’ve had a good experience, thank them for their kind words.
Joining conversations between people talking about issues where you have expertise
Identify areas where you can help and then seek out conversations about those topics. A good way to do this is by researching which hashtags and keywords are used when talking about these areas.
By monitoring the right hashtags and keywords, you’ll be able to jump in with helpful advice whenever you can.
Building relationships with people and organizations who can help you grow your online profile
If you can identify people and organizations who have a large following and build a relationship with them, there’s a chance they’ll help you attract more social media followers by amplifying you and your content.
We’ll talk more about identifying influencers later in the article.
3 Make a content plan
Building up social media followers can take time. That can be discouraging, and many businesses give up on social media because of it.
By making a content plan that lasts for at least three months, you’ll make sure that you’ve got a regular flow of posts and you’re less likely to run out of steam.
Remember: if you’re not posting content on social media, there’s no reason for people to follow you.
A good content plan should focus on the needs and interests of the audience you’re trying to reach. You should also avoid planning too many promotional posts. Aim for one promotional post for every four general posts when you’re starting out. You can always adjust this as you learn more about how people respond to your posts.
Once you’ve got a content plan in place, you can schedule your content using a tool like Buffer – that way if you’re not able to get on social media for a while, you’ll still be posting.
You can learn more about developing a social media content plan in this guide.
4 Identify influencers
A great way to get new social media followers for your business is by teaming up with people who already have a strong presence on your chosen platform.
These people are known as influencers. They might have millions of followers or they might have thousands, what matters is that they command the attention of the audience you’re trying to reach.
The idea is that you build a relationship with relevant influencers and they share your content, which in turn brings you to the attention of people who are interested in what you do.
Not only will this help you get new social media followers, but it can even help you make sales.
You can learn how to find influencers and build relationships with them in this guide.
5 Run giveaways
Giving something away via your social media accounts can help you reach new followers.
Done right, it can be a low-cost way to get social media followers who are interested in what you do.
Make sure that whatever it is you give away is aimed at attracting the kind of person who would be interested in your business. That way, any new followers you attract are more likely to stick around.
You’ll also need to make sure that you run your giveaway within the rules of the social network you’re using.
You can learn more about marketing with giveaways in this guide. This guide talks more about running social media competitions.
6 Use paid advertising
Paid social media advertising can be an effective way to gain new followers, but you’ll probably want to use it in conjunction with some of the other methods we’ve talked about here.
For example, paid advertising could help expand the reach of a giveaway, allowing you to reach people who otherwise might not have heard about your campaign.
The key to good social media advertising is targeting. You need to make sure that your ads reach people who are your potential customers, so make sure you understand your target audience before you start a campaign.
This guide explains more about how to get started with social media advertising.
7 Use eye-catching, branded imagery
Imagery is important on every social network, and it’s crucial on Instagram and Pinterest.
Make sure your content plan includes visual content, particularly if you’re in a sector which lends itself to strong imagery, such as fashion.
You should also ensure your imagery is branded, so people can see at a glance that your business is behind a particular image.
You can learn more about creating strong social media images in this guide.
Bonus tip: You can use GoDaddy Studio to help create social media images that look great and help define your brand. If you’re a GoDaddy Website Builder customer, then it's already part of your package.
Starting a new social media profile can feel like an uphill struggle but, with planning and persistence, it’s possible to build a significant following of people who are interested in what you have to say.
The best way to get new social media followers is by understanding the people you want to reach, planning content that will appeal to them and being prepared to keep going even when it feels like no one is listening.
If you need more help, check out this guide on how to create a social media marketing strategy.