Ten ways to increase your social audience

Congratulations — you did it! You made the commitment to launching social media pages to promote your business and now you’re live. There’s just one problem: you have no followers.

Whether you’re new to social media or are simply slow to gain fans, it can be frustrating to invest in the development of content that earns your business little to no pay-off. If you’re ready to grow your social following, improve online engagement and start seeing ROI on your efforts, consider these ten techniques:

  1. Follow first.
    Before you can be followed, you must follow. Do a little research into which of your current and potential customers, partners, friends and colleagues are using social media, and then follow them. Chances are good they’ll follow you back. Don’t forget to engage with them once they do to keep them around. Insider tip: In addition to following people and pages, you can now also subscribe to lists on Twitter and follow hashtags on Instagram.
  2. Add those icons everywhere.
    Before you send an e-newsletter, populate it with your social icons. The same holds true for your website, invoices, letters, e-mail signature and any other company communication. Constant reminders help to build a fan base.
  3. Engage with fans.
    Like, share and reply to your fans to increase your online engagement and maintain your fan base. Followers like businesses that respect the two-way relationship of social media.
  4. Post quality content frequently.
    It’s not important that your posts always be funny, but it is critical that your content be engaging, helpful and frequently published. Spend a little time crafting messages that connect you to the right audiences. And, because social media is a visual environment, be sure to always include images.
  5. Use tags.
    When possible, use appropriate hashtags to allow users to find your content. You’ll also want to tag other businesses, media, customers, partners and friends when you can to encourage their followers to like you, too.
  6. Post exclusive content.
    If you manage a channel that is less popular than others, consider posting exclusive content to it. Then draw attention to the page from company communications and your other social channels.
  7. Cross-promote channels.
    While on the topic, there is no shame in promoting your full suite of social options across all your channels. As an example, encourage your Facebook fans to like you on Twitter, and vice versa. To learn which channels are best for your business, click here.
  8. Freebies. Giveaways. Contests — Oh my!
    Businesses on Instagram and Facebook are notorious for holding contests that give away swag to those who like their posts or follow their pages. Think about creative ways to adopt this technique for your business. Bonus: You may gain customers in addition to followers.
  9. Check the timing.
    Not all publishing times are equal. Check out this handy guide for the best posting times and days across social channels. Be sure to experiment to see what works best for your audiences.
  10. Promote posts.
    Boosting posts, even inexpensively, can really expand the reach of your content and grow your audiences. Don’t be scared to try a few campaigns targeting people’s specific interests and strategic locations to quickly increase your fan base.
  11. Give it time.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day. Continue your efforts and be patient. Your hard work will pay off!

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