Social media was once just something fun to engage with. But now (and for some time), social media is a branding and marketing tactic that every business should be using. You may think that in order to manage your social media successfully, you need to hire a millennial influencer with over 10,000 followers. But the truth is, anyone can be a social media content creator with a solid following.
You just have to go about it the right way.
Doing so entails really investing in your social strategy, including having a social media calendar and guidelines for your team, or social point person, to follow. In this blog post, I’ll list some tips growing your social media following the au natural way. Here’s to becoming your own social media influencer!
1. Establish Your Brand and Aesthetic
Your company branding is one of the first things you establish when you start your business. With that said, your social media accounts should reflect that branding. You want to keep everything cohesive so that your brand is easily identifiable among your audience. This means making sure your posts center on a specific niche or industry as well. You want to create a platform that is reliable for tips and input within a specific area, as people interested in that area will learn to rely on you.
Make sure you include your company logo as your profile page image and use your branding colors to highlight your profiles where it makes sense. It also doesn’t hurt to have your company mission statement somewhere where your followers can easily read it.
2. Designate Content for Each Channel
Each social media channel has its own kind of messaging. Twitter is great for sharing real-time content quickly and getting news updates. But you wouldn’t necessarily share everything you’re tweeting on LinkedIn. Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow when deciding what to publish on which channels:
Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform that encourages real-time conversations and concise messaging. To effectively engage with the Twitter audience, it’s important to create content that aligns with the platform’s unique characteristics and user preferences. Here are some content ideas that work well on Twitter:
- News and Updates: Twitter is often used as a platform for breaking news, updates, and timely information. Share industry news, company updates, or relevant trends to keep your audience informed. Add value by providing insights, analysis, or your perspective on the news.
- Thought Leadership and Expertise: Showcase your expertise and establish yourself or your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Share insights, tips, or advice related to your niche. Engage in discussions, answer questions, and participate in relevant Twitter chats or hashtags to demonstrate your knowledge and credibility.
- Engaging Visuals: While Twitter is primarily a text-based platform, incorporating visuals can enhance engagement. Share eye-catching images, infographics, or GIFs to grab attention and make your tweets more visually appealing.
- Bite-Sized Tips and Advice: Twitter’s character limit challenges you to provide valuable information in a concise manner. Share bite-sized tips, quick advice, or actionable insights that resonate with your audience. Use numbered lists, bullet points, or concise statements to convey your message effectively.
- Quotes and Inspirational Messages: Inspire your audience by sharing motivational quotes, inspiring messages, or thought-provoking statements. These can resonate with your followers and encourage engagement through likes, retweets, and replies.
- Polls and Surveys: Twitter offers a built-in polling feature that allows you to create interactive content. Ask questions, run polls, or conduct surveys to gather insights, spark conversations, and engage your audience. Encourage followers to share their opinions or experiences in the replies.
- Behind-the-Scenes Content: Offer a glimpse behind the scenes of your brand or share candid moments that give your audience a more personal connection. This could include sneak peeks of upcoming projects, team photos, or casual behind-the-scenes videos.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage user participation by sharing and highlighting user-generated content related to your brand. Repost and showcase positive customer reviews, testimonials, or creative content created by your followers. This can help build a sense of community and loyalty.
- Engage in Conversations: Twitter is a platform designed for conversations. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, mentioning others, and participating in relevant discussions. Actively listen, provide value, and foster meaningful interactions.
- Hashtag Campaigns: Utilize relevant hashtags to join or start conversations around specific topics, events, or campaigns. Create branded hashtags to encourage user participation and amplify your reach. Use trending hashtags to increase the visibility of your content and engage with a wider audience.
Facebook is a versatile social media platform that allows for various types of content. To effectively engage with the Facebook audience, it’s important to create content that aligns with the platform’s characteristics and user preferences. Here are some content ideas that work well on Facebook:
- Engaging Visual Content: Share visually appealing images, graphics, or videos that catch the attention of Facebook users as they scroll through their news feeds. High-quality visuals can help make your content stand out and generate higher engagement rates.
- Informative Blog Posts and Articles: Facebook is a suitable platform for sharing longer-form content such as blog posts or articles. Create informative and valuable content that educates and entertains your audience. Share the article link along with a compelling introduction or a teaser to encourage users to click and read.
- Live Videos: Facebook’s live video feature allows you to connect with your audience in real-time. Host live Q&A sessions, interviews, product demos, or behind-the-scenes glimpses to foster engagement and interaction. Live videos often generate higher reach and engagement as they are prioritized in the news feed.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage your audience to create and share content related to your brand. This can include testimonials, reviews, photos, or videos of customers using your products or services. UGC helps build trust, authenticity, and a sense of community.
- Contests and Giveaways: Host contests, sweepstakes, or giveaways to encourage user participation and engagement. Ask users to comment, like, share, or submit content to enter. These activities help increase brand visibility, generate excitement, and foster a sense of reward for your audience.
- Behind-the-Scenes Content: Share behind-the-scenes content that provides a glimpse into your company culture, team members, or day-to-day operations. This humanizes your brand and helps build a connection with your audience.
- Seasonal and Holiday Content: Capitalize on holidays, seasons, or special events by creating content that resonates with the festive spirit. Share themed posts, offer special promotions or create interactive content related to the occasion.
- Infographics and Data Visualizations: Use infographics or data visualizations to present complex information or statistics in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format. This type of content is highly shareable and can help establish your brand as an authoritative source of information.
- Facebook Stories: Utilize the Stories feature on Facebook to share ephemeral content that disappears after 24 hours. Use Stories to offer quick updates, share behind-the-scenes moments, conduct polls, or provide exclusive content to your followers.
- Community Engagement: Facebook is a platform where users seek community and connections. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, answering questions, and participating in discussions. Encourage conversation by posing questions, seeking opinions, or asking for feedback.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that focuses on business-related content and industry insights. To effectively engage with the LinkedIn audience, it’s important to create content that aligns with the platform’s professional nature and user preferences. Here are some content ideas that work well on LinkedIn:
- Thought Leadership and Industry Insights: LinkedIn is an ideal platform for sharing your expertise and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Share valuable insights, trends, or analyses related to your niche. Offer unique perspectives or actionable advice that can benefit your professional network.
- Professional Blog Posts and Articles: LinkedIn’s publishing platform allows you to share longer-form content, such as blog posts or articles, directly on the platform. Create in-depth, well-researched content that educates and inspires your connections. Focus on topics that are relevant to your industry and provide valuable information or solutions.
- Professional Achievements and Milestones: Celebrate your professional achievements, milestones, or successes with your LinkedIn network. Share updates about promotions, new certifications, awards, or speaking engagements. This helps showcase your expertise and reinforces your personal brand.
- Career Advice and Tips: LinkedIn is a platform where professionals seek career development and growth. Share career advice, job search tips, interview tips, or strategies for professional advancement. Help others in their professional journey and foster engagement through insightful discussions.
- Case Studies and Success Stories: Share real-life examples of how your products, services, or solutions have benefited your clients or customers. Highlight the challenges faced, the strategies implemented, and the positive outcomes achieved. This demonstrates your credibility and the value you bring to your industry.
- Engage in Industry Discussions: Participate in relevant industry discussions, group conversations, or LinkedIn forums. Share your opinions, insights, or ask thought-provoking questions to spark meaningful conversations with your professional network. Engaging in discussions can help you expand your network and gain visibility within your industry.
- Company Updates and News: Share updates about your company’s achievements, new product launches, partnerships, or company culture. Showcasing your company’s success and sharing news relevant to your industry helps strengthen your brand presence and attracts potential business opportunities.
- Professional Events and Webinars: Inform your LinkedIn connections about upcoming industry events, conferences, or webinars. Share information about your participation and speaking engagements, or provide valuable resources related to the event. This positions you as an active participant in your industry and encourages engagement from your network.
- Visual Content: Incorporate visuals such as infographics, charts, or slides to present data, statistics, or key insights. Visual content can capture attention and make your posts more engaging and shareable.
- Networking and Collaboration Opportunities: Utilize LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your industry, build relationships, and seek collaboration opportunities. Share collaboration ideas, seek partners for projects, or offer your expertise to others. LinkedIn is a platform that fosters professional connections and networking.
Instagram is a highly visual social media platform that emphasizes photos and videos. To effectively engage with the Instagram audience, it’s important to create visually appealing and engaging content. Here are some content ideas that work well on Instagram:
- High-Quality Visuals: Instagram is a visual platform, so focus on creating high-quality and captivating images or videos. Use professional photography, eye-catching designs, and compelling visuals that grab attention as users scroll through their feeds.
- Behind-the-Scenes Sneak Peeks: Offer a behind-the-scenes look at your brand, showcasing the people, processes, or stories that make your business unique. This type of content humanizes your brand and helps establish a connection with your audience.
- Product Showcasing: Showcase your products or services in creative ways. Use visually appealing images or videos that highlight the features, benefits, and uses of your offerings. Incorporate lifestyle shots or user-generated content to demonstrate how your products fit into customers’ lives.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage your audience to create and share content featuring your brand or products. Repost and share UGC to build social proof, engage with your community, and foster a sense of authenticity. This also encourages others to create content related to your brand.
- Inspirational and Motivational Quotes: Share inspirational quotes or motivational messages that resonate with your audience. Design visually appealing quote graphics that align with your brand aesthetics. These types of posts can inspire, uplift, and encourage engagement through likes, comments, and shares.
- Storytelling Through Captions: Craft engaging and compelling captions that complement your visuals. Use storytelling techniques to share narratives, experiences, or insights that resonate with your audience. Captions provide an opportunity to connect on a deeper level and invite meaningful interactions.
- Educational and How-To Content: Educate your audience by sharing informative and valuable content. Create instructional videos, step-by-step guides, or quick tips related to your industry or niche. Provide actionable advice and knowledge that your followers can benefit from.
- Interactive Content: Engage your audience through interactive content formats. Polls, quizzes, and question stickers in Instagram Stories encourage participation and provide insights into your audience’s preferences. Host giveaways or contests that require user participation for a chance to win.
- Influencer Collaborations: Partner with influencers or industry experts who align with your brand values and target audience. Collaborate on content creation, such as product reviews, sponsored posts, or influencer takeovers. This can help increase brand visibility, reach new audiences, and build credibility.
- Video Content: Incorporate videos into your content strategy. Use Instagram’s IGTV feature for longer-form videos or create short video clips that can be shared as posts or Stories. Videos can capture attention, deliver messages effectively, and provide an opportunity for storytelling.
TikTok is a highly popular social media platform known for its short-form video content. To effectively engage with the TikTok audience, it’s important to create content that aligns with the platform’s unique characteristics and user preferences. Here are some content ideas that work well on TikTok:
- Short and Snappy Videos: TikTok’s format is ideal for short and attention-grabbing videos. Keep your content concise and focus on delivering your message or story within a limited timeframe, usually between 15 and 60 seconds. Quick transitions, cuts, and engaging visuals can help capture and retain viewers’ attention.
- Creative and Entertaining Concepts: TikTok thrives on creativity and entertainment. Experiment with innovative video concepts, challenges, trends, or viral formats. Incorporate humor, surprise elements, or visual effects to make your content stand out and encourage shares and engagement.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage user participation by creating content that prompts users to join challenges or create their own versions of a specific theme. UGC is highly valued on TikTok, and it can help build a sense of community and increase engagement with your brand.
- Educational and How-To Videos: TikTok isn’t just about entertainment; it’s also a platform where users seek knowledge and learn new things. Create educational or how-to videos related to your niche or industry. Break down complex topics into easily digestible and visually appealing content. Quick tips, hacks, or tutorials can perform well on TikTok.
- Behind-the-Scenes Content: Offer a glimpse behind the scenes of your brand or showcase the process of creating your products or services. TikTok users appreciate authenticity and enjoy getting a closer look at the people and stories behind the brand.
- Trending Music and Dances: TikTok is known for its music-driven content and viral dances. Stay updated with the latest music trends and challenges, and incorporate them into your content. Engaging with popular songs or participating in dance challenges can help increase your content’s visibility and reach.
- Duets and Collaborations: TikTok allows users to duet or collaborate with other creators. Leverage this feature by collaborating with influencers, partners, or customers. Duets enable you to create interactive and engaging content by responding to or building upon existing videos.
- Storytelling and Narratives: Craft compelling stories or narratives that resonate with your target audience. Use a combination of visuals, text overlays, and voiceovers to deliver your message effectively. Emotionally engaging storytelling can help forge a connection with TikTok users.
- Stylized Visuals and Editing: TikTok offers various video editing features, effects, and filters that can enhance the visual appeal of your content. Experiment with different editing techniques, transitions, and visual styles to make your videos visually striking and attention-grabbing.
3. Follow the Right Accounts
It’s important to follow the right accounts so that the content in your feeds is the most applicable. If you’re in the marketing industry, focus on following other marketing-focused accounts, online marketing publications, marketing software solutions, and marketing-related hashtags.
When you follow an account, there’s a chance they’ll follow you back, which can increase engagement among your posts. If you’re focusing on following accounts that are in your industry, a follow-back could eventually lead to resharing your content. This means there’s a chance for your content to reach a wider audience of interested folks.
4. Unfollow Where Needed
Just as following the right accounts is essential, so is unfollowing accounts that don’t make sense for you to be following. A simple rule of thumb is to make sure that the number of accounts you’re following is fewer than how many are following you. This helps spread your credibility a bit and shows people that you aren’t just following whoever and whatever.
When you implement a follow strategy, you should also check to see who is following you back. Go ahead and unfollow accounts that don’t give you a follow-back to help clean up your following list.
5. Create and Share Content
Having a content creation plan and a content marketing strategy adds the necessary fuel to your social media strategy. You need a bank of available, valuable, and educational content to easily share with your followers. This, too, helps establish your credibility, but it also maintains your status as a reliable resource for your audience.
Once you have enough content created, you can plan your social media strategy by using social publishing tools and a social media calendar. This will save you a ton of time in the long run, and ensure you’re getting the most out of the content you’re creating by distributing it effectively.
6. Reshare Valuable Content
Don’t be a selfish social media sharer by only sharing your content. If you haven’t already, start subscribing to industry publications so you can get valuable content sent straight to your inbox. If something really resonates with you or your audience will find it valuable, then share it out on your social channels.
When doing this, it’s important to tag the publication source and the author of the content. This will ping them and let them know that they have an advocate out there that enjoys what they’re putting out. It could also lead to reciprocated advocacy, which can get your brand out there to more people.
7. Use Platform Features
Each social media platform comes with additional features that you should be taking advantage of. What’s great about these features is that they allow you to share content in a new and different way. This keeps your audience engaged and gives you more chances to interact with them. Here are some features each platform offers that you should be using:
Most social media platforms offer dedicated business profiles or pages that provide additional features and insights. These profiles allow brands to display important information, such as contact details, website links, and business descriptions. They often provide access to analytics and audience demographics, helping brands understand their followers and track performance metrics.
Many social media platforms provide scheduling features that allow brands to plan and schedule their posts in advance. This helps maintain a consistent posting schedule, save time, and reach the audience at optimal times. Scheduling tools may be available within the platform or through third-party social media management tools.
Analytics and Insights
Social media platforms offer built-in analytics and insights that provide valuable data about audience demographics, engagement metrics, reach, and impressions. Brands can use these insights to measure the effectiveness of their content, track key performance indicators, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their social media strategies.
Paid advertising features within social media platforms allow brands to promote their content and reach a wider audience. These platforms offer various targeting options based on demographics, interests, behavior, and more. Brands can set specific goals, budgets and schedule their ad campaigns to reach their target audience effectively.
Live Video Streaming
Live video features on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn enable brands to connect with their audience in real time. Brands can host live Q&A sessions, product launches, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or webinars to engage with their followers, answer questions, and create an interactive experience.
Story features, popularized by platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, allow brands to share ephemeral content that disappears after 24 hours. Brands can leverage this feature to share daily updates, behind-the-scenes moments, product demonstrations, or limited-time offers. Stories often provide interactive elements like polls, stickers, and swipe-up links to encourage engagement.
Brands can leverage influencer marketing by collaborating with social media influencers who have a significant following and influence within their target audience. Influencers can help promote products, services, or campaigns, reaching a wider audience and building trust through their recommendations.
Hashtags and Trending Topics
Hashtags are an effective way to categorize and discover content on social media platforms. Brands can use relevant hashtags in their posts to increase visibility, reach a wider audience, and participate in trending conversations. Stay updated on trending topics and join relevant discussions to increase brand exposure and engagement.
Messenger and Chat Features
Social media platforms often have messaging or chat features that allow brands to communicate directly with their audience. Brands can use these features to provide customer support, answer inquiries, and build personal connections with their followers.
Some social media platforms offer e-commerce integration, allowing brands to sell products directly through their profiles. These features enable seamless shopping experiences by linking product catalogs, adding “Shop Now” buttons, and facilitating transactions within the platform.
8. Hashtag Wisely
Hashtags are only effective on social media when you’re using the right ones. Make sure that the words you’re hashtagging make sense for your audience to be searching. For example, if you’re sharing a piece of content on social media tips (meta?), then hashtags that make sense are #SocialMedia or #SocialMediaTips. Hashtags that don’t make as much sense are #Content or #Media, etc. A tip is to go on Twitter and search hashtags to see how popular they are.
When you use the right hashtags, you make your content easily searchable on a platform bombarded with other content. This increases the chance that a more targeted audience sees it and gives you a follow.
Make sure that while you’re posting to social media, you’re also taking time to interact with people. Engage with other peoples’ content and respond to people who are tweeting at you, commenting on your posts, resharing your content and DM’ing you. Facilitating a correspondence will increase favorability with people, so much so that they will be more inclined to follow you and become a part of your network.
Use these nine tips to lay the groundwork for growing your social media following organically. Stick with it and maintain consistency. Over time, you’ll see your social accounts grow, and your thought leadership expands.