Social media is a key part of any business’s digital marketing strategy, but are you seeing enough followers and engagement on your accounts?
About 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020, and that’s expected to grow to about 4.4 billion by 2025.
So, your target audience is definitely out there. (And if you need help determining your ideal target audience, see our seven tips.)
Of course, don’t miss what we recommend every startup company should know about social media.
The following are 11 best practices that can help you grow your social media followers over time regardless of the platform.
Build a strong brand identity
Branding is everything for successful businesses online. Of course, this means more than just including your logo on all of your multimedia assets and so on.
It ties into your predominant color scheme, graphic designs, voice, even filters. If you haven’t yet solidified your brand’s identity, it’s never too late.
See our eight tips for finding your brand’s voice. And in the fitness industry, we walk you through building an online brand from scratch (that can be applied to other industries as well).
Even personal brands count. Check out our 10 tips for building your personal brand and growing your business.
The most important thing is consistency and cohesion. Once you have your brand identity, own it.
Follow relevant accounts
Following other accounts that are relevant to your interests, industry and business is a great way to:
- Stay in the know about topics that matter to you and your brand
- Be inspired by what others are doing on social media
- Have an opportunity to engage with accounts that are relevant to you
- Get an idea of what your competition is doing on social media
Of course, there’s also the opportunity to potentially be followed back by others, but that shouldn’t be your primary reason to do it.
Actively engage with your followers
Time is always a challenge, but resist the temptation to “set it and forget it.” Once a post publishes (whether it’s scheduled or live), that’s only the beginning.
Prioritize time to engage with your followers who are commenting on your posts and/or messaging you.
Granted, you can’t go down the wormhole on it, and the more engagement you receive, the harder it will be to respond to every user. But there are tools out there that can help.
Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools to help you stay on top of the activity happening with your brand accounts. Plus, see additional reasons why a social media management tool can benefit your business.
And consider these seven opportunities for social media automation that you might not be aware of.
Just remember that social media is a conversation, not just a megaphone. You’ll lose your social media followers if you never engage with them. Invite those connections and conversations.
Publish content that’s worth sharing
Ask yourself honestly:
- Are you posting content that excites, entertains, educates?
- Is your content engaging?
- Are you thinking about your followers first?
If the answer is no, then it’s time to reevaluate your content strategy. Think about how you can add in more:
- Opinions (just be cautious when it comes to sensitive issues)
- Trending content (which helps you stay current on social media)
- News developments from your industry
- Data and statistics
- Humorous or cute content (just make sure that it’s relevant to your brand identity)
- Visually compelling or eye-catching (including videos)
If a majority of your content is sales-heavy, you’re definitely missing an opportunity for engagement with your social media followers (and giving others a reason to follow you).
Use a content calendar
Content calendars are great for both long-term planning and overall content organization.
It’s about striking a balance between posting enough to stay relevant and not posting too much, which looks more like spam. That balance helps you connect with social media followers.
Promote your social media elsewhere
Don’t assume that everyone knows you have a Facebook page or an Instagram account or a viral video on TikTok.
Depending on what else you’re doing online, think through the opportunities you have to promote your social media accounts elsewhere.
This could be on your website, blog, podcast, guest blogs (or appearances), email newsletters and so on.
Be smart with your hashtags
Hashtags are all about discoverability. But it’s better to be strategic and targeted than to treat your hashtags like buckshot.
In short, the most popular hashtags (such as #love) aren’t necessarily the ones you need to use because they are, in fact, so overused. You’ll just get lost in the noise.
You can opt for more specific hashtags and/or create branded hashtags to promote user-generated content (among other reasons).
Check out our six tips to help you master hashtags on Instagram specifically.
Explore influencer marketing
Influencer marketing continues to increase in popularity, and for good reasons. It simply makes sense to partner with another brand that (or personality who) is relevant to your target audience.
Make sure you understand who you’re going to work with (whether they’re appropriate for your brand) and what the expectations are.
The result of a successful influencer marketing campaign is increased engagement and more social media followers.
Keep your customer service team in the loop
Because so many more consumers are contacting brands via social media, it’s important that everyone tasked with responding to those messages are in the loop regarding your overall social media strategy and any significant campaigns.
Maintaining that communication across your team will preserve a consistency in your customer service that should back up the brand voice you’re projecting publicly on social media.
(Of course, this also extends to how you address negative commentary and reviews online. See our 11 tips.)
Consider contests and giveaways
Contests and giveaways should never be the end all be all of your entire social media strategy. But they are a great way to engage with your social media followers and grow your following as well.
First, think about what would spur interest and excitement. Make sure it’s reflective of your brand identity.
But most importantly of all, make sure you’re on the up and up and keeping every giveaway and contest legal. Check out our guide on Terms and Conditions.
Pivot your strategy based on your social media performance
Similar to what we recommend for just about any digital marketing strategy is not just to monitor your social media analytics, but to refine your strategy as needed based on that performance.
If something is working, how can you build on that?
If something isn’t working, what can you do differently?
Clearly, there are so many factors to consider:
- Content itself
And so much more. But that’s what makes social media exciting. It’s always changing, and in general, it’s a grand experiment for every brand to find ways to represent itself, be heard and reach its target audience.
Consider any of these 17 online courses to level up your social media skills.
While you’re exploring how to increase your social media followers organically, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process as well. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.