Social media is a fast, free, effective way to promote your home business. However, there is a method to the social media madness not just in posting content people want to talk about, but in building a following. No doubt you’ve seen offers to sell you thousands of followers and you might be tempted to take advantage of them. However, that can lead to problems including loss of your account. If you’re focused on quality followers who want to know what you say and buy your products or services, the only way to get them is by earning them.
Here are tips to increasing your social media followers.
1) Be regular and consistent. Part of social media’s effectiveness is being able to keep your name and message in front of your followers. A post here and there a couple times of week will get lost in the millions of other posts. Further, whatever social media strategy you set up, you need to stick with as long as it works. There are many dormant Twitter accounts and Facebook fan pages. No wants to follow those.
2) Speak to your market. People aren’t that interesting in knowing what you had for breakfast, unless of course you’re a food blogger. When it comes to social media marketing, the goal is to keep your market informed about the topics related to your business. For example, most of the stuff I share on social media has to do with home business or telecommuting because that’s why people follow me.
3) Match the message and format to the proper network. What works on Twitter, doesn’t necessarily work on Linkedin.
Not only do the types of messages you send vary across networks, but frequency as well. You can post 10 to 15 Tweets a day and not bother anyone. However, 10-15 LinkedIn posts might appear obnoxious. Take the time to learn and study the social media networks you use and fit your posts to each.
4) Have your social media follow buttons everywhere you can. This includes every page of your website (I’m surprised when I have to hunt down social media follow buttons on a website).
Your website isn’t the only place to include links. Your social networks may allow links to other network profiles. Finally, include links to your social profiles in your email.
5) Follow influencers and share their content. If you are knowledgeable and up-to-date in your business industry, you should know who the influencers are. Or you can use a resource such as Buzzsumo to find influencers in your topic area. Once you follow them, share their content with your followers. Many will follow back and share your content as well.
6) Remind your email subscribers about your social media accounts. It doesn’t hurt to promote your email list on your social media as well.
7) Respond to your followers. One of my pet peeves is tagging or contacting a company through social media and never getting a response. Why bother having social media if you’re not going to be social? Respond to comments, questions or mentions made by your followers. They’ll be offended if you don’t.
8) Use hashtags where appropriate. Twitter is the king of hashtags, which is helpful since the conversation moves at lightning speed. Hashtags help people find content on the topics that are of interest to them. Use of hashtags on other social media sites can be helpful, but don’t overdo it.
Remember, people want to see real content, not a bunch of #s.
9) Make it easy for others to share your content. This seems like a no-brainer, but just the other day I was on a site that had no share links. Fortunately for them, I use Hootsuite’s Hootlet, but not everyone does. And most visitors aren’t going to deal with the hassle of copying and pasting your URL to their social media. Make it easy for them to share your content by including social share links on your blog or website.
10) Use your stats to identify popular posts and topics. One of the biggest frustrations in social media is not knowing what will go viral and what won’t. The best rule of thumb is to post helpful, relevant content for your market. With that said, your social media and website stats can help you determine what’s popular.