Social Media

How to gain real followers? Strategies, good practices and what to do to grow yo

29 March, 2018 |
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In this post we’re going to talk about the importance of conquering real followers on social media, which are the main challenges to conquer them and, in the end, we’ll give you a few tips to attract them in an effective way. Check!

Nowadays, being present in many social networks is no longer an option for brands. However, more than managing them, you need to know how to gain real followers who are interested in the company in question…

Even if you have a personal blog or a profile on Facebook, whenever you post something, your name is your brand. For this reason, let’s use the term brand to define the owner of the social networks, alright?

How important is it to have organic followers?

Right after you create a profile or a page on any social media platform, the first goal is to start gaining followers to grow your audience, but you need to know which follower profile really matters.

It’s obvious that if more people follow your page or your profile on social media, the brand’s visibility will be bigger, but the great question is on how to show up to people that can interact and engage with it.

Under that perspective, the capture of organic followers is the most interesting strategy to be used. Through this strategy, occurs a “natural selection” so that the brand shows up exactly for the public who has some interest and affinity with it.

Through this identification, these users get closer and have more chances of engaging with posts and publications, commenting, liking or sharing your content.

Buying followers

Unfortunately, there’s an action, not that positive and very harmful to a brand’s image: the purchase of followers. The big problem is that, by buying followers, the brand gets many likes from people who are not interested in it.

Besides the fact that it doesn’t generate engagement with that people, the purchase of followers can cause many image problems for the brand, decreasing its rate of reliability before the organic followers.

Having this kind of posture, the brand will only pay for numbers and not for results. Remember that the amount of followers by itself is not an indication of growth, but a metric of vanity that says little about the real results obtained.

The public isn’t a fool and they’re more and more demanding when it comes to the brands’ posture in the digital world. People can easily understand when brands buy followers, comparing the number of followers with the quality and the engagement of posts.

In case they identify many irrelevant posts and a big number of followers, they are already sure that the brand bought followers and start suspecting the company.

The best advice we can give you is that under no circumstances should a brand buy followers. Instead, they must invest in strategic actions that attract organic followers. Even if it takes a little more time and a little extra work, the results, in the long run, will be infinitely better.

What are the challenges of increasing audience in an organic way?

Seeing that the purchase of followers is not recommended, you must be asking yourself how to gain more followers for your page or profile, right? Well, there is an answer to that question, but it’s not that simple. Before anything else, you need to pass the main challenges to grow your audience.

Understand Social Media

Firstly, you need to understand the essence and the goal of the social networks your brand is in. In each one of them, posture, language and even the content’s format is different, just like your audiences profiles.

After understanding this, you’ll find out which social networks are really relevant for the communication strategy of your brand. And know: you don’t need to be in all of them!

It’s way better to be in only two or three social networks and be active in them than to have a profile on every social media platform and not being able to do a good communication job. Every time a follower contacts your company through those channels and doesn’t get a quick response, arises the opportunity to start an image crisis.

Know your audience

Now that you already decided to which social networks you will be present, you just need to start posting, right? Wrong! The second challenge is to understand which users you want to attract to your page or profile.

At that moment, the main focus is to search public and elaborate the persona’s profile. All that study allows the brand to create interesting content for that public, and in that way turn users into followers.

Speaking of content, it’s fundamental that you make a complete plan of content for the various social networks your brand is in, aligning the theme and the language in the various channels, facilitating your recognition from the audience.

Invest in promotion

We already have everything planned and defined. Now we just need to start posting, right? Yes! However, your posts won’t show up to anyone because you don’t have any followers yet.

For a brand that is entering the world of social media nowadays, it’s important to invest in promotion for your already existent client base, whether it is through communication on your website or even through email marketing.

Another efficient way to start expanding your audience is by inviting your company employees to like and share your Facebook page, for example.

But don’t think that that will be enough! For sure you have already heard about the “feared” Facebook algorithm that brought down the reach of many pages overnight. Just like Facebook, every social network has its own algorithm, with unique characteristics. It’s the brand’s job to know how each one of the networks works, analyzing good practices of publication and promotion of content.

The important is to keep in mind that there isn’t a right or wrong in social media strategies, there’s only what works and what doesn’t. So, don’t get frustrated if your strategy fails a few times. You just need to keep trying until you find what works for your brand.

Engage your Followers

It’s common to see brands with a big volume of likes on pages and followers on profiles, but with an engagement rate very low, or worse, inexistent. Engaging the audience is something that is way beyond guessings and bets.

To get a satisfactory engagement in your posts, you need to participate in your followers’ actions on your page. That can be done by answering to their comments on the publications or by making promotional actions.

It’s no use to post and wait for your followers to do the rest. You need to encourage them and, especially, participate actively in the discussions.

Another factor that influences directly the engagement rate is the posture of the brand regarding the issues posted. The more positive a brand is related to a specific issue, the bigger the number of new followers it will conquer.

We know that it’s hard to always see everything in a positive way, so that’s a big challenge to be won in the search for new organic followers.

How to gain real followers on social media?

Now that we’ve talked about the importance of conquering organic followers for your brand’s page or profile and presented the main challenges, it’s time to present strategies that can contribute to increasing the number of followers.

By applying them to social media, it’s certain that the brand will start attracting more and more followers. Read:

Have a complete profile

It may seem something simple, but this step is ignored by the majority of companies that create pages or profiles on social media. Many brands don’t include basic information such as the company’s website, its address or contacts.

Other information that is very neglected is the description (history) of the company. By far, that is one of the most important information of a profile. After all, it’s the responsible for the identification of your public and for the empathy between the audience and your brand.

By creating a profile, it’s important to choose a simple name, clear and of easy memorization, simplifying the users’ search for your company. Regarding the images, the profile photo must have the logo of the company or something related to it.

The same works for the cover images – in Facebook’s case. In this point, it’s important to highlight that the use of coloured images is more effective to catch the users’ attention than black and white images.

Create Evergreen Content

Evergreen contents are those that, even with the passing of time, don’t lose their value and have a more explicable and educational focus, contrasting with informative or opportunist contents, that have an expiration date and lose their value rapidly.

This kind of content tends to be valuable in the capture of organic followers since it helps them in a determined situation when they search for a solution. That way, evergreen content is seen as posts of extreme relevance and wide reach.

However, you need to keep in mind the shareability of that content. A video or an infographic, for example, have more chances of being shared than a photo or a text.

Remember that your goal is to reach the biggest number of audience possible without leaving the quality or relevance of your content behind.

Use different formats

Social media became multimedia platforms, supporting from one simple text post to a live video transmission. With so many media options to promote your content, why limit to one or two?

Explore every functionality available in your chosen social media platform and develop creative and original materials. Photos, motivational messages, quotes, informative videos, tutorials and live transmissions (the famous lives) are just some of the formats that you can use in your strategy.

Encourage engagement with your followers

The best way to attract new followers in an organic way is by maintaining the engagement level with those you already conquered. For that, you need to constantly encourage them to participate in your actions and posts.

Besides the classic promotions of “Choose an option, tag three friends and share this post in public mode”, you can work with simpler posts, just asking your followers a question.

For sure you already saw this kind of posts in some place and probably realized that the volume of interactions (likes, comments, and shares) was very big, providing a high rate of engagement.

Talk to your followers

 

There’s nothing worse than talking to someone and being ignored, right? By answering to your followers’ comments, you establish a closer relationship with them, generating more engagement and making them talk about this experience with other people.

This might even be a strategy that generates a big number of followers, but its absence might be an exit door for those who stop following your profile, making your page lose relevance.

Adopt a more human posture

 

Each post and answer from Netflix to its clients is a show to be seen. They can bring the audience closer in a simple and human way, always with a good dose of humour.

Even though not every company can afford to answer posts with humour and irreverence, they need to be the most human possible, after all, no one likes automatic answers.

Like the name itself says, they are social networks, and a society is formed by people with different feelings and thoughts. Acting in a more human way, listening to your followers, answering them with respect to their differences is fundamental.

Follow Back

This tip applies more to Instagram and Twitter, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. The rule is simple: whenever a new user starts following your brand, follow them back. It may seem meaningless but believe: it’s great to attract new followers.

And it’s not just with people that you should do this. Many companies might follow you and you should return the gesture. This type of interconnection between brands is also a great way to gain followers because you’ll start showing up for their public.

Exchange links and make guest posts

A good way to attract more followers organically is by investing in the exchange of links and in the guest post publication with companies from different segments, but that have the same public profile.

Imagine that you have a fashion blog. A good partner to exchange links with would be a makeup blog, for example. A brand from that field has a similar public to yours, but you’re from different segments – and don’t compete with each other.

The guest posts are written posts by an invited partner that are published on your blog or page. In these cases, the guest should be a person with recognized authority or with big popularity.
Beyond helping strengthen your blog’s credibility, you’ll have access to a public that before was unexplored, but that has the potential to like your page and become a consumer of your content.

Build and maintain your authority

Building a solid reputation and having authority in your area of action is a good way to attract more real followers to your page or profile. It’s a fact: people love authority and following brands that have that title is a sign of status.

For that, you need to develop relevant, original and helpful content for your audience. Posts that are not aligned with the brand’s values are highly prejudicial and risk your credibility.

If you position yourself as an authority, people will start considering your brand a reference and, consequently, whenever a situation or an issue related to your segment appears, they’ll remember you automatically!

Integrate your social networks

Another good strategy to increase the number of real followers on social media is by integrating the ones you’re already in. That way you’ll be able to channel your audience to the one that you think is more relevant to your strategy.
For that, all you have to do is share the content of your blog on Facebook or LinkedIn, for example. However, know that just the sharing is not enough: you need to put a Call to Action (CTA) inviting the reader to like your page.

Besides the fact that it brings new followers to your social networks, that practice helps to pulverize your content, increasing the reach of a certain post and generating more visibility to the brand.

Make Regular Posts

It’s very important to have a calendar to publish content in order to keep your audience and conquer new real followers.

Not only it contributes to your page or profile’s relevance on social media, regular posts affect Google’s search results. The fact that this way your audience will know when you post new content is also beneficial because it creates expectation.

Besides, determining that regularity will allow you to post in the days and times when you have a big visualization rate, helping your content to be seen and shared by many people in few minutes.

Use hashtags without fear

Hashtags (#) are a kind of keywords used on social media to define the focus of the post and function as a way of tracking a specific issue. Besides, hashtags have a direct impact on the posts’ performance.

They appeared first on Twitter, but are already used in many other social networks such as Facebook or Instagram.

Even though they are extremely important, it’s necessary to be careful when using them. Unfortunately, it’s very common for some brands to use many words in only one hashtag, which is inappropriate. Not only it makes the hashtag less effective, its reading becomes too hard.

When you use more than one word in a hashtag, we recommend you to use a capital letter at the beginning of each word. Another important point: you don’t need to transform each word in a hashtag. If you do it, the strategy stops making sense, and that complicates the users’ search.

Before defining a hashtag for your post, you need to check if it has anything to do with the content you’re posting and if it is suitable for the chosen social media platform. We don’t think #instafood goes that well with Google Plus.

Test as many times as necessary

The best way to attract more and more followers to your brand is by making many tests on your posts. That way you’ll be able to identify which themes engage more with your audience, which format has more reach and which is the best way to make your content reach your followers.

On blogs, for example, you can test different layouts, compare them (Tests A/B) and verify which had a lower rejection rate (when a user leaves the page without doing anything).

Don’t be afraid to test every possibility. As we said, there’s no right or wrong, there’s only what works and what doesn’t, and the best way to find out is trying.

There are many ways to attract followers to social media profiles, but not all of those strategies might work for your brand. You need to evaluate situations, understand its particularities and develop a specific plan for each one of them.

Much more than creating posts, you need to know how to gain real followers so that your brand is successful and stands out on social media.

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