When you create a new social account, start by following your family and friends – and ask them to share your posts or accounts with their social circles. We recommend asking clients to follow you and promote you on their own social page. Always ask loyal clients to write a review about your brand and mention you in a post. Not all of them will do it, but some definitely will. You might be surprised, but people often do favors just because they really like a brand. That’s how you build a community. You can also incentivize people to talk about your brand by offering a giveaway or a special offer – say, if they share your most recent Instagram post to their Stories and tag two friends, they’ll be entered to win.
Make sure to include links to your social accounts on your website or blog, and include your social handles on any communications you send out – email newsletters, postcards, take-out menus and more. Maria also suggests using email marketing to grow your social following. If you have a client email list, send them an invitation to follow your social pages. But remember – people value their time and they need a good reason to follow a brand. So, whether it’s early access to your next sale or a code for free shipping, make sure you mention what they’ll gain by following you.
That being said, you should still prioritize quality content over follower count. Long gone are the times when the number of followers was the key success criteria for social media. While it’s important to have followers on your social channels, we advise that it’s more important to focus on creating meaningful content that resonates and engages with your followers. Doing this will typically lead to an increase in numbers, anyway.
Another way to grow your following is to partner with other brands, influencers or opinion leaders. We advise paying attention to the quality of a potential partner’s audiences, and choosing partnerships based on shared values. Do your own background check on the brand prior to collaboration, too. In addition to forming actual partnerships, it can be useful to seek out key accounts to follow. Engage with influencers who are prominent in your industry, businesses in your area, or bloggers you admire. If these types of accounts follow you back, it can help grow your audience even more.