Build Your Followers

Most everyone knows that participating in social media is an important part of your online presence.    It is also likely that you’ve gone out and set up various accounts and are posting regularly like you are supposed to.  Only the problem is that your followers aren’t growing and you are wondering why you are spending all of this time on social media.

Don’t despair. Building your audience in social media is not easy.  Or at least building an engaged audience on social media is not easy.  But that is why you are reading this.  Here are a few proven tactics that will help you to build communications with your target audience.

1.   Connect with Your Existing Network

Everyone that is already interacting with you in another area is a great candidate to communicate with on social media.  Make it easy for them to connect.

VIN-twitterPut your social media information on all of your communications pieces.  This is all of your printed material, your website, newsletter, posters, promotional stickers/pencils/magnets/mugs etc.

Connect with any community partners or organizations that can support or promote you to their audiences.  Vancouver Island North, Tourism Port Hardy, Tourism Port McNeill, Tourism Vancouver Island and Destination British Columbia are some great examples of organizations that would be happy to promote  your content.  Tweet at them or tag them in your posts and they will start returning the favour.

Every time you Tweet, connect with at least one relevant account to increase your chance of being retweeted.  For example:  Great shot of downtown Port Hardy via @HelloBC #wildlife #visitporthardy.   Keep your tweets short enough to be easily retweeted.  Staying around 110 characters is a good rule of thumb.

2.   Create Captivating Content

Think about who your audience is and then write about what interests them.  A few qualified followers are worth more than 1000 purchased followers that have no real interest in your product.

Not sure what to write about?  Try starting with your most Frequently Asked Questions.  You don’t have to write a novel, 300 words and a great photo can take you a long way.

3.   Build Your Community

Sample Facebook Post
Sample Facebook Post

As you post your content, pay attention to the posts that do well. What is it that your followers like?  If you are unsure, ask them.  By posting questions and asking for opinions on what they would like to know more about, you are not only building your upcoming content calendar but you are building community.

Building your community will not happen overnight.  It takes time and effort but if you build up quality content, inspiring or informational material about your subject, people will begin to notice and you will see your community grow.

4.   Give People A Reason to Follow You

This is all about value.  The internet is a busy place and there are plenty of great options to choose from so why would anyone want to follow you?  Give them a reason!

Some of the things you might try are: running a contest or giveaway, asking followers to caption a photo, releasing early information on social media profiles before anywhere else or providing live coverage of events in your area.

5.   Have a Plan and Patience

Start your social media journey with a plan.  It doesn’t have to be complicated but if you don’t know where you are starting from how can you tell if you are getting closer to where you want to be?

Analytics doesn’t have to be complicated either.  Use Facebook Insights (found in admin panel of your Facebook account), look for social media traffic sources in your website analytics or take advantage of a program like Hootsuite (they have a free account) to manage your tweets.

The important thing is that you are watching.  You don’t have to drill down too far to start with you only need to know if you are heading in the right direction.  Some initial goals to aim for might be:  increase followers & likes, increase shares, retweets, or comments on posts.  What is important is that people are talking to you and about you.

Patience is also very important.  You are unlikely to see exponential growth at the start.  Put a little bit of time aside every day or two and be consistent in your approach.  Find a balance that works for you and your audience not too much, not too little and always something positive or informational.  People are on social media to create relationships that enhance their lives.  Be one of those relationships!