In the past week, we’ve gained over 1000 followers on Social Media – specifically Instagram and Twitter. While this is great, the first question you should be asking is “but who are they?” – Because these days, you can find spammers, robots, and fake accounts – which aren’t worth a penny. A lot of companies charge very little to set you up with thousands of followers; almost all are fake accounts. However, we are talking about natural growth, aka real people, targeted to organically follow because we have similar interests. How? These are our “growth rules” for social media:
Rule 1. Space out your posts.
This is our first rule. Never spam the network. When people are scrolling, if you’re posting often, all they may see is your content. While this sounds good, the human brain has a “BS” detector that lights up in a heartbeat. The reality is, people want variety, especially if what you’re posting isn’t exactly what they’re into. It’s hard to get 10 posts that every single follower likes, so don’t try to. Rather than post 10 in a row, post once every hour, depending on the network. (more on twitter, less on facebook)
Rule 2. Be Descriptive and #Easy
Hashtags and mentioning @users can seem like a great idea, but ensure that you’re “personable”. Again, people smell when you’re trying to get follows, and if it flags their “spam filter” in their mind, you’re going to start loosing fans. A hashtag can be a great way to link your post to articles/pictures like it, but don’t fill your post with them. Same with mentions, @user is great, but you shouldn’t be mentioning 5 users every post. Keep it simple, descriptive, and light on the mentions/hashtags.
Rule 3. Follow Those that Like You
It’s easy to see who is liking your posts and photos, and if you aren’t following them, you’re missing potential. Most social networks will notify you when someone “likes” your content. Add them, and they’re likely to add you back. You gain social media followers from users who are naturally interested in what you’re posting, so keep your eyes peeled for those key followers.
Rule 4. Respond to Users
Make sure you check your DM’s, TrueTwit validations, Favorites, and ReTweets. Respond to users, interact with users, and connect to followers! This isn’t about spamming, it’s about social networking. You want to gain social media followers organically. That mean’s it’s a conversation, not a broadcast.
You wouldn’t ask for someones business card if you didn’t want to contact them, “following” on social media is the same principle.
Rule 5. Always Return the Favor!
This sounds super simple, but when you are on a growth campaign, return the favor! If users are being “white knights” and liking, RT’ing, favoriting, and interacting with your content, be sure to return the favor and help give them a boost also! It’s more likely users will follow you back, if they like what you’re sharing. Then, be sure to thank them, mention them, and “pay it back” as much as possible.
Rule 6. Maximize Your Outreach
As long as you have a dated account (read: not brand new) you can follow quite a few people, hoping they follow back. With instagram, this is an hourly limit of ~59 per hour, and twitter it’s capped at ~1000 per day. You don’t want to look like a social media hog by having a huge ratio of following / followers, so increase the amount slowly that you reach out to each day, as you gain more followers. Ideally you want around 1:1. Go through and follow a group of people every day, and unfollow those that haven’t followed you back, that you are not interested in. Remember that “spam detector” and keep your numbers low, but high enough to grow!
Rule 7. Follow Similar Users
This is perhaps the steak and potatoes of this campaign, however there is a fine line between natural growth and spamming. We do not advocate you “go after anyone and everyone” but rather “target those that would benefit most from following you”. It’s a common practice to “follow back” when someone follows you (rule 5), and as you can guess, you want to follow a large amount of people to gain more followers (rule 6). Most importantly, you want to target users that are likely to follow you, because they are interested in your services. Unsure of how to find users? A good place to look is users you already have. See who has similar interests in their friends list! Do you run a dog washing business? A good place to start would be your favorite local vets, and look at who is following them, especially if some of their users are already following you!
Looking for more information? Google “Gain Social Media Followers”