Many social media users, whether they be standard accounts, influencers or businesses will compare success to their number of followers. Now, having followers doesn’t mean instant success, but it is a positive sign and a step in the right direction. Should social media be right for your business and industry, it is highly likely you’ll want to increase your number of followers, after all, if you’re reaching customers with targeted messaging and also pleasing them or getting the ‘buzz’ going, you’re more likely see a conversion. So, if you’re looking to improve your social following, these 5 tips could be just what you need.

1. Get the right

Setting up your business’ social media accounts is just as important as managing them right. Consistency is vital here, make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (and whatever else you use) are all branded accordingly with your logo and a suitable cover image or video. Aside from those two graphic elements, it is crucial that you fill in your profiles. While this may strike you as a mundane task, it is worth the boredom. Say you set up a Facebook page for your business and only had your company name on there… who are your customers going to contact? Or perhaps you have a shop or showroom, how is a customer going to know where to find you? Filling in a few fields of information can be a great way to attract customers. Having a full and detailed profile, whether that be, contact details, a bio or even industry information can also enhance your credibility. Your business appears thorough, trustworthy and established, rather than one-man-band-esque. Sometimes, just doing that is enough for a user to follow you. Are you really going to follow a business that doesn’t tell you who they are, where they are or what they do? It’s something all of the ‘big businesses’ do.

2. @people

A key part of social media is communication and it is a two-way street. If you’ve posted about one of your products and a follower responds to the post, be that with a positive or negative comment, it is important that you respond. The great thing about commenting on social media is that everyone can see your comments, not just the user you’re responding to. If you’re thanking someone for their praise (@johnsmith, thanks for your kind words) or helping someone else with an issue with a product, for instance, everyone can see it.  As a new user, who was thinking about following you, I’m seeing that you care and want to do what you can to help. Good customer service can go a long way in turning a viewer into a follower. It also helps prospective followers realize there is someone at the other end managing the page. There is the reassurance that the page isn’t run by a robot and that all the posts haven’t been scheduled for the next 2 years.

3. Be active

In the same way as being active by responding to messages can help increase users, posting regularly also has its benefits. Again, it shows users that you care and are taking your time to provide content on social platforms. Being active can also prevent your business from losing existing followers. If I see you haven’t posted anything in a while, I might be tempted to think you’ve stopped posting altogether, which could lead to me hitting ‘unfollow’.

4. Get noticed

Now this one is easier said than done, we all know that. However, that doesn’t mean it is impossible and there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re popping up in news feeds and the like. One option, which does involve you dipping into your pocket, is paid ads, which I’m sure you’ve all seen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You’ll get noticed by your target audience and if they like what they see, they’ll probably give you a follow and potentially even provide a conversion, should it be a product or service you’re selling.

Of course, you can limit your expenditure, but there are organic ways to get noticed too. The # (hashtag) is a great asset. Users can search by tags, and search feeds on Instagram display images similar to those a user has looked at, based on the tags. While social channels vary on their tag limits, it is worth seeing these as targets. The more tags you use, the better your chance of your post being seen, but don’t go over the top, use tags that relate to your content and your business.

Competitions on social media provide another great way to broadcast your existence and gain followers. While this does mean you’re going to be giving something away, you should also get a lot back in return. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t see a competition in my news feed on Facebook – and that isn’t just from businesses I follow. A lot of competitions will say that entry requires users to share the post, and by doing so the outreach is greater. That’s one entry requirement, another requirement is likely to be ‘follow our page’. You do that and you’re going to see an increase in followers. Competitions may well be a great way to get noticed and bring in new followers, but prior to running one, you need to make sure it is right for your business, it might not suit your industry, brand or product.

5. Use other mediums to boost your followers

That’s right, improving your social following doesn’t have to mean more work on your social accounts (although we would recommend it). There are other approaches you can take that will see your social following increase. Links to your social media pages on your website are a great place to start. You could opt for a ‘Follow’ button or a simple icon link, either way, you are providing a way for your website users to become followers.

Linking social channels can also help grow your social following. You’re often able to have these links in your bio, which is great if you tend to use one channel more than the others.

Have an email signature? Of course, you do. Get your social media links in there too. While your communication with your email signature involved is likely to be purely business related, the receiver can still become a follower of your business, outside of work. Keeping on the subject of emails, perhaps you have a newsletter or run frequent email marketing campaigns? Adding links to social accounts, even as little reminders to your recipients is a great way to get users clicking through.

6. What should you do?

These are only our 5 top tips for how you can improve your business’s social following. There are plenty of other options you can try, but we’d suggest you wouldn’t go wrong using these as a starting point. Ultimately, it is down to you and what is right for your business and your brand image and tone. It might be that you try to take advice from all 5 of these tips, or only try a couple, but it is definitely worth experimenting to see what does and doesn’t work, as all businesses and audiences are different.