Follower count on social media is a vanity metric, but it also signals your brand’s trustworthiness. When people see that others trust your company, they’re more inclined to follow you, too.
A large fanbase generates social proof for your business. The informal influence of your followers helps to grow your presence on social media but also furthers your business goals.
Consider that most people (81%) click through to a business’s website from social media, including 21% who click through at least once per day, according to research from Visual Objects.
This article explores how to grow your following on social media and convert more followers to customers.
1. Promote Your Social Media Profiles Via Owned Channels
Your owned channels are full of potential followers. Unlike paid or earned channels, owned channels are media that you control and don’t pay to use, such as your website, blog, and emails.
Blog readers already want to learn about your company, so help them discover your social profiles.
Embed social media content into your blogs. This generates visibility for your social accounts while encouraging people to click-through from your site.
Research shows that images play a significant role in encouraging people to click-through to a company’s site from social media, especially among millennial’s. This suggests that images are most effective at enticing blog readers to click-through to your social profiles.
You can also add social media icons to your blog to gain followers.
For example, place a linked icon near the author’s name in the header and footer with the author’s bio. This lets interested readers pursue relevant content and further their brand experience.
You can work with a content marketing agency to create content that best promotes your social networks.
Your website can be the centerpiece of your social media promotion. Various website plugins enable you to feature content from social networks on your homepage as a pop-up menu.
In the following example, the cosmetics brand Birchbox uses the front page of its website to promote its Instagram account.
To maximize the visibility of your social profile, place the pop-up menu just below the fold of your website. This way, it’s the first thing people see when they scroll down your homepage.
Website headers and footers are great locations for linked social media icons. This way, you make it obvious and easy for people to jump from your site to your social profiles.
Use email to highlight the value of your social accounts. You can dedicate a full email to featuring exclusive content or promotions available on your social media. Or, just link to your social accounts in the email footer.
Be sure to include a compelling call-to-action to entice people to click-through from their email.
2. Cross Promote Your Social Media Profiles
Working with your social media agency, you can learn how to leverage your following on one social network to grow the others. By cross-promoting your content, you increase your brand’s visibility and engagement on multiple platforms.
According to Buzzsumo, images posted to Facebook via Instagram get 23% higher engagement than images posted natively to Facebook. Identify your top-performing content, and use it to bridge your audience between platforms. This allows you to bolster your fanbase without creating any additional content.
You can also design content specifically to pull users from one platform to another.
3. Use Hashtags Whenever Possible
Hashtags increase the visibility, searchability, and engagement of your social media posts.
For the best results, tag your posts with high-volume hashtags that are either trending or recurring. You can also experiment with targeting more specific and lower-volume hashtags that pertain to your product or service.
Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per Tweet. Instagram lets you place hashtags in a comment of the post, helping to keep the photo caption clean and appealing.
4. Craft an Authentic Engagement Strategy
People want to engage with brands that share their values. According to Sprout Social, most social media users (66%) want brands to take a stand on issues that they care about.
Taking a stand on social or political issues lets you appeal to your audience on an emotional level. This is because people believe that brands can affect change, whether by donating, participating, or enlisting their followers to take action.
Seen below, consumers most want brands to take a stand on human rights, poverty, and gender inequality.
Champion a good cause, but also seek out individuals who share your interests. Like and comment on content that’s relevant to social media users, as these are meaningful interactions that attract followers.
To locate your target audience, you can follow the top 10 hashtags in your niche or join relevant Facebook groups. From here, you can comment on the top 10 posts in these areas.
This gives you instant access to like-minded people who value your messaging. Similarly, you can follow businesses that are similar to yours, then engage and pull from their following.
These efforts don’t scale, but they are the heart of an authentic engagement strategy.
How to Gain Followers on Social Media
A large following on social media helps your company appear credible.
To grow your fanbase, promote your social profiles organically to your audience. Use email, your website, and your content to cross-promote your social profiles. Be authentic and engage potential followers one-to-one to most effectively grow and sustain a robust following.
Kristen Herhold is a Senior Content Developer for The Manifest, a comprehensive resource for B2B customers to use to complete their buyers journey. She researches advertising, social media, and digital marketing.