How To Build A Social Media Following

June 05, 2017

Julianne

Content Marketer at Institute of Code

Many brands are starting to realize that a large social media presence is one of the leading tools they can have in their marketing arsenal. Many individuals are also starting to recognize that there is significant value in building an audience.

In this article, I will provide some strategies that would assist in building a larger social media audience. Before I dive into it though, I think it’s important to note that there is no magic formula to building an engaged following – it will take patience, dedication, and a mixture of tools and attention to the fine points during the process.

Content curation for social media channels involves planning ahead and thoughtful execution.

Many brands are starting to realize that a large social media presence is one of the leading tools they can have in their marketing arsenal. Many individuals are also starting to recognize that there is significant value in building an audience.

In this article, I will provide some strategies that would assist in building a larger social media audience. Before I dive into it though, I think it’s important to note that there is no magic formula to building an engaged following – it will take patience, dedication, and a mixture of tools and attention to the fine points during the process.

Content Curation

There are specific company roles designated specifically for curating content -  so that should serve as an indication to just how imperative it’s considered to be in the world of social media. I would argue that quality content should be the focus when trying to build a large following.

If you’re someone who wants to create an authentic space to attract your desired demographic, I would strongly advise in investing in an SLR camera.

To be blunt, people don’t only become your social media followers. They also become fans of your personal brand.  This happens when they trust and appreciate the content that you’re posting. Having a strong social identity in mind when creating content is so important. Your following will want to see consistency and an identifiable pattern that reminds them why they chose to follow you in the first place. This is where sponsored content can become a bit tricky at times.  Across a variety of social media platforms, there are thousands of influencers either living partially or fully off of the sponsored content they create. While this an incredible advancement for a lot of photographers, travelers, lifestyle bloggers and those who are simply passionate about sharing their musings – remaining genuine is crucial for long-term success.

I can give you the perfect example. I started influencing, a little over a year ago. Brands started reaching out at first to offer free products in exchange for a post (I was a far smaller account back then with a following of around 20k). I was thrilled about this and couldn’t believe it was even possible to receive free goodies for taking a photo.

One day, I received an email from Coca Cola. Not only did they offer to supply a few cases of their product, they offered to pay me a decent amount in exchange for a post. While I was so excited by the offer, I didn’t feel right about accepting the offer. I’m a huge health nut and knew that my followers would more than likely be turned off from a soda company collaboration. Quality content is now determined by how frequently a post is liked or reposted. With that said, I believe the best way to achieve this type of engagement is by being authentic and transparent with your followers.

Utilize Tools

There are a variety of tools out there that can assist in enhancing your overall platform performance. Here are a few to get you going:

Squarelovin really allows you to assess your Instagram account by telling you which areas you can improve on and which photos have been well received. By reviewing which photos have received the highest number of likes and comments, you will be able to better assess where your audience is most engaged.

Buffer is an amazing tool that I cannot recommend enough.  It’s a “schedule for later” app that allows you to schedule Facebook posts, Tweets, and Instagram posts at a later time. I find this tool especially useful when I’m traveling and don’t necessarily have the time to dedicate to posting to each channel manually.

IFTTT allows you to connect different accounts. I personally have found that by linking my Instagram to my LinkedIn account, my engagement has grown.

UNUM is another great tool that not only allows you to track your growth – but it provides a planning function that allows you to see what your upcoming Instagram posts with look like alongside one another. I personally feel that I started to see a growth in my following when I started to consciously plan out the “flow” of my feed at least a week beforehand.

LIKEtoKNOW.it – if you happen to produce beauty and fashion content, this app allows you to monetize your posts by linking followers to the actual product page of the item. You would receive a cut of the earnings if someone actually purchases a product linked out from your Instagram page. Hello, affiliate marketing!

Engage with your target community

One of the most efficient strategies that you can execute is engaging with influencers and their followers/community.

By starting a dialogue with them, not only are you helping your chances of being on their radar, but their followers’ as well.

You can test this theory out by selecting one influencer (or brand) that has a similar target audience to yours and engaging with the influencer and their followers. Other people are more likely to go stalk your page and click that “follow” button if they see your comment is engaging, has substance and adds to the conversation.

Consistency

You can’t post once every blue moon and expect to sustain the attention of your followers or even pull in new ones, for that matter.  You need to post a minimum of a few times week. Also, continuously engage with your followers and other networks. If your followers can’t go to your page to get their fix of visual inspo, they’re far more likely to unfollow.

This doesn’t mean that you should post an excess of three photos a day on Instagram or 30 tweets a day – flooding your followers’ feeds isn’t a very effective approach either.  However, providing them with a healthy dose of inspiring content is a sure way to keep them engaged.

If you apply these strategies daily, you will undoubtedly start to see an increase in your following. No one became successful in any field by simply sitting back and hoping for the best – it takes effort each day to really see the results.


Written by: Julianne

Content Marketer at Institute of Code