Now there are many reasons as to why business owners want to grow their instagram following, but often we spend so much time and energy on our social media presence to find little to no reward!
In this blog we will explain why expanding your social media following is important, as well as providing steps to grow your following and engagement on your social media platforms. Firstly, we will discuss the benefits of growing your social media platform and there are many. The main benefit is of course increasing your brand awareness, which is the main marketing goal for all business owners as the more aware your audience is of your brand and it's marketing activities, the more likely they are to purchase your goods or seek out your services (if you would like to learn more about achieving brand awareness, read our blog here).
Typically we use methods which encourage your audience to interact and engage with you on your social media platforms, which will in return also increase your following when people comment and share your social posts, also increasing your reach to a larger percentage of the online community.
On Instagram in particular there is a key goal most businesses hope to achieve, which is achieving the 10,000 followers checkpoint. For those of you unsure of why that is, once you reach 10K following you unlock the 'swipe up to shop feature' allowing you to direct your audience to external links through your Instagram stories. Now this tool is extremely valuable to all business profiles as we want to provide easy and simple ways to direct our audience to our content, such as an online shop, blog, or YouTube channel.
Having a larger following also makes your business seem more legitimate and encourages trust in your brand, and through these simple steps you can work towards reaping the benefits that increasing your following will gift you:
Consistent posting: in order to increase your following you have to give your audience a reason to follow you. If you don't get them invested in knowing what your brand is up to, they will not want to follow your brand, it's as simple as that. So, put aside time to spend on your socials each week and utilise scheduling applications to save yourself time.
Encourage engagement: ask your audience questions, whether the questions are about their favourite ways to spend their weekend, or their favourite product that you sell, anything that encourages them to like comment or share is the way to go!
Give them incentives: the best way to increase engagement or get authentic content from your customers is to give them a reward for engaging with you on social media. There are many ways you can achieve this, and it should be catered to suit your business. For example, reward your audience for giving feedback on your website, or sharing their photos of them using your products by giving them a discount code to your online store or entering them into a draw to win a monthly voucher.
Run Competitions: the most well known way to increase your following is through running competitions, but often once the competition is over some of your new following will unfollow your account. So, how do we combat this? utilise competitions more regularly, once your competition ends tell your audience to keep their eyes peeled for your next competition which will be announced soon, this gives them an incentive to stay engaged with your social media platforms for the long-term.
Collaborate with local small businesses: Team up with other local businesses to utilise each others following! There are so many benefits with working with other businesses, it is so often we learn most from those around us and sharing and growing together. Build relationships with business owners and these relationships will be some of your greatest assets when trying to navigate the business world!
Hashtags: you can generate a lot of traffic through your posts through using appropriate hashtags but do your research! Look up what hashtags are the most popular in your industry and utilise them, there are also ways to check how many people are viewing your posts through hashtags through social media insights (read our blog about social media analytics here to find out how!).
Share your knowledge: now this may not apply to everyone, but often people will engage with you if they find it worthwhile for them to follow you. For example, if you are a hairdresser give your audience some DIY tips they can utilise at home to get salon quality hair for their everyday lives!
Ask your audience: the best way to know why your audience is following you is to ask them! Who better to tell you then those already listening? Social media stories already gives you so many ways to ask your audience questions and get their opinions about what content is important and helpful to them.
Call to Action: ask your customers to follow you on your social media platforms, include links to your socials in your email signatures, throughout your website, on your invoices, in your deliveries and in your physical locations. For example, if you sell your goods online, include a small flyer which shows your audience where they can find you online and encourage them to tag you in their own social posts.
Interact with other accounts: Spend time on your business account liking and commenting on customers, influencers and other business pages. You need to give a little to get a little! Trust me you will notice the results in your notifications.
Be Inventive: think outside the box, now this tip isn't necessarily so straight forward, however people want to follow businesses who have unique and interesting things to say. Brain storm with your team and come up with inventive ways to interact with your customers and stand out from the crowd! We hope these tips will help you to increase your following on social media, sit down and brain storm ways where you can implement these tips for your small business! Of course if you're really serious about building your following you can additionally run paid social media advertisements to increase your brand awareness. If you need help increasing your social media following, contact us at HER Social today!