5 Ways To Build A Loyal Following
At the beginning of 2015, the world population stood at 7.2 billion. Today 3 billion people are active internet users and 2 billion of those internet users are connected to social media in some form or another. A mind-boggling quarter of the world’s population is now connected to some social media platform; Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Instagram are just some of the popular ones within the UK.
Facebook currently has 1.44 billion active user, Twitter averages at 236 million active users and there are even professional based social media platforms like LinkedIn that also have more than 300 million registered users.
With more and more people connecting to social media everyday, the need to harness the power of social media for business, campaigns and profiling has never been greater. Although there are many people that use social media, it is not always easy to gain or keep a following. If you do have one, then trying to maintain it can also be difficult and frustrating. When trying to maintain a following whether it be for your personal self or for business, there are a few guidelines you need follow to keep your followers interested.
1. Have a strategy!
A very important thing is to post consistently. This doesn’t mean that you need to sit at your computer and post something every two minutes, far from it. Continuous posting of generic questions and random images will not engage your followers or bring any additions. It’s about communicating well, at times of day your audience will be online, in a manner that they can relate to. It all boils down to strategy.
2. Post smart.
If you want to inspire, be inspiring, if you want to take a comical approach, then make people laugh, just make sure it’s always relevant. A rough guide would be to post roughly 4 – 6 times a day on Twitter (less so on other platforms), keeping each post as original as possible and try to engage your followers with relevant comments.
3. Adapt your posts to suit each individual platform.
Now this sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Facebook, for example, is very dexterous in terms of how you can set out a post, the length of content and the ability to add an image. Twitter, however, you can only have 140 characters to each post and one image so you need to reinvent the message you are trying to get across. With the more professional platforms such as LinkedIn there are a whole host of key features that many of the other social media don’t possess such as recommendations and applications to make social media life easier. Just think about the end user (your audience) and why they are on each platform and fill their needs accordingly.
4. Engage with your followers.
Social media isn’t all about sending post after post after post. The majority of people that loose followers, loose them because their fans/followers become disengaged, uninterested or just bored. A good way to keep you followers engaged is to ask relevant questions and see what comments you get back, ask them for feedback on a particular product or service (even if you know its faults, it shows that you are listening to them). Always keep your tone, if you need a professional tone keep it, but be friendly and interact with them at their level. Setting up small competitions to win prizes is always a winner and is one of the best ways to draw in new followers. Start a conversation and maintain it.
5. Naming your followers!
This one is easy but does still require a bit of thought. Most of us know that many of the A-list celebrities have their own group of followers, names such as The Swifties (Taylor Swift), The Smilers (Miley Cyrus) and The Monsters (Lady Gaga) are some of the biggest and best know groups of followers. Once again keeping the name for your followers relevant is key and remember to use it in your posts. Address your followers as a collective using your new follower name. Use it when asking questions as a collective, this will eventually stick and your fan/followers will then also feel part of your exclusive group. Create a club/community and nurture it.
Finally, know who you are and work with it! There are lots of other businesses out there, some possibly doing similar things to you, so stand out from the crowd. Try to be different without being alienating. Develop your identity, build an audience and don’t be afraid to change and try new things; people easily become bored and disengaged with the same thing. Social media works in different ways for different people and the key is finding what works for you, your business or your brand. Once you start to implement these points into your social media output, you will increase your ability to maintain and gain new followers.
Some Highlighted points:
- Be Original
- Post Clever
- Engage And Interact With Your Followers
- Be Consistent
- Adapt, Be Open To Change, See What Works Best For You
- Create And Develop Your Identity
Happy Community Building,