How to get more followers – 7 guaranteed methods!
Social media has become not only a powerful tool for business growth but an essential one. If you're not utilizing online powerhouses like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to advertise you're seriously missing a trick. If you are using them to promote a business or blog you're on the right track BUT if you're doing it wrong you may as well not be doing it at all. I'm going to teach you the tricks I've learnt in my own social media ventures, methods that actually work - how do I know this? because I went from 99 followers on Instagram to 1200 and 49 likes on Facebook to 115 in just one month!
There are two ways to grow your following - the first is to spam your accounts in the hopes that posting all the time will get you noticed (don't do this) The second, more successful method is to do it right. Do it right and there's no need to be spammy. Plus spamming is not only annoying to most people but it must be incredibly time consuming! it's better to create accounts that draw followers in without you needing to constantly post because who has time for that? plus spamming might work in one sense but it won't get you organic followers, what you'll end up with is 'fake' followers who will just unfollow you the next day. Do it the right way and you'll attract people who will stick around for the long haul.
1. Focus on two platforms
When I first started using social media to get my blog noticed, I went all in. I already had Facebook and Instagram but on top of that I created a Twitter account, Pinterest account and Tumblr account too. I realised very quickly that it was too much, far too much! In the end I decided to just stick with the two platforms which I enjoyed the most and which were showing the best results. For me those were Facebook and Instagram. I still use Pinterest too but I'm not as commited to it. When you focus on two platforms you will have far more time to invest in them and as a result your content will be more valuable, attracting more people. I can't tell you which two platforms to focus on, just go with what you naturally gravitate towards. I found with Twitter that I was having to force myself to use it, I really didn't like it! it was a relief when I decided to stop using it. Instagram on the other hand doesn't feel like work, I genuinely enjoy using it and I think that plays a big part in why Instagram gives me the best results.
This is SO important and probably the method you will find most successful in gaining new followers. Like most things in life, on social media you can't expect to receive without giving - that's a luxury reserved for accounts with a following of 10,000 or more so until you get there you MUST engage. How exactly? By liking and commenting on other peoples photos/posts. This is especially successful on Instagram. Don't be a d**k and get one of those automatic bots that like and follow/unfollow hundreds of accounts each day - I truly hate people who use those. If you want to attract genuine followers then you must be genuine yourself and that means engaging manually. Besides, those bots violate Instagram's rules and if you're caught using one you run the risk of having your account shut down permanently.
Mini guide to engaging on Instagram;
Likes: You're permitted to like 60 photos per hour so get liking! Don't just like photos of people you already follow though, you need to expose yourself further than that. A good way to do this is searching for hashtags that are related to your niche ie if your niche is 'travel' search for words like 'explore' and then like the first 60 photos that show up in the search. This is a great way to increase exposure to like mided people who will be more likely to follow you.
Comments: Same as above, you are permitted to comment 60 times per hour. Don't be spammy though! if you leave genuine comments you're more likely to get a response and/or a follow. Spammy comments are things like 'love this' 'great one' 'good shot' and comments that only contain emojis. If you don't have anything genuine to say about a picture then don't comment on it, just like it. Commenting on popular posts will give you more exposure than posts that haven't reached many people. Another good tip is to tag the account whose post it is in your comment, this gives it a personal touch and the account holder is more likely to respond to you - especially if you've asked a question.
Follows: As I said above, don't be a d**k and follow/unfollow people - everybody hates that and most people will unfollow anyone who does that to them regardless of how much they like your account. To track who has done the old follow/unfollow trick on you download the 'followers' app where you can check in daily and see who has unfollowed you. I have found that following big accounts within my niche is a good way of gaining followers, often people will follow the first 100 or so people who have most recently followed popular accounts. You are allowed to follow 60 accounts per hour.
Don't be scared to drop links to your feeds/blog posts in chat forums where the content is related either - I mean don't be annoying and drop links anywhere and everywhere! but if you see an opportunity to share your content with someone or a group of people who you think will enjoy and/or benefit from it then do it! You need to proactively get yourself out there.
3. Create high quality content
One would think this is pretty obvious, but I'm astounded everyday by some of the images and content I see from people who are trying to sell themselves. This is the KEY ELEMENT to increasing your following - it has to be killer. Even if you do everything right to attract new followers to your account, when they arrive and all they see is drab, poorly lit and uninspiring images they will look right past it and move on. As I mentioned above your first impression is SO important. I really can't reiterate that enough.
Images: Your content needs to be visually appealing, you want to really grab people when they stumble across your account. Give them a reason to look twice! chances are if they're looking twice, they're going to follow you. For me, and I think the same is probably true for most people, an attractive account is one with images that sync well, ie all of their photos will have a similar filter and/or colour theme. Put some thought and effort into it and you'll be rewarded.
Captions: I have read and seen different methods when it comes to writing captions, personally I find long captions irritating so I try and keep mine to a minimum - around 5 or 6 lines. It's important to include location too, especially if your niche is travel and you're posting pictures of places. If someone see's a pic they love they're going to want to know where that place is right? if they can't get that information from your post they'll get annoyed and you'll have lost a potential follower. Asking questions is key on social media too, it really is. Ask questions in your captions and when people post answers make sure you respond to them!
How often should I post? I'd suggest once a day. On Instagram and Facebook no more than twice a day, and on Twitter and Pinterest no more than three times a day. If you're posting more frequently than this followers will get annoyed that you're clogging up their feeds and unfollow you. I always post daily, but of course life sometimes gets in the way! even so, I never leave more than two days between posts. To keep your following you need to be posting regularly - no one said it would be easy! I've found setting aside 1 hour each day the easiest way to keep on top of my social media accounts - half an hour for Facebook and half an hour for Instagram. Any leftover time goes to Pinterest.
In terms of social media content we're not just talking about images! if you're blogging make sure your posts are on point and the captions selling said posts are gripping enough to make people want to follow the link. This is mostly true for Facebook where it's less about imagery and more about writing prowess. If someone hits a link because the title draws them in but then the article itself is either uninteresting and/or poorly written they won't follow your account. If they love it though they will follow your page to get more or maybe even subscribe! I talk more about creating high quality blog content here BUILDING YOUR BLOG & YOUR FOLLOWING - for total beginners. Part 1: How to start a blog and create a website.
Synergy is another vital aspect of growing your following. It simply means linking all of your social media accounts and your blog (if you have one) with each other. Ie there should be a link to your blog in your Instagram bio, then when someone clicks that link and goes to your website there should be a link to your Facebook page. See what I mean? it's an online cycle. Same goes for your blog and Facebook - there should be a link to your website in the bio of your Facebook page and a link to your Instagram feed on your website too so that no matter which platform someone lands on first, they're presented with the opportunity to visit every other form of media you're using.
5. Have a killer bio
Your bio on each account including your website intro needs to relate and be gripping enough that people will consider it. My bio has the general gist of 'I provide tips on how you can have more meaningful travel experiences for less $$$' the same message spans accros Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and my blog. Keep it simple but clear and consice. Here's an example of a mediocre bio "Adventurer and blogger with a stay at home cat. Follow us to see our antics!" Does that draw you in? not really right. It also fails to tell us what they do. What exactly do they blog about? is it cats? is it adventure? and how can we benefit from following? it's also a bit random - what does the cat have to do with adventure and blogging? if it's a blog about cat friendly trips/activites it should be more clear. If their blog has nothing to do with cats then they need to lose that part of the bio and replace it with more info on the focus of their blog Here's an example of a good bio "Travel blogger sharing tips from around the world with a focus on London" it tells us exactly what they do and how we can benefit from following, it also shares the account's niche so for anyone who is moving to or visiting London (which is ALOT of people all the time!) this account would be of interest - but how will they know that if we don't tell them? Your bio is your first impression so make it count!
6. Utilize hashtags and tagging
This is really only for Instagram, hashtags are a great way to get your content noticed by other people who don't already follow you. You are allowed to post a maximum of 30 hashtags on every post and I reccomend you use all of them. Use hashtags that relate to your niche, there's absolutely no point hastagging things like #food #dancing #womanpower if the image is of a beach and your niche is travel right? if you're posting a picture of a beach and your niche is travel use relevant hashtags such as #sun #sand #summervibes #wanderlust #travel etc. I also suggest using your own personal hashtag ie mine is #foreignaussie and I include it with every post. I also suggest using hashtags that have more than 10,000 uses but less than 50,000. Some of the most popular hashtags such as #love and #beautiful have hundreds of millions of uses and your image will get swallowed up before it's had the chance to be seen by anyone. If you use hashtags that are less popular your post will stay front and centre for at least a little while, increasing the chances of it being seen by other people in your niche.
Tagging: A great way to increase your audience is to get feautured on other accounts, they don't even need to be 'big' accounts for it to be worth it. I was feautred by an account with 15,000 followers and I gained at least 20 new followers from it. You can get feautred by tagging accounts in an image you think they might like to feature, or by using a particular hashtag which will be promoted in their bio. Don't tag accounts for features unless you know they are open to it, you can find this out in their bio. it will say something like "for features tag ........" OR "for features use hashtag ........" make sure the photo is good too, they won't feature you unless it's a banging pic!
7. Keep business and personal separate
Business and personal DO NOT MIX. If you're trying to increase your following on social media for business purposes you absolutely cannot post personal photos. This isn't to say that you can't also have a personal account, but it must be separate to your business/brand account. This was one of my downfalls in the beginning. I only had one account on both Facebook and Instagram and at the same time as trying to market my blog I was also posting personal images every now and then... of me and my fiance, a selfie or a picture from a night out. Although those images are of interest to my loved ones, they're not interesting for anyone else! ditch any photos that aren't related to your cause.
5 things you should AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!
- Selfies. I know this from experience. After a week of good progress in my following I posted a selfie and literally lost 10 followers! I think you can really only get away with them when you're already successful and/or your niche is fashion or beauty related.
- Posting photos of the same thing. I recently unfollowed someone who literally just posted photos of hobbiton in New Zealand for a week. Literally she posted what was virtually the exact same photo just from different angles for an entire week. Annoying. Don't do that. You've got to mix it up!
- Being annoying in your captions. Like I said above (and this may just be me) but I find it irritating when people dribble on in their captions. I personally think it's better to keep them as simple as possible whilst at the same time making sure they are interesting, informative and engaging. Basically just get to the point in your captions, get rid of the fluff.
- Spamming accounts. When you're trying to comment on as many posts as you can it's easy to start sounding a little spammy. Try to mix your comments up, you want to come across as genuine and as though you're not just commenting for exposure. Asking questions is a good way to ensure your comments will be appreciated and not irritating.
- Following and then unfollowing. As above this is super annoying and everyone hates it. There are apps these days that allow people to monitor who has unfollowed them (I use the 'followers' app) so most of the time when you try this trick it doesn't work anyway! don't try and cheat, you'll just end up pissing people off. A few people have asked me about following etiquette and my advice is this; Don't feel obliged to 'follow back' everyone, just follow feeds you genuinely like and if you find out one of them did the follow/unfollow trick on you just unfollow them right back - this is easy to monitor using the app I mentioned above.
Good luck guys! I hope this helps you gain a bit of traction in the big old social media circus we're all trying to be successful in. Give it time and alot of effort and trust me, you'll get your act up there on the big stage.
Over & out x
Follow me on Instagram for more! https://www.instagram.com/foreign_aussie/