The most popular topics in social media marketing is “How many followers do you have?”
And not just any followers — real followers, no bots. Brands want to grow their followers authentically by adding real people who love the brand and are looking to engage.
Today’s most popular brands and influencers have given us the blueprint for how to grow your social media following. We’re talking about real tactics to get real followers. We’ll give you fresh ideas that you can try today so that you can boost your follower count on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
First things first … How important is a followers on social media?
A common perception of follower counts is that they are only a number. They don’t have a direct effect on the engagement of a post or on the click through rate of a piece of content. Like many other analytics, you can measure followers, but it can be hard to see how — or even if — they matter.
However, more and more these days, follower counts tell a compelling story about your brand.
Followers do matter.
Followers equal trust.
Healthy follower counts generate positive social proof for your brand. People are more inclined to follow accounts that have a large amount of followers. Even the networks themselves reward you for your follower count: Instagram, for instance, lets you place “swipe up” links into your Stories once you reach 10,000 followers.
So not only are these follower counts influencing follow-back behavior and features, they’re impacting the way your social media presence is perceived.
Follower counts matter. They matter to marketers, they matter to individuals, and they matter to brands.
So let’s discuss some ways to get. more. followers.
5 Fresh Strategies to Get More Followers on Social Media
1. Promote your profile on all of your “owned” channels
First, you can promote your social profile on your blog.
“Owned” channels are the channels that you have full control over — your website, your blog, and your emails for instance. This is in contrast to earned channels like social media and organic SEO, and paid channels like search ads and media buying.
One of the very best ways to grow your follower count is to use your owned channels as a significant platform for distribution.
Let’s cover this in detail for three of the primary sources “owned” channels:
Second, you can promote your social profile on your website.
If you’re like us, your website is your most-visited asset.
This is why we see so many brands using the website as a hub for social media promotion. We toured a list of 100 top direct-to-consumer brands, and over 90 percent used their website to promote their social profiles.
Promotion typically happens either in the header menu at the top of the website, in a dedicated “social media space” on their homepage, or in a pop-up that highlights one of their profiles. By far the most popular location for social promotion is in the footer of websites. Nearly all the brands we looked at were linking to multiple social profiles in the footer: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube … even Spotify.
Third, you can promote your social profile in the emails that you send.
You’ve likely come across this many times before. If you picture someone’s email signature, it likely had a link to a website or social profile.
Brands do this as well with social media links in the footer of many of their email templates — both for marketing newsletters and in transactional emails like receipts.
The most effective calls-to-action can take a couple different forms. There’s Good American’s approach, which is a text-only, enormous list of links to each social network.
Then there’s the other approach of giving people a sample of what type of content they can expect to see if they were to follow you, particularly with visual networks like Instagram and Pinterest.
This brings us to our second tip for getting more followers.
2. Fill out your social media profile completely. And make it catchy.
People are more inclined to follow back profiles that:
- Look real. This includes a profile picture that isn’t just the default, and a custom header image
- Profiles that have a helpful description telling them who you are and what you are about
- Profiles with a nicely designed feed of content — whether it’s a series of Instagram photos or a variety of tweets
And it’s also true that a significant “follow-back” factor is followers themselves. People will follow accounts that have a lot of followers.
For the most part, brands and businesses will have these elements covered. If you are a new business just getting started or an individual looking to jump into a new social network, make sure you check these boxes with your profile before doubling down on follower growth.
Some advanced tips include:
- The Stories highlights on your Instagram profile get premium placement above your feed. You can capture your top Stories moments and even assign custom thumbnails to each collection.
- Facebook has one of the most robust “About” sections of any social network. Especially if you’re a business.
3. Always use hashtags whenever possible on social posts
To make the most of this tip, pick and choose from high-volume hashtags.
You may want to add your post to a high-volume hashtag or strategically choose to be placed on a lower-volume, but more-focused term.
On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags for your post and up to 10 hashtags in your Story.
Many brands choose to put their hashtags into the first comment of their Instagram post in order to keep the photo caption cleaner.
4. Use Instagram Stories to their full advantage
Hashtags can go a long ways toward increasing visibility. So, too, can Stories.
Instagram Stories appear on the Instagram Explore tab, which means that people beyond your immediate group of followers can find you there. You can also use hashtags, geo-locations, and @-mentions to surface your Stories further.
Hashtags and location stickers will make it possible for your Instagram Stories to appear on the search results page for those geo-locations and hashtags. And an @-mention sends a notification to the profile you’ve mentioned, and it gives that person or brand a chance to repost your Story to their Stories.
Which gives you even more chance to stand out and gain followers.
5. Be genuine. Use engagement strategies to gain more followers.
Similarly, some of the best strategies to grow your follower counts on social media are going to be strategies that you cannot automate.
Engagement strategies are one of those.
The core of an engagement strategy is to interact authentically with an audience on social media. Sounds quite reasonable, right? This is indeed one of the fastest ways to grow your followers … but it’s also one that takes time and can easily fall by the wayside when things get busy.
We’ve found that it can help to follow a playbook. And one of the most famous follower-growth playbooks is Gary Vaynerchuk’s $1.80 strategy. Gary says this is the one piece of advice he gives everyone who asks him how to get more Instagram followers.
Here’s how it works:
- Step one. Find the 10 most relevant hashtags in your niche and follow those hashtags.
- Step two. Reach out and comment on the top nine posts in each of the 10 hashtags.
- Step three. Continue to like and comment on posts each day.
The $1.80 strategy gets its name because you’re giving your two cents on nine posts for 10 hashtags every day. If you add that up, it equals $1.80 per day.
There are variations on this theme. Some people follow similar Instagram accounts and turn on post notifications for these accounts so they can be the first to like. Others find like-minded Instagram accounts and then follow and engage with the followers of those accounts.
At the core of all of these engagement strategies, though, is genuine engagement. The strategies won’t work without it.
Quick tips on getting more followers
Promote your profile with social ads.
Social ads will raise the visibility of your content and of your profile. For example, YouTube Ads will place your content front-and-center to viewers. And you can even run follower campaigns specifically, on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
We’ve had some of our best ad returns on Instagram Stories recently. Often times the younger the ad network, the greater the return. Pinterest is another younger ad network to try.
Run cross-promotion and takeovers with like-minded brands
Not only will this help with follower growth, it will also give you extra content for social. We typically approach this by reaching out to brands in our space and seeing if they’d be interested in a partnership. We’ve done takeovers with a variety of brands over the years.
Of course, you can also use your other social channels to your advantage. If you’re looking to grow a particular social profile, you can mention it in the description of your other profiles. For instance, if you’re growing your Youtube Channel, then add a plug for your Youtube Channel handle in your Instagram bio.
Use Instagram analytics to see what’s working.
We’re big proponents of a data-informed social media strategy. No matter which of the follower tips you try, be sure to follow up with a look at your numbers. Find out what’s working, and learn what to keep, what to stop, and what to start.
Some say followers is not important. That’s just people comforting themselves because they don’t have a lot of followers in their social media. Followers is the results of how good is your product/services is. How well you manage customer expectation and also the customer service that you give. That is just how it is.