With numerous platforms available for social connection—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube— where does a strategist even know where to begin? There are many more channels out there than what I named above, and your audience could be on every single one of them.
When it comes to channel growth, there are multiple ways to expand your brand. To keep this brief, I’m going to concentrate on my two favorite social media platforms: Twitter + Instagram.
Here are four basic types of social media strategies for follower building:
You get a follow! YOU get a follow! This is the type of strategy that includes giveaways and share contests to attract an audience to your channel. This includes asking your existing audience to retweet or share a certain image to win a prize.
My current favorite example of this is Tom’s #withoutshoes social media campaign. For every barefoot post using the hashtag, the company is giving away a pair of shoes (up to 1 million!). Now that’s an incentive to follow and share.
Look under your chairs, everyone is taking home a “Thanks for following!” today.
The Fat Minnie
Disclaimer: this example is about my cat. However, my social strategy got my cat over 3,000 followers. With this strategy, you actively practice follower building by following other accounts and engaging by favoriting and commenting.
This strategy is the most time consuming, but it works well if you’re building from scratch. Before beginning, do extensive research to determine your audience in order to curate specific content that will encourage them to follow and engage. For this example, that content included high quality cat photos and strategic hashtagging.
The Best Friends Forever
With this strategy, you seek to meet your audience IRL. This can be done through hosting InstaMeets or speaking/attending networking events.
I use a combination of The Fat Minnie and The BFF in my current position where I manage a brand’s social account. In addition to creating a conversation through comments, meeting with followers in real life helps them put a face to our brand name. This encourages them to engage with our channel without them feeling like they’re speaking to a product.
I highly recommend this strategy if you’re looking to build a community from your platform.
The Mr. President
This strategy is where your audience seeks YOU. This example stems from the creation of the @POTUS account on Twitter. The account broke records with the amount of followers it received in less than five hours. How many tweets did the president send? Three. How many is the account following? 65.
The President has the type of social presence, where people seek out the account to follow the content posted. With this strategy, your platform is built before you even launch an account. This would work for brands such as eBay and Bank of America, who already have a large audience outside of social.
What do these strategies have in common? They all begin with the analyzing of your audience. Who is following you? Who do you WANT to follow you? Step two is how you get there—content and engagement.
What strategy do you use to grow your audience?