6 Ways to Organically Grow Your Social Media Followers
Your followers on social media aren't just a number. They're people looking to connect, learn, grow and laugh. They're your current and potential customers. To grow the latter, it takes planning and time, as it does in every other area of your business. And using an organic approach to grow your online audience results in attracting new, loyal, real customers.
Know and Listen to Your Audience
Just like you do outside of social media with your customers, you should spend time getting to know and listening to the audience you already have online. Each social platform has an 'Insights' feature that rounds up the content you've shared, interactions and demographics on your audience. Start by taking a look at your posts that currently have the most engagement. Analyze this data regularly and post more of what your audience is resonating with.
You can also find out what your audience wants by simply asking. You can do this in many ways — on Instagram, for example, you can do this through Stories, Posts, Lives and Live Rooms or even IGTV. Their thoughts and feedback can improve your business on a larger scale outside of social media, too.
Plan Your Content
If you're active in the social media world, you know that consistent posting (focusing on the features that social platforms are currently favoring, think Instagram Reels) is crucial to keeping your audience engaged and the platform's algorithm in your favor.
- Start with one social platform at a time.
- Use content pillars to ensure all of the new content you produce aligns with your overall strategy/goals and brings value to your target audience. Are you educating, inspiring, entertaining or connecting? Not every post should be promoting something. There's value in being relatable and making your audience feel connected to your brand.
- Now that you've got it all planned out, it's time to dedicate a day to batch it all. Spend this day recording your Instagram Reels and TikToks, taking photos for your feed and more.
Create Video Content
This might seem obvious as video marketing has been around for a while, but the way it performs over other content formats speaks for itself. You don't have to hire a production team and pay for "commercial quality" video content. Sure, commercial quality content is great (and you should utilize it where it resonates if you already have it), however, your audience is craving authenticity and wants to connect to you and your brand on a casual and personal level.
Thanks to smartphones and the many features social platforms offer, you can create quality video content on your own. You can do this by keeping things casual and not over editing your videos. As long as you're hooking your audience within the first couple of seconds and bringing true value, you're doing things right.
Adapt to the Ever-changing Social Media World and Utilize the Latest Features
We've seen social media evolve so much over the last decade and it's not slowing down any time soon. This doesn't mean your business has to be on every social media platform, even when a new one launches. It's more effective to pick a few platforms (based on your audience) and focus your efforts there.
Two things that are always changing: the algorithms and features.
- Get comfortable with any new features as they emerge. Insider tip: Instagram just introduced Remixes.
- Research trends before diving into them.
- Keep your eye on algorithm shifts and other changes on the platforms you invest the most in and pivot accordingly.
Engage with Your Audience
Don't just post and exit out of the app (or your scheduling platform). Spend time communicating with your audience and building a connection. After you post, comment on other users' posts and find a way to resonate with them.
Aside from your regularly scheduled posts, randomly jump on Instagram Stories, start a new conversation in your Facebook Group or Live and talk with your audience directly. People like to see the face behind the brand and want to connect.
Partner with Micro-influencers
We've spent a lot of time talking about the importance of connecting with your audience and micro-influencers do a great job at just that. These are influencers with 10k-60k followers who really know their niche and share their interests with their audience. They're able to interact and connect with their community on a personal level and typically have higher engagement rates than influencers with a larger following because of the size of their audience.
Some key benefits to working with micro-influencers:
- Quality content over quantity following
- Genuine people who produce authentic and relatable content
- Loyal, engaged followers
- Cost effective
- May already be fans (and promoting) your brand
Collaborating with micro-influences gives small businesses a chance to reach a qualified audience they're not already reaching. It's important you spend time looking for an influencer within your niche so their followers will want to engage with your product or service as they learn more about your business.
Above all, stay true to your brand and continue to show up and bring value to your audience by planning and posting quality content. While it's beneficial to grow your online audience, there's greater benefit in cultivating a loyal, highly engaged community.