109: How to Get More Followers on Social Media
Want to know how to get more followers on social media? I’ve got you covered. This posts is the third in a series on Why Your Audience Isn’t Growing. You should also read Why Your Social Media Isn’t Growing to see mistakes you might be making!
One of the biggest questions that people have about social media is how to get followers. No matter how many you currently have, we all seem to want to get MORE followers. And more. We can never have enough!!
I especially know what it feels like to be just starting out where you have under 1000 followers. I remember my first year on Twitter with something like 300 followers, feeling like I would never grow.
Getting followers feels like an impossible task. You need more followers so that you have some kind of social proof, so that more people will follow you, but no one will follow you without more followers. And I have found it to be true that once you pass a certain benchmark of at least a thousand people, it gets easier to grow.
Getting followers is kind of like a chicken and egg problem.
So let’s talk about how you get more followers on social media, especially when you are just starting out OR when you are stuck.
Note: This post contains affiliate links! That means at no extra cost to you, I will receive a commission if you purchase something through some of the links I share.
Listen to How to Get More Followers on Social Media
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HOW TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Before we even get into the specifics of how, I want to talk about the WHY. Specifically YOUR why. If you are not super clear on your why, you are going to struggle to grow your social media presence, your blog, and your audience.
Your WHY is your purpose. My background is in writing, so I like to think of it as your theme. A theme isn’t the beginning-middle-end of a story, but the ideas that run throughout, tying the story together.
For an example, my WHY is that I want to help writers and bloggers build an online platform without being smarmy. I love helping people connect with their perfect audience online, using all the tools and strategies that smart marketers use, but without the icky salesy tactics.
Knowing my WHY means that if I have a post idea that doesn’t fit into that overarching purpose, I don’t write it. Or I write it in a guest post somewhere else. Or on my other blog.
If you aren’t clear on your why or the audience you serve, you are going to really struggle!
Take some time to write out a clear statement of purpose. This should include who you serve, how you serve them, and what is unique to you.
HOW TO GET FOLLOWERS THROUGH CONTENT
Once you have your why in place, you can both create and curate content that fits under the umbrella of your why. In the second post of this series I talked about curating content, which is essentially the way that you share other people’s content on social media. I want to go even deeper on this idea of sharing relevant content.
Consider your perfect audience (see my series on how to find your perfect audience) when you are coming up with content ideas to create. In the same way, think about your target audience when you are choosing Tweets to Retweet or pins to share on Pinterest.
Ask yourself: Does this serve my perfect audience?
When you share awesome content (your own and others), a really cool thing happens. People start to see you as an authority.
You become their go-to for news, trends, and resources. You save them the time so they don’t have to research all the latest trends or news. Sharing quality content will help you get more followers that are truly interested in you. That’s why it’s really important to share relevant content.
PRO TIP: On Facebook in particular, you need to not only consider the topic, but the kind of content. If you keep sharing viral videos because they get great reach, but you don’t CREATE video, this may hurt you in the long run. When you share your blog posts as links, your page is used to doing well with video, so the reach may diminish for link posts. An active page doesn’t help you if it’s active for video, but you are trying to drive traffic to a blog.
Examples of People Sharing Consistent Quality Content
Here are a few of my favorite creator/curators in different niches:
The Sell More Books Show – Each week Bryan Cohen and Jim Kukral share five big newsworthy items and three tips related to book writing and marketing, especially in the indie space. I want to know what’s going on, so I follow their podcast, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page so hopefully I won’t miss anything.
Jenn’s Trends – Jenn Herman has a blog focused on social media, specifically Instagram. Even though I’ve temporarily told Instagram, “it’s not me, it’s you,” I can count on her to share big news I need to know about social media. I joined her Facebook group to keep up with what she’s sharing about social media.
Social Media Examiner – While this seems like a no-brainer because this is a hugely established site, I love Michael Stelzner’s curiosity and passion for social media. (You can hear this particularly through his podcast, where he seems genuinely excited and interested in the guests.)
HOW TO GET FOLLOWERS THROUGH CONTENT-SHARING TOOLS
Sharing consistent quality content is HARD. Especially when you are also creating content too. I really rock at creating content. I love it. Give me content creation all. day. long.
And while I shared in my post on why your blog isn’t growing that it’s not just about promotion, YOU HAVE TO PROMOTE your awesome content. If you are trying to curate good content from other people as well (which you should do), then you have even more posts to share and schedule. Promotion is a lot of work, so you’ll want some tools to help with that.
Note: Don’t forget that you can’t JUST promote. You have to engage with people as well! Read the previous post in this series for ideas.
So what tools can help you get followers on social media through content sharing?
My favorite tools to share quality content-
Quuu – (Facebook & Twitter) This app will generate and autopost relevant content to your Twitter or Facebook feeds for you. Like most apps, you can use some features with the free version and then upgrade.
I honestly don’t LOVE pushing out content that I haven’t seen first. But they have a great vetting process for the posts that they take, so you will get great content!
Quuu Promote – This is a paid part of Quuu where you can submit posts to go in the Quuu feed. I’ve seen really great results from putting my posts in here. This means that when other people sign up for Quuu and autopost links, YOUR links go in the pool to be shared on a particular topic.
This has resulted in a good amount of traffic and also shown me what content is working well. Check out these two posts, both about email marketing. (For reference, another promoted post I did had 17 clicks from only 80 shares, as compared to the 300-something shares for only 8 clicks.) They don’t accept posts automatically, but look through each.
Promo Republic – I love this social sharing tool because it comes with templates and stock photos that you can edit (think: Canva), but you don’t have to LEAVE the platform to share them. Instead, you create them right there, write your text for a post, then choose to share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram (reminder, not autoschedule, since Insta doesn’t allow that).
They share trends that may help you come up with post ideas and you can create a queue of content that will post at optimal times. Get this on AppSumo for a limited time with my referral code (that gives me credit at no extra cost to you) HERE.
Tailwind – I love this app for Pinterest! (It also does Instagram, but I don’t use it for that.) It has one of the easiest scheduling dashboards I’ve used. You can click a button to shuffle them all, choose the best time slots you want per day, how many shares per day, and even join tribes of other Pinterest users to promote each other’s content. If you use my affiliate link, you’ll get a free month to try it out!
- Learn how to use tribes and where to find them
Hootsuite – I have been using Hootsuite maybe longer than any other social tool! It’s very similar to Buffer, which a lot of people like, but because I have never seen a reason to switch! Choose which one works for you. You can manage up to three accounts with Hootsuite’s free plan, including Facebook (page, group, or profile), LinkedIn, and Twitter.
I create Twitter lists within Hootsuite and then can easily go in and schedule content on a weekly basis. (Though I’ve been HORRIBLE about this lately.) It clears the clutter when you just want to pop in and see what’s going on over on Twitter. This makes it easier to get in, engage and schedule, then get out without getting lost.
Iconosquare – Iconosquare is NOT a social scheduling platform and is strictly for Instagram. But it’s a really helpful tool to manage your followers and to see what content people engage with so that you can create more of the same. You can even track details like which hashtags performed well for you. As with most tools, you can get more when you pay.
Social Jukebox – This is a great tool to create a content library (or “jukebox”) of evergreen content that get shared again and again over time.
RecurPost – Similar to Social Jukebox, this tool will let you schedule posts to share again and again. If you don’t want to pay for Edgar or SmarterQueue, you can use these two together to get the max number of posts without paying.
PRO TIP: Remember to share your own posts with as much gusto and passion as you share other people’s posts. This tip comes by way of Paula Rollo of Beauty Through Imperfection and her Facebook Group, Actionable Blogging Tips.
HOW TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS THROUGH FOLLOW FOR FOLLOW
I know that in the past year, the idea of getting followers by following people brings out the eye rolls. Especially on Instagram, people talk about getting 300 new followers in a day, then losing 294 two days later. (True story.) That’s a LOT of people doing it wrong.
The BEST way to follow people to get followers on Instagram and Twitter is to follow people you are actually interested in, interact with them in a way that isn’t smarmy (ex: DON’T follow, then tweet at them telling them you followed and asking them to follow back), and then in a few weeks or month, unfollow the people who aren’t following you back UNLESS they are stellar content creators and you want to keep following.
Give this practice a little more of a personal touch and a little more time to see it actually work for you.
A Note on Facebook
I have not mentioned much about growing a Facebook page here. There are a few reasons for this. First, this can be one of the harder platforms to grow. Because of the way the Facebook algorithm works, people often won’t see your content. Even huge pages have very little reach on posts. I’ll talk more about this in a separate post, because it’s a HUGE topic.
HOW TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS…SPARINGLY
Facebook groups – Many blogger Facebook groups have threads on a weekly or daily basis where you can link to your social profiles and then follow everyone and have them follow you. You really want TARGETED followers, so these don’t always work well. But depending on your goals or while you’re trying to get past that social proof number, this may really help.
Giveaways – You can definitely grow quickly and with big results using giveaways. But you are more than likely going to end up with people who don’t care about you or your content. Particularly if you are giving away money or a gift card to a store. Try to be more targeted to your audience and give a great prize, but one that is specific to writers or moms or your audience.
Ads – You can run Facebook ads to get likes for your page, but this is something I would do sparingly. Facebook seems to drop your reach right after you pay for things to make you think you NEED to pay for things. So, realize this is an option in the ads manager, but don’t rely on this.
Remember the Context When You Are Trying to Get Followers!
If you are trying to get more followers on social media, don’t forget your overall purpose. Think of the kinds of followers you really want and the long-term goals.
Consider all these tips in conjunction with the reasons your social media isn’t growing, particularly thinking about the idea that you need to be SOCIAL.
What are YOUR tips for getting more followers on social media? Share in the comments!