Most marketers can agree that having a solid and reliable social media presence is a competitive advantage in today’s world.
Where other companies might see it as a headache, many businesses are taking a proactive approach to their social media sites, allowing them to compete effectively in a crowded marketplace.
In an age where social media is king, having a significant following can be the difference between success and failure.
That being said, there are many ways to grow your followers.
One very reliable method is to produce high-quality, interesting content that will attract new followers.
This blog post is going to teach you how to grow your social media followers using quality content, by that I mean, content people in your niche look for and like; and how to know which post is the best social media post for your follower base.
Why it is important to grow your social media followers
To fully grasp the importance of coming up with content ideas that draw quality engaged followers on social media channels, first understand why aiming for follower growth is beneficial for your business.
Three reasons you should grow your social media followers:
- Social Proof. Your follower count can make others decide to follow you-or not. I hear marketers posit that the number of fans is just a vanity metric [read: unimportant]. I believe it is important. The number of followers is a company’s social proof. Social proof is an established bias that came about from a study done in the 30’s. There are many kinds of social proof and follower count is one of them.
- More for more. Having a lot of followers increases your chance of getting seen by more social media users. “More followers attract more followers” as brandmentions.com puts it.
Whatever you do, please do not buy followers. At the end of the day, it is not going to be beneficial to your company. What you need are real followers that would engage with you and ultimately buy from you.
This leads us to….
- Followers to customers. If you are a business owner, realize that your quality followers are your potential customers, hence I do not recommend buying social media followers. And I do not believe that there is a right way to buy social media followers.
If you have this part squared away, then you are ready for the next part.
Content is the lifeblood of social networks
Yes, it is… There is no doubt about that.
Great content can increase your chance to obtain quality followers.
Many social media content creators for B2B companies tend to forget about how important a valuable content can be when it comes to creating a stellar social media presence.
They often put their time and effort into creating accounts in platforms – and stop there.
Without high-quality content, your social media business accounts have no value to your thousands of followers.
So what types of content types should you post to increase your social followers
1. Post original content
Give your audience the opportunity to see some fresh content by creating a bunch of posts that are yours.
It is hard to do this if you haven’t thought about your brand’s voice and target audience yet.
That said, make sure that you have that established first. Need help on that? Speak with social media specialists..*cough* like us.
Once you’ve settled this, it is easier to come up with content ideas that are right for your audience.
Here are very engaging content types visual that your company can create for social media:
Why consider creating video content as a part of your social media strategy? According to Hootsuite, videos earn 1,200% more shares than images or text.
Let me say that again, 1,200%.That’s a whopping number of shares!
And if your B2B company considering investing a few bucks for social media ads, this type of visual content is the best way to go. Why is that? Video content is 50% cheaper in cost per engagement (CPE). (impactplus.com)
Tips for videos:
- Educational videos – long videos are okay.
- Promotional videos – keep it short and concise.
As to how long or short that is, test it. Example, if after a few minutes of watching your own video content, you feel you are dropping off already, better cut it short.
Tweets with images earn 150% more retweets that those who don’t. (oberlo.com)
However, coming up with a social media graphics shouldn’t be done mindlessly. Keeping visual content relevant is always an effective strategy.
Make sure that they are visually pleasing, with elements and colors that catch your audience’s attention.
People share content that has a high quality visual most of the time. This is 40 times more likely to happen vs. content without images and other kinds of posts (socialmediatoday.com)
Don’t forget to brand both your visual and video contents!
2. Curated posts
While it is important to produce original content that shows off your brand voice and style, it can be exhausting and draining.
Do I hear a yes?
Did you know that….
According to Curata, “Leading marketers use a mixture of 65 percent created content and 25 percent curated content.”
Curated posts are contents owned by others.
Curating posts from your favorite blogs, companies and your followers can help you capture your audience’s attention.
How do you curate? When looking at curated posts, the most important thing to consider is relevance. Does this post fit with your target audience? And does it fit with your content strategy?
Aside from the fact that curated content makes your life easier by hastening your content production and filling the white space in your content calendar, it also increases your credibility and authority in the eyes of your audience.
Just a few things that you need to remember as you curate content from other sources:
- Read it.
- Share only relevant content from credible sources.
- Not all popular content is helpful to your audience. Stay on topic.
3. Authentic posts
There is no such thing as a perfect post.
On a daily basis, you are constantly making choices about when and what to post: too much or too little? Too soon or too late? Too political or too personal?
One thing that we can’t control is our authenticity. If you’re not being authentic, it’s likely that your followers will feel it. They’ll sense inauthenticity in the tone of your voice, in the words you use, and in the way you present yourself.
Authentic social media posts help grow your social media followers in a variety of ways.
Firstly, it is easier to connect with your followers on an authentic social media post. This is because humans have an innate need to connect with others, and an authentic post humanizes your brand. It feels less like a faceless company selling something and more like a real person with a real story to share.
Secondly, humanizing your company can generate more interest and attention from your followers since people are always curious about other people’s stories.
Thirdly, authenticity can lead to better engagement on your posts.
“…brands were once lambasted for coming off like robots, a human social media presence has become an expectation among many followers.”Sproutsocial
What are examples of authentic posts for your company?
The key to building a successful social media account is by being personal and authentic, and there are many ways to show your brand’s personality online.
- Share your own thoughts and ideas in a conversational and friendly tone
- Share photos and videos of your own
- Find videos that show your personality or interests
- Share your favorite jokes, funny videos, photos
- Post compelling stories of your employees or customers
- or other things that interest you.
Let your audience know they are conversing with real people.
Instead of just blasting a bunch of posts. Set aside a time to respond to your social media followers. Humans engage.
Always show a bit of your personality – and humanity in your posts.
Your followers appreciate authenticity and transparency.
4. Share interesting social media posts
Remember this when creating a social media post: what is in it for them?
A social media post that relates to what your business is interested in will be more interesting for other B2Bs who are already interested in that topic.
Then, the more that post gets shared and liked, the more followers you will gain.
When your posts on social media networks are relevant to your followers, they are more likely to like and share your posts. Hence, share new posts on your social feed that fosters follower growth.
What kind of information is your audience looking for?
What do they need?
What are the problems that they are trying to solve?
What are your audience’s pain points?
Always take into consideration what your audience’s needs are when creating or sharing content in your social channels.
5. User-generated content
The benefits of user generated content on social media are undisputed:
- it addresses the problem of the content gap; and,
- it can increase social following and engagement.
This type of social media content can be more engaging and interesting than a company posting the same content over and over.
If you want to expand your social presence and grow your followers, this is the best way to do it.
The more content that is engaging and compelling, that drives people to engage with your pages, the more likely you will get new followers.
It’s not simply a numbers game. It is a numbers game, but more importantly, it is a quality game.
The more different user-generated content types you can post, the more likely you will end up with repeat visitors.
And with repeat visitors comes the possibility of converting some of them into followers, then customers.
One way that brands can take advantage of user generated content is to create polls or other interactive activities that allow fans to participate and share their posts. That means a lot of user-generated content for the brand to share.
6. Use hashtags
Hashtags are keys to getting access to a wider audience, which means potential followers for your company.
Hashtags can be used to:
- promote a business,
- get your voice heard, or
- even just to connect with your favorite companies.
People want to follow hashtags that are relevant to them.
That is why using hashtags is a great way to get people interested in your posts and follow your social media profiles.
This means that the hashtag should be chosen with intention and should be unique.
Certain hashtags have a higher potential for success than others, so think about what your goals are and create a hashtag that will help you grow your followers and stay relevant.
For example, if you are making a post specifically for a conference you can use a hashtag related to the conference (i.e. #exampleconf) so that anyone following that hashtag will see your post. Another way you can use hashtags is as a talking point for your blog posts.
You can have a hashtag at the end of your posts (i.e. #blogpost) to get more people to find your post and read it.
Specifically beneficial for Instagram and Twitter, include hashtags in your social media strategy.
Types of hashtags that you can use:
- Branded hashtags
- Industry-specific hashtags
- Popular hashtags
- Fun hashtags
You can find out more about how to leverage the power of hashtags here.
7. Slideshows and presentations
Does your company have slideshows and presentations that you can share as as posts on social media?
Slideshows are consumed by a different set of business audiences.
Businesses rarely explore this content type so this can be a great way for you to stand out.
Use slideshows and presentations to showcase your expertise and products to gain better B2B followers.
Simply repurpose your content to slideshows and upload it to LinkedIn for your future and current followers to consume. Or just upload it to SlideShare.
So how do you figure out what content is best for your social media followers?
Since content is the backbone of your social media feeds, how do you know which content is the best for your social media followers?
You don’t have to guess this one. Leverage the power of the social media insights and analytics tools.
Yes, check what the social metrics are showing you and what is telling you.
Checking the data should be a part of your social media marketing strategy.
It’s a Wrap
Content is king in social media.
The post you create is the key to growing your social media following.
When you post interesting and useful content about your business, people will find you and start following you.