In social media marketing, generating a large following can be extremely helpful for businesses. While follower count isn't a metric businesses should obsess over , increasing followers can help you extend your online reach. And the larger the reach, the more visitors you can drive to your website and the more leads you can generate for your business (and these are the metrics you should really care about).
So what's the secret to increasing your social media following? It's fairly simple. Provide value.
Why Providing Value Is Important
Think about it. Of all the people, companies, and brands you follow in social media , which ones do you care about and pay attention to the most? The ones whose posts are valuable to you, right? If you consider all the social media accounts that have hoards of followers, you'll likely find that the reason is mostly because these accounts are posting and tweeting things that their followers want. So, wouldn't the best way to attract more followers for your own account be to provide as much value as you can targeted at the type of followers you want to attract?
Determine What Is Valuable to Your Audience
Value can mean a number of different things for different audiences. For some, it could be humor, for others it might be entertainment, and for yet another group, it might be data. And the list goes on. The key to 'providing value' is first to identify how your target audience interprets what is valuable to them. If you're a venue for comedy shows, maybe your target audience would find value in posts that make them laugh. If you're a consultant, your target audience might be more interested in posts that offer helpful tips and advice.
Remember: the idea isn't to attract every follower under the sun. You should really only be interested in followers who would make good customers for the products/services you offer. So focus your posts on what would be interesting to those people.
Examples of Valuable Content
As we said, valuable content will look different from business to business and industry to industry. However, one thing that is universally not valuable to followers is posts about yourself -- how awesome your products and services are, how awesome you are, etc. So limit and avoid those types of posts. Below are examples of common themes that will likely help you create posts that are valuable to your followers.
1. Posts That Educate:
Teaching your audience something? Definitely valuable. In your post, explain a concept or teach how to do something. Because social media postings usually require brevity, the best way to do this is to introduce the idea and what it will teach your followers, and include a link to the
where it lives on your blog or website.
2. Posts That Advise: Offering advice is a great way to provide value. Post short tips, tricks, and best practices that your followers will benefit from.
3. Posts That Inform: Informing your followers about news, industry trends, or hot topics will do wonders to make you the go-to account for the information your followers crave.
4. Posts That Engage:
Posts that encourage engagement and conversation from your followers can also provide value. Ask your followers questions or start a debate on a certain topic that motivates discussion among your followers. Social media is social, after all.
By providing value, you will start gaining a reputation as a must-follow account. Your current followers will likely retweet your valuable tweets and share your posts with their networks, sending a signal to
followers that you are someone worth following, too. Eventually, your following will grow, and so will your reach. Mission accomplished!
What other types of social media posts provides value? Do share!
Originally published Aug 17, 2011 1:16:00 PM, updated October 20 2016