On social media, your follower count gives you an idea of your brand awareness and reach.
That's why gaining followers is often an important goal for brands, especially as they scale.
So, how do you gain followers? We know buying them doesn't work because it rarely translates to engagement. The good news is that there are at least 20 ways to gain them organically.
Let's cover them below.
1. Develop your Facebook marketing strategy.
Having a social media strategy for your Facebook Business Page is the first step in attracting followers to your brand. A robust strategy gives your team direction and a playbook from which to develop new ideas. It also helps you assess your performance from the right lens.
When developing your playbook, here are a few questions to consider:
- What does success look like?
- What does our audience want to see?
- How should we engage our audience?
- What tactics are our competitors using on Facebook?
Once you are clear on your approach, it will be easier to explore the growth methods outlined below.
2. Post often.
Your posting schedule is undoubtedly linked to your followers. Why? The more you post, the more visible you are to your target audience and the more likely you are to reach new users.
Here are two tools to streamline your publishing process:
- A content calendar – This is used to plan out what content you will post to your social media platforms and when they will be published. It's especially helpful to have a content calendar to align your social media content with upcoming events, such as product or service launches.
- A social media publishing tool – Manually publishing to your Facebook Page can be time-consuming and take you away from more important tasks. With a publishing tool, you can schedule your posts to go live at a specific time and date, and have the peace of mind that your page will always be active.
3. Host giveaways.
Giveaways can be an effective and low-cost way to build brand awareness and attract new Facebook users to your Facebook Page.
To maximize the impact of your giveaway, set rules that encourage audience participation. For instance, your giveaway can require each user to tag a friend in the giveaway post and make a post of their own to qualify to win.
The more engagement you can get from your followers, the better chance your giveaway will reach new users.
4. Vary your posts.
One of the reasons why your follower count may have plateaued is because your content isn't connecting with consumers.
Start experimenting with various types of posts to see what garners more shares, comments, and other forms of engagement. You may find that videos perform much better than images, or that covering certain topics get more shares than others.
As you notice trends in what's working and what's not, tweak your strategy, observe, and keep experimenting.
5. Post at the right time.
If you post something on Facebook but no one's around to see it, does it make an impact?
With social media, visibility is key. The first part of increasing your visibility is posting regularly, but you also have to align your posting schedule with your audience's scrolling habits.
If your users are most active on Facebook between 5:00 and 9:00 PM., that's your time to publish your content. Publish outside of that window and you risk your content being missed altogether.
6. Create shareable content.
Whenever you see something that's informative, entertaining, inspiring, or just interesting, what's your first instinct nowadays? Mine is to hit the "share" button and send it to other people.
Making shareable content is one of the best ways to get followers because it expands your reach.
What makes something have that shareable quality? It varies, depending on the audience you're targeting, but one common thread is that it has to resonate. Maybe your content addresses a concern they have, or it discusses a topic they're interested in.
This viral video from HubSpot garnered over 760K views and shows how to take a buzzy topic, like Game of Thrones, and apply it to your brand.
For instance, this 40-second video by ASOS is weird, funny and has over 300K views.
Lastly, make sure your content is visually appealing. If your team doesn't have the bandwidth to invest internal resources to create these creative assets, consider outsourcing them through independent contractors.
7. Interact with your audience.
Facebook users, like most social media users, like to feel seen and heard by the brands they engage with. Your brand should make it a priority to interact with your followers regularly, whether it's answering a direct message or responding to a comment under your latest post.
These interactions not only boost your engagement rate but can also build brand loyalty. And we all know that a consumer who is loyal to a brand will spread the word and bring on more brand promoters, serving as unofficial influencers.
8. Promote your Facebook Page everywhere.
If your goal is to gain more followers on your business page, you should direct traffic to your page whenever possible. There are a few ways to do this:
- Add a Facebook plugin to your website.
- Include a CTA in your email newsletter to encourage your subscribers to visit your Facebook Page.
- Embed your Facebook posts whenever relevant in your blog posts.
- Host your giveaways only on Facebook.
- Promote your Facebook Page on other social media platforms.
9. Add your Facebook social link to all digital platforms.
Your Facebook link should be accessible everywhere you have an online presence. This includes your website, email, and social media platforms.
It’s as simple as putting “Follow Us,” or “Connect With Us” with the social icons, as shown in the business above.
The easier it is to find you, the better your chances of gaining followers.
10. Work with influencers.
Working with influencers is great for many reasons, the main one being the credibility they give to your brand. When an influencer promotes a brand, it's social proof (i.e., a stamp of approval).
You can work with influencers to target an audience you haven't yet connected with and drive traffic to your Facebook Page.
Beyond that, studies show consumers tend to trust the word of an influencer more than a brand's word. So, by collaborating with influencers, you can earn new followers who already have a certain level of trust in your brand.
11. Partner up with another brand.
Co-marketing is a collaboration between two brands with similar audiences and marketing goals who team up for marketing efforts.
A co-marketing campaign on Facebook could look like a video series released over a month or week-long Facebook Live events hosted with your partner.
This strategy allows brands to use their individual distribution channels to reach new people and share the results of the campaign.
12. Offer a coupon.
In addition to giveaways, there are other ways to incentivize your audience to promote your brand, including offering coupons.
With a plugin like Shopify's Facebook Likes Popup, for example, you can offer a discount code to consumers who like your Facebook Page as they are completing a purchase on your site.
You can also offer discount codes to encourage Facebook reviews, which serve as social proof and can help you gain more followers.
13. Join Facebook Groups.
Joining a Facebook Group can give you direct access to your target audience.
You can get direct insight into your audience's needs, concerns, likes, and dislikes. In addition, it's another channel to connect with them more intimately.
But keep in mind, it's not a place for selling – use it as a way to introduce yourself to your target personas and build authentic connections.
14. Create your own Facebook Group.
Having your own Facebook Group is arguably the second-best channel you can have behind an email list.
Similar to email subscribers, a Facebook Group user has opted to join your group and stays in because it adds value to their lives.
It's another way to attract your target audience, build a strong community, and provide value to your user personas.
15. Learn from your Facebook Insights dashboard.
Your Facebook Insights dashboard is where your page's analytics live.
It tells you how users are behaving on your Facebook Business Page and how your posts are performing.
Use it as a resource to identify which strategies are earning you followers and what's worth changing.
16. Use hashtags in your posts.
Hashtags are a great discoverability tool on Facebook. You can use them to help your target market find your post and increase your follower count.
It's important to use a mix of popular and niche hashtags to ensure that your posts are getting enough visibility without disappearing in a sea of posts.
For instance, PowerChord used a mix of geo-specific hashtags to reach local Facebook users and topic-specific hashtags to reach audiences interested in the subject.
17. Make your page easier to find.
The last thing you want is someone who wants to follow your page but can't seem to find it. While some may be persistent, others may give up once their initial search is unsuccessful.
To avoid this issue altogether, optimize your Facebook Page for search to ensure you'll always be easy to find. Here are some ways to do so:
- Use the same username on all your social media profiles.
- Add your logo to your profile picture and add a cover photo that reflects your brand.
- Have a complete "About" section.
- Keep your contact information and business hours updated.
18. Don't over-promote.
Your Facebook Page should be used to connect with your target audience and publish content that resonates with them.
While a certain level of promotion is expected, it shouldn’t be the majority of what you post. Depending on your industry, pushing your products and services could repel your audience and lead to high unfollow rates.
19. Authenticate your page.
Social media is rampant with bots and fake business pages aiming to deceive consumers. This can make Facebook users a little reluctant to follow brands they don't recognize.
Authenticating your page can give your brand the credibility needed to both protect your audience against fraudulent pages and give them the reassurance they need. To request a verification badge on Facebook, you must fill out this form.
20. Create original content.
As new social media platforms gain popularity, it's easy to recycle content from one platform to another. While that does make posting regularly easier, it may be hurting your engagement.
Every social media platform is different and so are its users. For instance, Facebook users tend to prefer videos over other forms of content, according to a 2019 Buffer study. The best performing content on Facebook is funny, entertaining, or practical.
With this in mind, it's important to customize your content to the platform. Repurposing can stretch the life of your content. However, it shouldn't be your only strategy. Be sure to listen to your audience and build content around their needs.
21. Run ads.
In addition to all the steps mentioned above, you can also run ads to reach more Facebook users.
Facebook Ads allows you to target users based on demographics, behaviors, and interests. This guarantees that you reach users who match your user persona and are more likely to convert.
Getting more followers on Facebook requires more than just posting regularly. You have to tap into what attracts your audience – through data analysis and community engagement – to develop sustainable strategies.
Originally published Apr 6, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated January 11 2022