Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to Get More Followers

Growing your online audience is not as important as engaging the audience you already have. Your current audience is much more likely to attract your future audience to your site then you are. 

What that means for you is that you are going to have to spend a lot more time engaging people. You need to talk to them and more importantly, listen to what they are saying. Learning about "your" people will allow you to discover what they actually want. When you discover what they want you can much more effectively deliver it to them. 

You might have 1000 followers on twitter but are they actually your people? Only 16% of US adults are on twitter and 40% of them aren't participating. 96% of the people who "like" your Facebook page will never return to it again. If you are managing to attract people to your sites, are you then giving them any reason to stay? (Stats from the Social Media Strategy Summit in San Francisco Sept. 25-26)

Three simple beginner steps to getting more followers on your social networks are:
  • Engage your audience
  • Create compelling content
  • Include visuals
#1 Engage Your Audience
This means actually talking to them about something they are interested in. Comment on something they say. Go check out their blog, leave a comment and then tweet the link with a shout out to them personally. Answer their questions. If they comment on something you wrote, send them a thank you. Absolutely be authentic with all your online interactions. 

Send messages on twitter like this- 
Thanks for following :) May I invite you to explore an incredible opportunity, it'll blow you away: http://........ 
That message sent to me resulted in immediate distrust, I did not follow the link and I responded to the the person by saying they looked like spam and unfollowing them.

#2 Create Compelling Content
Write and post about what your audience is actually interested in, not what you think they are interested in or what you want them to be interested in. Come up with a strategy for what you are going to post each week. Post some fun stuff. No one wants to see boring content filling up their news feed and home pages every day. 

#3 Include Visuals
People are visual and the Internet is a visual world. Images and videos are King when it comes to increasing your views. On Facebook it isn't worth posting without a visual attached. If your headline was good enough to actually get someone to your blog post, don't blow it by not including a relevant and compelling image. 

*There are rules to using images online. Don't go stealing other people's work. Sara Hawkins from Social Media Examiner wrote this in-depth article on the subject: Copyright, Fair use and How it Works for Online Images.

Obviously there is more to it all than just those three tips. Another tip is not to post too much. Most people, if they actually follow the link to your post, aren't likely to read past the first 2 lines. Stay tuned, I promise to post more.

Do you have questions? Leave a comment below.

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