Ten tips to build your social media followers

Quality or Quantity?

Are you stressing over the number of your social media followers?

Some small business owners worry that they don’t have enough people following their social sites. While others get all crazy about their content and whether their followers are engaging with their posts.

So which is it? Should you focus on finding more followers or grow your connection with the ones who already hit that Follow button?

My answer to that one is well, a little bit of both.

I can honestly say that if I had to choose between these two scenarios – 3,000 people following my Facebook fan page but only 100 people were interested in working with me or 300 people on my fan page and 250 people wanted to buy my stuff – well, I’m clearly going with the latter.

Because when it comes to your social media followers, it’s not the amount of fans that counts but the number of qualified people you’ve connected with in your social sites. These folks are the ones you want to spend your time growing. They’re the ones who will go from a simple social connection into a paying customer.

Finding Your People

So how do you find more of “your people” to connect with you? There’s a ton of posts out there giving you advice about what to do, how to do it and sometimes, even how often to do these steps.

And I know there’s a whole bunch of articles out there because I read most of them.

I was trapped in a little diner when one of those famous Florida storms passed by. When a rainstorm like that hits, there’s nothing you can do but wait it out. There I was, stuck in a corner booth with nothing but my tablet and my notebook. So I researched and read and reviewed a bunch of advice on how to grow your followers.

I noticed that some of the same advice kept coming up so I compiled them all together to give you the Ten Tips to Build Your Social Media Followers:

1. Be consistent

Your social media marketing is like anything else you do for your business. It works when you work it.

If you leave too much time between posting to your sites, you’ll fade from your followers feeds. Out of sight means out of mind. I learned that one that hard way with one of my Facebook fan page experiments.

2. Put your social media links where we can find them

One of the best ways to get more qualified followers is to put your social media links in an easy to find place on your site. I can’t believe how many sites I’ve been to and had to search through several pages before I found the person’s Twitter link.

Seriously folks, this is just basic marketing 101.

If someone takes the time to actually click on one of your links to go to your site, it means they landed there for a reason. Maybe it was your content, the image you used or because they wanted to learn more about you. No matter the reason they found you, give them a way to stay connected.

3. Find and follower other people

There’s a reason they call it SOCIAL media. Social sites are set up for us to socialize and virtually meet other people.

Don’t just expect that since you set up your fan page that people will just find you. This isn’t the Field of Dreams and you’re not Kevin Costner.

To get more “your people” to follow you, you need to go out there and click that Follow button too.

4. Like, share and comment

Adding to #3, do more than just be a follower. Spend a little time hitting that Like button, sharing others’ content or participate in a conversation in someone’s post.

How will they know who you are and what you do if all you’re doing is posting to your Twitter page? Show up and introduce yourself.

5. Use relevant hashtags

Whenever I’m using a hashtag like #timemanagement or #smallbiz, I’m always happily surprised with the conversations that get started.

I spent an hour one day tweeting with two woman who run a social media agency because they saw one of my tweets with a #socialmedia hashtag. Our conversation carried over to Facebook where we ended up following each other on that site.

We later connected on a personal level but that connection wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t added that relevant hashtag.

6. Focus on quality over quantity

Share amazing content so that others will want to follow you. It doesn’t always have to be your blog posts or the latest thing you’re selling. Provide information to share with your followers by clicking repin in Pinterest or hitting the retweet button in Twitter.

Don’t just use your social space to share all the details of your life. Sharing bits and pieces of your personal life is ok to show your personality but your Facebook fan page isn’t your personal journal to let the world know your secrets.

7. Use humor

Statistics show that more people will follow you if you post positive messages in your social feeds.

I totally get that. It shows that you’re a real person and not just a automated poster.

good boy

{ now that’s just funny … I don’t care who you are! }

8. Write a professional bio

Don’t forget to fill in your bio in all your social sites! And it’s not just about posting up your name and the name of your business or blog.

To help more people follow you, add the following to your bio:

  • Use a professional photo of yourself. I realize that there will be some circumstances where you’ll need to use your logo but if you have the choice between your logo and using a personal photo, use your image. Remember, people do business with PEOPLE that know and trust. Make sure your photo shows that you’re a real person.
  • Think about the words people use to run a Google search for your business and find a way to add them into your bio and your About Me description.
  • Show your personality but go easy on the buzz words. We can’t all be “gurus,” “mavens” or “ninjas.”
  • Don’t forget the cover artwork photo! Almost all of our social sites allow you to add in a cover artwork image so don’t leave this valuable marketing space empty.

9. Add social media to your site

This bit of advice is more than just adding those social links to your site. It’s about finding ways to integrate social media options right into your website so your readers don’t ever have to leave your site.

The two best ways to do this:

1. Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts and pages. These buttons will allow the person on your site to immediately share your post or a specific product or service page with their connections.

2. Drop in a social media widget for your top social site. These social widgets allow your readers to follow your social media accounts directly from your site, without actually having to log into the social site.

10. Join communities and groups

I shared my personal experience with Facebook Groups and how using them connected me to people who were interested in learning more about what I do.

Groups put the social back into social media. Groups give you the opportunity to sort through all that online noise and connect with the right people who could be interested in buying your stuff.

And it’s not just Facebook!

LinkedIn has groups, Pinterest has group boards { where you can find new people to follow and they can follow you back! } and even Twitter has something called Twitter Chats, connecting you to others who want to talk about the same stuff that interests you.

I want to add my own bit of advice to this list – Never buy fake followers.

You might have heard about people buying fake Likes and followers and they’ve got all these high follower numbers but no one is engaging.  Those numbers look good when someone checks out your fan page but is that really the best way for you to turn your social connections into paying customers?

When you’re trying to grow your followers, think about these two scenarios that I brought up at the beginning of this post: Would you rather have 3,000 people following your Facebook fan page but only 100 people who would actually buy anything from you? Or would you want 300 people on your fan page and 250 people who click on your links and buy your stuff?

I don’t know about you but I’d rather follow these 10 advice tips and take the 300 fans on my Facebook page.

PS What if you could find a way to grow your presence in your social sites? And what if it didn’t add hours to your already crazy day? What if it took just 30 minutes a few times a week?
Click here to learn more how to manage your social sites with the 30 Minute Social Sessions workbook.