Businesses often go through periods of plateau while they build credibility and become leading authorities in their industries. Watching your company’s web traffic stagnate can be deflating, but there are ways to get your business out of this phase and improve momentum. By actively managing your social media presence and interactions, you can leverage your current follower base to drive new users to your social media platforms and ultimately your website.
Check out our 7 recommendations for cultivating more social media followers:
1. Utilize the power of a Facebook for Business page
- If you don’t have a Facebook page, make one today! It is a simple way to engage your personal network as well as an unlimited public audience. You will be surprised by the number of “Likes” you receive from strangers after they see your page and get to know your brand.
- Once your Facebook page is established, make sure to post on a regular basis, so your followers know when they can expect news and updates. They will check back if they know they’re getting new information.
- Monitor your comments and respond in a timely manner. How you respond and how quickly you react to a comment or question speaks volumes about your business. Proactive management of your social media reputation shows dedication and integrity, which are important factors in building a trustworthy brand.
- In addition to overseeing comments and posts, having a robust activity log shows followers your business has traction and is constantly on the move. They don’t want to miss out, so checking in and reading News Feed updates allows them to link back to your website and drive traffic on a recurring basis.
2. Sharing is caring
Encourage your followers to share your content. They’re following you for a reason: knowledge of your products, service or expertise provides value to them. Make it easy for your loyal users to distribute your content to their networks by adding social share buttons to every blog post. All it takes is a click of a button and you’re in front of an entirely new audience.
3. Make your content worth reading
No one is going to share your content if it isn’t topical and interesting. Know your target audience and what matters to them. Explore a unique angle and present information in a way that matches your brand voice and identifies with your audience. This seems basic, but in a world where there are unlimited tangents, it is easier than you think to lose sight of your objectives. As Jeff Goins so poignantly says, “If you want your blog to compete on social media sites, you need to say something worth listening to. In other words, be awesome.” Once readers understand your voice and message, they’ll quickly convert to followers.
4. Connect with influencers
Collaboration is essential when trying to build followers and website traffic. There are abundant authorities in your industry who have strong social media and internet presence. Reach out to those people and nurture a professional partnership. Once they share your content, it will undoubtedly garner pull from their networks to your social media and website.
When this happens, “be sure to show your gratitude. By doing this, you’re also introducing the influencer to your own follower base, which may help them expand their own influence further. For someone who prizes their status as a respected authority, this is the best way to show your appreciation,” says Jayson DeMers of Forbes.
This reaffirms your position as a peer, and reinforces how your budding relationship is mutually beneficial.
5. Focus on relevant followers
Of equal importance is following other users in your industry. Developing connections and participating in dialogues makes your brand real to your followers and to those you are following. Just think about it: haven’t you ever read a comment thread that piques your curiosity about one or more of the commenters? I have, and I always do some sleuthing after the fact. I want to know who is behind those comments, which drives me to blogs, websites, and other social media profiles in order to round out who and what the person and company are all about. 9 times out of 10, I end up following them or noting their website to revisit in the future. Live conversations and dynamic interactions breed engagement and yield traffic to your website.
6. Be your biggest advocate
Update all of your profiles, be it your website or social media channels, with your relevant contact information. Include a direct link to your website and all social media handles (Facebook Twitter, RSS feeds, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram). Users are often surprised by where companies have an online presence, especially as new marketing tools emerge in the digital world. If you don’t put this information out into the marketplace, then who will?
7. Use color to your advantage
Georgia Tech recently released a report that found images which included red, pink, and purple on Pinterest were the most widely shared and had the greatest number of interactions. Everyone can recall certain images and colors that stimulate positive or negative feelings, and understanding those ranges can make a big difference regarding how likely your content is to be shared. Take the time to know your market and create imagery that aligns with your brand and the emotions you seek to evoke. Little tweaks can turn an ordinary image into a viral image.
What do you think? Do you have best practices for increasing social media followers to generate website traffic? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and share!