How to Attract and Keep Followers

Let’s explore how to be a great “wing woman,” with a sexy neck and shoulders and oodles of confidence to help you attract and keep…oh, sorry. Those are Cosmo’s tips on how to be a total “man-magnet.” Here’s how to attract social media followers.

What exactly are social media followers? (This is a rhetorical question; if you don’t know the answer, you’re probably not web-savvy enough even to access this article.) In a nutshell, “followers” are the legion of people who’ve actually subscribed to your various updates on your social media channels. They are not your prospects (people who’ve subscribed to your email newsletter and nothing else), zombie accounts from services who’ve accepted money in exchange for “following” you, or your employees (even if those folks are, technically, following you, they aren’t an indication of the roaring success of your outreach campaign).

Scoring a huge number of followers can be a difficult and time-consuming task (at least, it is for those of us who have obligations and interests beyond frenzied self-promotion). However, maintaining an optimum number of social media followers is more than just a measure of your insatiable personal vanity—it will directly predict how effectively you are spreading your brand message across media channels. Here are some tips for amassing the kind of valuable followers that boost your brand’s value.

Don’t just talk about yourself.

Even though your brand’s area of expertise is strictly limited to…your brand, it is nonetheless important to share information and your perspective on other topics.

But, but…what else is there?!

Cultivating thought-leadership on subjects that affect your industry is a fantastic strategy for follower acquisition. Here’s a macro-view of subjects you can address:

  • News items relating to your industry
  • News items relating to philanthropic topics that affect your followers
  • (Almost) anything funny

Ideally, you’ll find a seamless and interesting way to relate these subjects to your own brand in a positive and relatable way. (As much as you love sharing adorable photos of neighborhood squirrels, it might be kind of ghoulish if you’re a pest control service.)

Keep your posts measured.

Although some research supports the theory that high numbers of posts result in high numbers of followers, it isn’t the mere bombardment of posts regardless of the platform that excites potential fans. If you blast hundreds of posts per day about purely self-promotional topics or topics that don’t interest your public, you’ll only end up annoying your followers and encouraging mass “unfollows.” On the other hand, positive social media activity begets positive social media activity from potential fans and followers. If you post engaging content regularly, people will respond; those responses will lead to more followers with whom you can start a conversation, leading to more activity and more followers…and so on.

Furthermore, you have to have different posting strategies for different accounts. Twitter, for example, is what’s known as a High Volume/Low Value channel. In order to get across to the largest number of viewers, you have to post multiple times per day (a minimum of five posts, with 20 being optimum). Facebook, on the other hand, is a Low Volume/High Value channel, where interesting, informative content is rewarded with shares and likes and is much more infrequent (minimum of several times per week, and no more than twice per day).

Learn the best time to post.

People generally log into their different social media accounts at specific times. Weekdays before 8 a.m., during the lunch hour, and right after work (approximately 5 p.m.) are the hot spots for business-to-business posts, while weekends are prime for business-to-customer posts.

Make sure your posts are inherently interactive.

Ask your followers questions, compose quizzes, conduct surveys—always make sure your content actually invites responses. This is a great strategy for learning what your followers value and giving your customers the opportunity to participate in making your brand more customer-focused and accessible.

And speaking of conversations…

Don’t just post—respond.

Having a social media presence isn’t a matter of posting and walking away—your accounts have to be monitored daily. Don’t expect followers if you just post blindly. You have to actually respond to comments in order to yield optimum engagement.

Also—keep your responses positive, friendly, and conversational. You want your responses to encourage more responses. Having and maintaining an active dialogue keeps your social media profiles bristling with followers.

And finally…

Don’t let your social media participation waver.

No matter how well-engineered your plans are, if you don’t have the time or resources to carry them out regularly, they won’t yield followers. Consistency is key—your audience has to be able rely upon regular postings if it’s going to stay interested.