Social media is powerful. There’s no doubt about that. But social media marketing falls flat if you don’t have an audience built up, which can be challenging.
One of the best ways of getting more followers is to continuously post new, engaging content. Most of us, however, simply don’t have the time or the energy for that.
So what then? Is all hope lost?
Not so much. If you want to increase your follower counts on social media without having to create new content, don’t worry. There are tactics you can employ to give your friends and follower counts a boost without spending tons of extra effort.
Let’s take a look at 10 easy strategies below…
Add geotags to your photos
You can use geotags on Instagram to attract local followers. A geotag, essentially, is the current location (the longitude and latitude) of your Instagram account. The GPS device in your smartphone or tablet collects this information and makes it available on Instagram if you give it permission.
And when you add geotags to your posts, other Instagram users who’ve added geotags with the same location will be more likely to see your content and follow you as a result.
Geotags also make it so that your content shows up whenever someone searches for your location.
Basically, geotags help you increase your exposure, which, in turn, increase your odds of having more people follow you.
Follow other relevant brands, users, and influencers
This may seem counter-intuitive to boosting your follower count. But when you follow relevant brands, users, and influencers, often times, they follow you back. Plus, the whole point of gaining more followers is to engage real and relevant people with your business.
When looking for people to follow, conduct your search based on the following three categories:
- People you know well
- People you’re acquainted with
- People you should know
Also, most social media sites give recommendations about people who are likely to engage with you based on who you’re currently following or friends with and the type of content you’ve been posting.
Additionally, you can use free tools like Twiends and Tweepi to find relevant people to follow who are likely to follow you back:
Twiends – After signing up, you specify 5 interests related to your brand or business. Then, every day you can check in and Twiends gives you a list of relevant people to follow based on your interests and location.
Tweepi – Similarly, with Tweepi, you also get follow recommendations based on the people you currently follow along with data about all of the recommendations, including their bio, the time they last tweeted, their follower count, their follow ratio, and the language they speak.
I started using these tools just a few days ago with an account that had barely any followers (23). And after taking around 60 seconds a day to add a few of the followers each tool suggested for me, my follow count has more than doubled.
Of course, that may not be saying much since I started out with only 23 followers. But, at the same time, it’s taken me next to zero effort.
And if you want to really optimize your efforts here, send a quick message to the people you start following (or just a few of them). Something like…
Hey! I love the content you post and I think you’ll find we share some similar interests. Anyway, I just wanted to say hello. Thanks and have a great day!
Sending a quite note such as this is a great way to build relationships and establish some credibility with your audience as well.
Retweet or share other brands’ and users’ content
Sharing other people’s content can increase your follower count because it’s a subtle way of building relationships. Most of the time, when you share other people’s tweets or posts, those “shares” show up on those people’s accounts, thus making them aware of you and how you’re promoting their content.
Of course, it isn’t guaranteed that they’ll follow you back, but it does increase your odds.
And any time you share other people’s content, make sure you give credit where credit is due. With Twitter, this is easy. Just hit the retweet button and credit will automatically be given. Similar to Facebook, whenever you share another person’s content, your post will include “shared a video/post” next to your name.
With Instagram, though, it’s a good idea to tag the original owner and include this hashtag: #regram.
Cross-post your content
Different people prefer different social media platforms. So make it easy for anyone interested in your brand or business to be able to find your stuff by cross-posting across all the social media channels you’re active on.
Also, on each of your social profiles, you should include information about how to find you on other platforms. For example, on your Facebook page, you can add links to your Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest profiles.
This way, if someone likes, shares, or comments on your content via Facebook, they’ll be more likely to engage with you on other platforms as well because you’ve given them easy access to those links.
Participate in social communities
Joining social communities or groups is another effective means of building relationships with people in your niche, especially influencers.
Facebook has groups you can join — some are public and others you’ll need to ask permission — as does LinkedIn.
LinkedIn groups are separate from your LinkedIn profile. Go to the Groups homepage and click Discover. You’ll then find groups suggested for you, and you can request to join by clicking the blue Ask to join button.
Twitter doesn’t have groups but it does have a chat feature, which are scheduled chats occurring at specific times and using specific hashtags. You can check out the Twitter Chat schedule here.
Answer commonly asked questions
While answering questions technically is a form of content creation, responding to questions you can answer off the top of your head is far less taxing and time-consuming than coming up with fresh content requiring research, organization, and editing.
That said, Reddit and Quora are great question-answering hubs with tons of active users.
You can search these sites for questions related to your business that you know the answers to. And then, in your responses, you can include links to your social media profiles or related content on your website.
You can also respond to unanswered posts on Facebook and leave a comment from your business page. Or, you can host a Q&A session on Twitter. This is especially effective if you can wrangle an expert in your niche and have him or her field the questions. Just be sure to create and use a hashtag, such as #AskSoAndSo, to promote the event.
Build relationships with influencers
Influencers are people with social media followings that meet the following criteria: they’re targeted, sizable, and highly engaged. And if you can get relevant influencers to promote your content, it can have a significant impact on your follower count.
I’ve worked with influencers before and typically had good results. I’m also in the process now of testing 3 influencer marketing platforms: NeoReach, Famebit, and Unity Influence to promote a Father’s Day coffee mug, so stay tuned.
You don’t have to use a paid platform to find influencers, though. You can also find them using resources with free options, like…
FollowerWonk – This tool lets you search for certain keywords in Twitter bios and then look through Twitter users, checking out their reach and authority, so you can find the best influencers for your purposes.
TweetDeck – TweetDeck makes using Twitter easy. It lets you research influencers by seeing how many followers they have along with the number of lists they’re on.
Post at optimal times for each platform
Awhile back, I wrote a post about the optimal times to post on social media. In a nutshell…
Sunday and Saturday are the best days to post, and 1 and 3pm are the best times.
Wednesday is the best day to tweet, and noon and between 5 and 6pm are the best times.
In general, Sunday is the best day to post on Pinterest (especially if you post about food).
Monday and Thursday are the best days to post on Instagram, and the best times are between 8 and 9am, 2am, and 5pm.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to post your LinkedIn content, and the best times are between 5 and 6pm, between 7 and 8am, and at noon.
Wednesday is the best day to post on Google+, and the best times are 9am, 11am, and between 12 and 1pm.
Click here to check out the post in its entirety.
Add links to your social media profiles wherever possible
Wherever you can, add links to your social media profiles so as to optimize your chances of having people click on them. For example, if you have a website, you can add these links to your contact or about pages. You can also add them to your email signature so every time you send an email, links to your social media profiles will appear at the bottom.
Use relevant hashtags
It’s really important to use hashtags with your social media posts, hashtags help social media users find your content. Hashtags also help increase engagement and content that includes hashtags is more likely to get shared or retweeted.
You don’t want to go overboard with your hashtag usage, though — or at least not on every social media platform. Generally speaking, 1-2 hashtags should suffice although on Instagram you can get away with adding more (8-10 is the Instagram hashtag sweet spot).
To help you find the best hashtags for your content, you can use Ritetag, a free tool that lets you upload images or input text for a tweet or post. Then, it suggests the hashtags you should use. It’s super simple to use and it takes the guesswork out of your hashtag usage.
Cross-promote with complementary businesses
Depending on the type of business you’re in, you may be able to find businesses whose offers complement yours. For example, if you sell coffee mugs, you might be able to partner with businesses that sell coffee or tea. Then, you can promote each other’s offers on each of your social media profiles for a total win-win!
Have other people create content for you
There have been instances of this happening using specific hashtags, and it’s been really powerful. The most notable example that comes to mind for me is #100HappyDays.
With this hashtag, people are encouraged to post about what makes them happy every day for 100 days and to use the hashtag 100HappyDays. This way, the content is created by other people and the website and mission behind the hashtag are simultaneously promoted.
See if you can come up with a similar idea that fits in with your business. Then, create a hashtag and encourage people to post content including that hashtag.
Run a contest
There are lots of different types of contests you can run. For example, you could host a photo contest and have participants upload a photo pertaining to your niche and then you choose your favorite. You could also do something similar with videos. Or, you could run a caption contest, in which you provide the image and participants submit their best caption ideas.
With whatever type of contest you choose, just tell participants to tag you and include the hashtag you come up with specifically for the contest.
Of course, you’ll need to provide some kind of prize to the contest winner(s). This could be a free report, a coupon code, or one of your products.
Use paid ads
Running ads to get more followers is always an option. In the context of gaining more followers, though, you want your ads to encourage engagement without being overly self-promoting. So your ads need to have the right blend of authenticity and promotional content. You can run paid ads for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Add social share plugins to your website
Ideally, you want to add social share buttons to your website and every blog post you create (if you’re a blogger). And you can do this with a WordPress plugin like Add Twitter, Facebook Like, Google Plus One Social Share.
You can also check out Page Plugin and Twitter Embedded Timelines.
One other thing you can do it make your content tweetable with just one click. The Inline Tweet Sharer plugin helps visitors easily share content they want to post on Twitter, the result of which is you’re encouraging more people to promote your stuff, thus expanding your reach and hopefully increasing your follower count as well.
What do you think of these strategies to increase your social media follower counts? Do you have any other tips to share? Please leave a comment below and let me know!