From the lethal follow/unfollow method and having 25 followers but following 500, there are so many no-no’s in the social media world. As a social media manager, it’s honestly infuriating seeing this happen to all of my clients. So, it’s at this point that I decided this blog post with tips on how to REALLY grow your social media accounts in the right way, was necessary!
So many people make the above mistakes and more, but these are not good ways of growing your social media accounts. As soon as someone detects that you’re a regular ‘follower and unfollower’, they will most likely block you due to seeing you as a spam account. There is nothing more annoying than when I see bots doing this regularly to my clients, so I head to the block button straight away (you can call me protective…or smart!).
In this blog post, I will list my top 10 tips that I have learned from my own experience that, although is unlikely to get your account growing by 1000 followers a month, it will definitely lead to real and genuine growth and followers, which is way more important than the number itself. Rocking your social media is completely quality over quantity!
For the purposes of this post, I will talk about my experiences with Instagram and Twitter because these have been the easiest accounts to grow throughout my work as a social media manager. Keep reading to the end of this post to grab a little social media freebie!
1) Interact with people in the same community as you
It’s all very well getting followers and likes, but if you’re not interacting with your followers, why would they keep following you? Why would they bother commenting on your posts if you don’t respond? Your followers have followed you for a reason (unless they’re an annoying bot!), so you should give back what they are giving you. Love your community by engaging with them. As well as keeping people who are already a part of your community interested in you, having an active and interactive account will increase the likelihood of other similar people giving you a follow too.
As an example, personally, I have been working with a parent blogger who wanted to grow her Instagram account. I regularly type hashtags in such as “mummyblogger”, “mumswithcameras” and “snaphappybritmums” and find the most recent posts. Then, I like and comment on many of these posts and give some of the accounts a follow if they have a good following to follower ratio. If someone is following 900 and has 10K followers, there’s not much point in me following them because they are unlikely to follow back!
2) Ask your followers questions
People love talking about themselves. It’s a fact! But how are they going to if you don’t ask them questions or give them something to go off? Asking your followers questions, particularly related to your industry, will encourage them to comment/reply. It can be something as simple as “What’s the kindest thing anyone has done for you?”. It’s good to do this in every Instagram post but not in every single Tweet you do, otherwise it’s too repetitive! Showing a genuine interest in your followers shows your brand’s real side.
3) USE HASHTAGS!
A common Instagram myth that I hear all of the time is “if you use the same hashtags in every post, it will reduce your reach and impressions”. WRONG! I have trialed and tested this with many clients and using similar hashtags in every post does not impact your post impressions or reach. This is good news because it means you can easily copy and paste the same hashtags for each post you make, adding a few that are directly relevant to the specific picture. You can use up to 30 hashtags a post, which I recommend doing, because why not?! You may wish to have fewer so that you don’t look too “spammy”, but if you choose not to use 30, you are reducing your chances of being found by accounts. I recommend using 2 to 3 in a tweet every so often, but not all of the time! So many little rules, but so important…
4) Find useful hashtags
This part is fun. Find your competitors and check what hashtags they use (preferably on posts that see the most engagement). So, if you’re a beauty blogger, common hashtags are “bbloggeruk” and “makeupjunkie” which I’m sure 99% of beauty bloggers on Instagram will be using! Use competitors as your first step, then use hashtag sites such as “hashtagify” to find ones that are relevant to your industry. Then, people who are in similar industries will support you and you will support them back by following!
However, be wary of shadowban (see hashtags that have been shadowbanned here). This is where some hashtags have been banned by Instagram for a period of time, which if you use one of these tags in your post, will lead to your post not coming up for other people. This happens even if someone has typed in a hashtag that you have included which is NOT shadowbanned. Stupid, huh? Worth knowing though.
5) Be real
This point is one of the most important. No one wants to follow a corporate, salesy account. They want to follow you because they like you/your brand and find you fun! You have to give people a reason to follow you. Share some behind the scenes snippets, have a joke with your followers, share cool news and just be real.
6) Don’t cross post
This is something I don’t see so much. When I do, I immediately realise that the company has ticked that sneaky button that says something along the lines of “Whatever posts on Instagram posts on Twitter too”. This looks lazy and inactive, and in fact, that’s because it is lazy and inactive. Of course, there’s no problem with posting similar things across your platforms, but you should reword them slightly! This is especially important if you have different audiences across your platforms. Taking this bit of extra time writing posts will show people that you’re an active account and make them more likely to hit that follow button.
7) Work out how you want to appear on social media
Do you want to be informative, entertaining or both? It’s super important to decide how you want your social media posts to come across to others. This ensures you produce and post the right and relevant content! Decide what tone of voice you want to have and stay consistent with this, which leads to the next point…
8) Stay consistent
Use a particular font for your brand? Keep to this font when you produce social media designs. Have a particular tone of voice on your website? Use the same tone on your social media. Consistency is key for your brand. Having different fonts/colours etc. can look messy and people won’t recognise your brand. People like consistency. Who actually likes change anyway?!
9) Use the most recent features
If you have an Instagram account but don’t use the stories or highlights function, you NEED to start now! Using modern features shows that you’re an active account and people will feel more inclined to follow. Not only that, but stories are fantastic ways to interact with people. For example, you can set polls, mention people in them and post updates then and there, making it an extremely useful sharing tool.
Due to the (very annoying and complex) Instagram algorithm, people may not see your feed posts. Stories can be a way of your followers seeing more about your brand without necessarily seeing your posts. These last for 24 hours but setting highlights means that those stories can stay on your account forever, for all to see. Utilising these features is a great way of showing that your brand is modern and that your account is active. People won’t follow ‘ghost-like’ accounts.
10) Know your audience
Sometimes, companies can get so caught up in what tone, strategy and appearance they will have on social media, that they forget about their audience. YOUR AUDIENCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Losing sight of who your audience is will lead to you producing content willy-nilly and not appealing to the right people. For example, if your audience is parents, posting regular news about technology would be irrelevant. This seems like a simple concept but you’d be surprised how many brands forget about the people they are supposed to be appealing to.
After all, your audience is the people that are going to follow you, so pushing them away with irrelevant content will lead to them not following or engaging. It may be difficult to understand who your audience is straight away, so be sure to test different content and see which posts get the most engagement from your target audience. This may take a while to test, but it is so important to get this right. This may not only lead to followers, but also conversions. Woop woop!
As you can see, it’s highly important to communicate with your current followers, understand your followers and be real. Although social media involves being behind a screen, remember that your brand is human, so prove it to people! Remembering these tips will 100% lead to your account growing – but remember it does take time, so don’t give up hope early on!
Obviously there are thousands of things I could still write, but this is definitely a good starting point for you. I also don’t want to give away all of my secrets! I hope you found the 10 tips helpful.
Who wrote this blog full of exclusive social media secrets?
My name is Rhianna and I am a social media manager at Oleso. I have worked alongside multiple great small businesses with growing their accounts. I use a 100% real approach always with a human touch, which has led to great results. Although I may not grow their followers at an incredibly fast rate, the followers that are gained are loyal and real, which is far more important than having a high follower number!
If you have read this post and thought “Argh, I don’t have time for running my social media!”, feel free to ask Oleso for a FREE social media audit. One of the social media managers (maybe me!) will look at your accounts and see specifically how they can improve and grow your accounts. From there, you can decide whether you’d like us to help with growing your social media platforms. No obligations!
Alternatively, if you are looking to jump right in and get started with social media management, check out our packages here!
What would you add to these tips? Would you disagree with any of them? Let me know! 🙂