Building social media following for your new business is one of the most important things when it comes to increasing awareness of your brand.
However, when you just create a new account and see zero followers, it might make you think you’ll never be able to gain thousands or even hundreds of followers. But it’s not true!
Of course, unless you post something that makes you go viral, you won’t gain all those followers overnight and you’ll have to put some effort into it.
While asking your friends and family to follow you can be a great start, to build a bigger, engaged following, you’ll have to do a bit more than that.
To make it easier for you, we have some great tips that will help you build your social media following from zero!
Analyse your competitors’ social media pages
Before you come up with your own social media strategy, a great thing to do is to analyse your competitors’ pages.
Things to look out for are the number of followers and how engaged they are – do they have thousands of followers but only get a few likes on their posts? What content works best – is it pictures, videos or infographics that get the most engagement? When they post – how often and what time of the day? Even read some comments! This will help you understand what people want to know and give you content ideas.
Once you have those answers, it will be easier for you to create a strategy that stands out! Try to adapt things that work best (of course, change them, don’t just copy!) and avoid mistakes your competitors are making.
If you want to learn more about researching your competitors (not only on social media!) and what you need to know about them, check this article here.
Understand your audience and their pain points
If you are starting a business or have recently started one, you should know your target audience by now. That’s great, as it’s one less thing to do!
However, when it comes to creating content that engages the right people, you need to “get in their heads” and understand what content they want to see. You also need to identify what questions they might have, so you can answer those as well as find out their pain points and let them know how you can solve their problems.
Don’t try to be on every social media channel possible
You see one business getting hundreds of shares on Facebook, another one getting thousands of likes on Instagram and a third one getting millions of views on TikTok. You might be thinking – great, I can do all of that!
However, it’s not as easy as it looks, especially if you don’t have a dedicated marketing team that takes care of your social media accounts.
Every single platform is different. They have different audiences and different features which means that not every platform might be right for you. For example, if you are trying to reach 40-55-year-olds, you won’t see much success posting some funny videos on Tik Tok.
So make sure you choose the right platforms and focus on them instead of wasting your time on something that doesn’t give you any results.
Want to know more about the target audience of every social media platform? Read here.
Plan and be consistent
Take some time planning your social media content.
You don’t need to create every single piece of content two months in advance but having a calendar with all the ideas will help you avoid going “oh, I don’t know what to post today!” or not posting at all.
Once you have all those ideas written down, make sure you stick to the plan. Posting consistently will not only please the algorithms but will also help your existing followers know when to expect your posts.
DO YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
Share content that has value
If someone discovers your profile and sees hundreds of boring posts where you’re trying to sell your products or services, they will simply click away instead of following you. No one wants to be sold at all the time!
You need to create content that gives some kind of value – you need to give people a reason to follow you! Show your expertise in the industry, share something funny, tell stories from your personal experience, share some great tips and advice.
Use right hashtags
Some people say that hashtags don’t work anymore. Well, they don’t if you’re using them the same way as in 2013!
Remember when you were able to put 50 hashtags on your Instagram post and get hundreds of likes and new followers? And if you changed those hashtags after some time you reached even more people! Those were the days…
But things have changed since then. Now, to see the results you need to research hashtags carefully and choose those that your target audience might be interested in.
There are many different ways you can create your hashtag strategy. However, there isn’t one way that works for all. That’s why this is one of the things you’ll have to figure out by trying it out yourself.
The only tip – use hashtags that are actually relevant to your business and the post you’re sharing and avoid the most popular ones such as #love #like #follow etc as they won’t bring any results.
Use keywords in captions
You might not even realise, but social media works just like search engines. For example, try searching for white chocolate cake on Instagram. You’ll see hundreds of posts that have pictures of white chocolate cakes. If you click on any of those, you’ll notice that the caption contains those exact words – white chocolate cake.
So whenever you post on social media, keep your keywords in mind and make sure you use them. Even better if it’s at the beginning of your caption. This way if someone is searching for items or services you offer, your posts will be more likely to come up on the top of the results page.
Use social media to interact with others
Social media was created to be… social! So don’t just post and ghost. Don’t wait for new people to discover your page or stay silent when someone comments on your post.
A great way to find new followers is by interacting with those people that match your target audience. Like a few pictures or leave a comment (something generous, don’t try to sell there).
Also, if someone tries to contact you, whether commenting on your post or sending a direct message, don’t ignore them. It’s a perfect opportunity to build connection and increase trust by answering your audience’s questions.
Give your social media content more personality
People buy from people, not from businesses. That’s why it’s very important to build that relationship by letting your potential (and existing!) customers know who is hiding behind the name of your business. Once they know what you look and sound like, your story and some bits from your personal life, they will be able to relate to you as a person.
If you want to learn how to give your content more personality, we have an article about it!
Reply to comments on your competitors’ pages
Every now and then check your competitors’ social media pages and go through the comments under their posts. If they haven’t replied to some of them and you could help by answering some questions – do it! These people are part of the target audience you want to reach and they are already interested in what you offer, so don’t be afraid to show them you exist!
This way you’ll increase your brand awareness and show people that there’s a different option they can choose if the other company is too busy or don’t meet all their clients’ needs.
Use paid advertising
If you have a budget you can use for advertising, you should definitely try it! When you create adverts on social media, you can target them to specific people making it easier to reach your ideal clients.
However, don’t spend all your money at once! Try to create different ads with different images, different copies and different calls to action. This will give you an understanding of what ads work best, so you can spend your money thoughtfully.
Hold a competition
Competitions are a great way to attract new followers as well as increase your brand awareness.
You can hold a competition on your own or collaborate with another business that has already built its following. This way your business will get exposed to a bigger audience.
To learn more about running a competition on your social media, watch this video where Adam explains how to do it in the right way to ensure your audience actually engages with you.
Work with influencers
We understand that for a new business just like yours, working with popular influencers can be way too expensive. However, there are other ways to use influencer marketing for your business.
Instead of paying thousands to super popular influencers that promote everything and anything, research some smaller, niche influencers that would be worth working with. For example, if you’re starting a business selling handmade home decor, find people that create content about it. Even if they don’t have an impressive amount of followers, their audience is interested in their content and want to know where to find the best pieces for their homes!
If you don’t have enough money to send a product and pay for the content, you can try gifted collaborations. But remember, not all content creators accept those. While it’s nice to get a free product, it doesn’t pay bills.
The way around it is by adding them to your PR list. Unfortunately, if you send out PR packages, you can’t ask people to create any content for you. However, most creators choose to share what they’ve received and their thoughts about the products, so you still get that exposure.
Things you should avoid doing when growing your audience
This is probably the biggest mistake you can make when building your following.
When you buy followers, most of them happen to be fake or inactive accounts. As they don’t interact with your content, your engagement rate will drop and it will make it even harder for you to reach new people who are actually interested in your business.
Join engagement groups
If you haven’t heard about engagement groups, let us explain what they are.
Engagement groups are most popular on Instagram. They are groups of people that engage with each other’s content by liking, commenting and sharing. Most of them have strict rules. For example, you must comment on every new post the members of that group share.
While it can sound appealing as you get new, engaged followers, you also have to spend hours engaging with others’ content. Also, there’s a very low chance that people from that group are going to buy from you as they aren’t part of your target audience.
Now that you know how you can build your social media from zero, you can create a plan, stick to it and watch the numbers grow!
However, it’s important to remember not to get obsessed over the number of followers you have. Having an engaged audience and followers that turn into actual customers is something you should aim for.
Good luck with your social media journey!