12 minute read.
How to engage and increase your following
Write as if you were having a conversation and include your opinions.
Your followers will appreciate your honesty.
Avoid the hard sell
Spend your time building relationships instead of constantly selling your services.
Use social media as a tool to communicate, engage and gain trust.
Make your profiles and bios consistent
Include your logo and the face for your business.
People buy from faces and want to see your personality.
Detail why you are different and why they should use you.
Add your email sign up link along with a good reason to subscribe.
Here is our sign up form.
Highlight your profiles
Add your social profiles to your website, email signatures and sales literature.
Provide a good reason to connect.
Create a plan
Create a calendar of what to post and when.
Tie in with public holidays, events, sales and seasons.
Hubspot has a free social media planner you can download.
These are people who have a large and engaged following.
Their followers will often share their posts and comment on them.
Look at their profile, the number of followers and most importantly the amount of engagement.
Share their posts and add a comment if you think your audience will be interested.
Influencers often charge for their services so finding Micro-Influencers can be more cost-effective.
A Micro-Influencer will have a following of around 2000 to 5000 and an engaged following.
Think about how I can promote their services and in return they may do the same for you.
Follow your competition
Read about what they do and do it better.
There might also be opportunities for collaboration.
People by local
It can be easier and more beneficial to attract a local following.
People will often buy from local businesses especially if they can visit your premises.
Use social software to be notified when someone mentions a product you sell and is in your target area.
Connect with them and if they follow back, say thank you and mention you are close by to start a conversation.
Theme your posts
Collect your ideas and sort them into themes.
Themed posts about a particular product could be:
- A photo of a customer using your product.
- Unusual ways of using it.
- Someone saying something nice about your product.
- An offer unique to the social platform.
- How it compares to the competition.
- What’s new about it or how it has been improved.
Include your logo and the face of your business.
Use the same visual and writing style so your followers notice and trust it.
Posts with images are more popular than only plain text as the brain processes images faster.
Add your logo and the face of your business to any images.
This will help improve your brand recognition.
Video posts often receive the most reactions.
It doesn’t have to be professionally filmed (you will get better with practice) people want to see your personality.
Create how-to videos.
It is no accident that YouTube is full of these and a lot of them are uploaded to attract you to their website.
If you sell a product and are often asked how do I use it?
Or if you sell a service and get asked the same question regularly create a video of the answer.
Upload to YouTube and share it.
There is no need to pay a professional if it is clear and provides the answer it will work.
If it becomes popular then you can invest in having it produced professionally and feature it on your website.
A series of images which are animated.
You can use free online tools to make your own and these can be funny or factual.
Giphy is easy to use and perfect for social media.
An infographic is a visual representation of statistics.
Pie charts, graphs and tables are typical examples.
It is easier for humans to understand and relate to pictures than just reading words alone.
There is software online which allows you to create your own using pre-built templates.
Just like followers and profiles, people follow hashtags too.
Using hashtags within your posts can attract new followers and increase engagement.
Look at your competitions’ hashtags, their posts and their most engaged posts.
Be specific but not so specific that the hashtag isn’t being followed.
If I were posting about this page a general hashtag would be #SocialMedia
It would be unlikely that my post would be seen because of the sheer volume of posts using it.
A more specific one would be #SocialMediaPostIdeas
Create your own hashtag too and make sure it isn’t being used already.
Ask for the share
Ask for the like, retweet, or share.
Offer an incentive if you can.
Use line breaks
Include line breaks to make your posts easier to read.
Include figures and statistics as they grab attention.
Make a promise
Make a promise within your headline and text.
Say why it will benefit the reader.
Add a reason to act now (call to action).
Make people laugh
Most people use social for fun and want to be entertained.
Be careful though in case the post may cause offence.
If you think twice about posting or sharing it then don’t.
Post at the right time
Most people check their accounts first thing in the morning, at lunchtime, straight after work and after dinner.
Check your statistics to see which are your most popular days and times.
Share content on these days and times but also experiment.
Be quick to respond
Your audience will expect quick answers.
They will be more responsive (and more likely to buy) if you reply promptly.
Say thank you
When you get a new like or a follow, reply and say thank you.
If somebody shares your content say thank you.
This will increase the chances of your post being shared.
Look at their bio and ask a question at the same time to start a conversation.
Analyse your statistics
Study your audience demographics on each platform.
Tailor your posts to appeal to the most engaged groups.
Review your most popular posts to see who is most engaged.
Use this data to further target your audience and update your plan.
Pin your most important post
Pin the post that you want people to share and ask new followers to share it.
If it is relevant to your audience share their pinned post.
Post the same post more than once over a few weeks (or months) if it will still be relevant.
Don’t overdo it though, three to six times is enough (dependent on the duration).
Your initial post could have been missed.
LinkedIn company page
If you have a personal LinkedIn account, you can create a company page.
You can invite your connections on a regular basis to build up your following.
Be careful who you invite as LinkedIn limits the number of requests you send.
This is based on the invite acceptance rate.
You are also allowed a sign-up button which you can link to your email subscriber form.
Here is our LinkedIn company page.
Social media post ideas
Followers are interested in how you started and what you aim to do.
This is why the about us page is one of the most visited pages on a website.
Tell your followers why you do what you do and share your passion.
Meet the team posts
Share photos of your team and workplace.
Feature a member of your team each week and tell their story.
People want to know about the process and how you helped others.
They want to know how you are going to solve their problem.
Visit our marketing case studies page to see examples.
Products listed on websites with the most positive reviews always sell more than those without.
Businesses with more positive reviews on Google My Business receive more enquiries than ones without.
You can create a whole series of review posts.
Use your reviews from Facebook, Trust Pilot, Yell, Google or LinkedIn.
See my post on how to get Google reviews for your business for more.
These types of posts are often shared and read.
You are providing useful information for free, building trust and proving you are an expert in your field.
Be first to share news which your audience may be interested in.
Set up Google Alerts to be notified or if you hear something on the radio head over to their website and share.
Make sure you add a comment and why you like it.
Tag the person who wrote it and a few of your followers who may find it interesting.
Answers to FAQs
What do your customers ask you the most often?
Create a frequently asked questions page or a blog post and share the question and answer.
Here is our FAQs page.
You can set up Facebook Messenger to send automatic replies to FAQs.
Creating and FAQs page can also help you feature in Google’s featured snippets.
I wrote this article which explains more Why are Google’s featured snippets important?
Share your blog posts
Blog posts are best used to add more detail to a specific subject and to answer common questions.
If the information doesn’t fit with one of your existing pages or is too long create a blog post.
Your blog posts will help you gain credibility and help you become known as an expert in your field.
They will also help you attract more website visitors who are looking for answers.
If you have Google Analytics installed take a look at which of your blog posts are the most popular.
Start with anything you offer which is free or low in price.
Once they become a customer, they are likely to buy something else.
Make your deals specific to each platform.
Cross-promote your offers on each platform, for example, this offer is only available to our Facebook fans.
Customers using your product
Share photos of people using your product.
Create a competition and ask your audience to post photos of them using it.
Ask them to tag you so you can share it.
Suggest unexpected ways of using your product.
Your customers may not be aware of all the ways they can use it (this applies to services too).
You could run a competition to see who has the most creative use for it.
Big brands are always trying to promote other uses for their products.
Share your email newsletters
You probably do this already but if you don’t post it twice.
The second post can be a week later and read “in case you missed it”.
MailChimp allows you to share your emails to your social media channels automatically.
See our email marketing page for more on MailChimp.
What are the common myths in your industry?
Explain why they are not true and provide the correct answers.
Become known as an expert.
These can spark off conversations and are often shared.
Include a photo or infographic and ask your following to choose.
Red or blue? New or old? Yes or no?
How do you compare to your competition?
Illustrate this as a graph or an infographic.
Links to tools
Do you use an online tool for your business or just found one that your following might find useful?
Create a post about it and say why you like it.
Share the love
Post for your clients, suppliers or partners and strengthen relationships.
They may do the same for you.
Are a great way to promote your business on social media.
The prize doesn’t have to be expensive, just desirable.
Ask people to tag a friend and share for a chance of winning.
Create polls about your business, something relevant to your industry or something your audience might be interested in.
Use your fans for market research or feedback.
Involved with a charity or sponsor a local team?
Give them a mention and tag the charity or team.
You can create events online.
Invite your friends and customers and share on your other social channels.
Ideas for events could be a new product launch, networking event, meet the supplier, etc.
Top 5 lists
Everybody loves lists and that’s why there are so many online.
Create your own, examples could be:
- Your top 5 selling products this week.
- The top 5 activities your team loves to do at the weekend.
Thank your followers
On a weekly or fortnightly basis create a post and thank your most responsive followers.
Make sure you tag them in the post.
Fan of the week
Feature one of your fans (check if they are ok with it first).
Most will appreciate the PR.
Looking for a supplier?
Ask for recommendations and why they would recommend them.