How to Build a Following on Social Media in 10 Proven Ways

Social-media-following

Social media which was once just a means for personal connections, has evolved into a vital tool for businesses to thrive in the digital age. In its early days, social platforms were casual spaces where people shared updates with friends and family. However, as technology advanced and user bases expanded, social media’s potential as a marketing powerhouse became increasingly apparent.

Nowadays, businesses must approach social media with strategic intent, utilizing it as a platform to reach and engage with their target audience. No longer can companies afford to post content haphazardly; instead, they must craft thoughtful strategies that align with their brand identity and resonate with their followers.

One of the primary objectives for businesses on social media is to amass a loyal following. These followers not only consume content but also become brand advocates, spreading the word and increasing the company’s message. However, achieving a substantial following is no easy feat, especially with ever-changing algorithms and intensifying competition for users’ attention.

Fortunately, there are proven strategies that businesses can employ to grow their social media presence organically. From creating compelling content to fostering genuine interactions with followers, each tactic plays a crucial role in cultivating a strong and engaged community online.

In this article, we’ll delve into 20 actionable tips that you can implement to expand your social media followers. Whether you’re a small startup or a multinational company, these strategies will help you navigate the intricacies of social media marketing and propel your brand to new heights of success.

Why is Important To Build A Social Media Following?

Building a social media following is important for businesses and individuals for the following key reasons:

Establishing Trust and Credibility: A significant following signals to others that your content is worth paying attention to. It serves as social proof of your credibility and expertise in your field. When people see that others trust and follow your brand, they are more likely to view you as a reputable source of information or products.

Driving Brand Loyalty: Engaging with your followers on social media helps build brand loyalty. When you respond to comments, acknowledge their feedback, and provide valuable content consistently, you create a sense of belonging and appreciation among your audience. This fosters loyalty and encourages repeat engagement and purchases.

Humanizing Your Brand: Social media provides an opportunity to humanize your brand by sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses, showcasing the faces behind your products or services, and telling your brand story. This humanization makes your brand more relatable and approachable, strengthening the emotional connection with your audience.

Facilitating Customer Support: A strong social media following enables you to provide timely and personalized customer support. When customers have questions, concerns, or issues, they often turn to social media for assistance. By being responsive and helpful, you can address their needs promptly and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Driving Website Traffic and Conversions: A loyal social media following can drive significant traffic to your website, blog, or online store. By sharing links to your content or promotions on social media, you can attract qualified leads and convert them into customers or clients.

Staying Top-of-Mind: Regularly appearing in your followers’ social media feeds helps keep your brand top-of-mind. Even if they’re not actively seeking out your products or services at the moment, being consistently present can increase the likelihood that they’ll remember you when they are in need.

Harnessing User-Generated Content: An engaged social media following is more likely to create and share user-generated content (UGC) related to your brand. UGC, such as testimonials, reviews, or user-generated photos, can be incredibly valuable for building trust and credibility among potential customers.

In essence, building a social media following is about more than just numbers—it’s about fostering connections, building trust, and creating a loyal community of brand advocates. By investing time and effort into growing your following authentically and engaging meaningfully with your audience, you can unlock a wealth of opportunities for your brand’s growth and success.

The Psychology of Social Media and Why People Follow Brands

Understanding the psychology behind social media and why people choose to follow brands can provide valuable insights into building and maintaining a strong online presence. Here are some key psychological factors that determine why people follow brands on social media:

Social Identity Theory:

At its core, social identity theory suggests that individuals seek to define themselves through group affiliations. Following a brand on social media is not merely an act of passive consumption but a deliberate choice to align oneself with a particular identity or community. By associating with a brand, individuals signal their values, aspirations, and beliefs, thereby reinforcing their own sense of self.

The Desire for Connection and Belonging:

The human need for social connection is profound, and social media serves as a digital lifeline for fulfilling this fundamental desire. Following brands on social platforms creates a sense of belonging to a broader community or tribe. People seek out brands whose messaging resonates with their personal values or interests, fostering a sense of kinship and camaraderie with like-minded individuals.

Need for Social Validation:

In the social media space, validation and approval from peers hold significant sway over individual behavior. Following a brand becomes a means of signaling one’s taste, preferences, or affiliations to their social network. The act of following is not merely about engaging with content but seeking acknowledgment and recognition from others, reinforcing a sense of social standing and acceptance.

Curiosity and FOMO:

Fear of missing out (FOMO) drives much of the compulsive behavior observed on social media platforms. People follow brands out of a desire to stay informed, connected, and in the know. The fear of missing out on exclusive offers, events, or experiences compels individuals to maintain a digital presence, continuously seeking new information and opportunities to stay relevant and informed within their social circles.

Perceived Utility and Benefits:

The decision to follow a brand is often driven by a combination of perceived utility and benefits. Individuals gravitate towards brands that offer tangible value, whether in the form of educational content, entertainment, or practical solutions to their needs. Following such brands is a strategic investment in enhancing one’s knowledge, lifestyle, or well-being, thus justifying the commitment of attention and engagement.

Emotional Engagement and Entertainment:

Emotions play a pivotal role in shaping consumer behavior and brand preferences. Brands that evoke strong emotional responses, whether through humor, inspiration, or empathy, forge deeper connections with their audience. Following such brands becomes a means of seeking out emotional gratification, entertainment, or validation of one’s own beliefs and values.

Trust and Credibility:

Trust forms the bedrock of any meaningful relationship, including those between consumers and brands. People are more inclined to follow brands they perceive as trustworthy, credible, and authentic. Positive experiences, testimonials, and endorsements build confidence in a brand’s integrity, fostering a sense of loyalty and commitment among followers.

Self-Expression and Personal Branding:

Social media serves as a canvas for self-expression and personal branding, allowing individuals to curate and showcase their identities online. Following certain brands becomes a deliberate act of self-presentation, as individuals seek to align themselves with brands that reflect their aspirations, values, or desired image. By associating with aspirational or culturally relevant brands, individuals craft and communicate their own personal brand identity to their social network.

In essence, the decision to follow a brand on social media is multifaceted, driven by a complex interplay of identity, social connection, validation, curiosity, utility, emotion, trust, and self-expression. Brands that understand and leverage these underlying psychological principles can forge deeper connections with their social media audience, foster genuine engagement, and cultivate a loyal and enthusiastic following in the digital landscape.

Top 6 Social Media Platforms in 2024 and How To Build Following There

As of 2024, the top six social media platforms are likely to continue evolving, but based on recent trends, here are some platforms that may remain influential, along with strategies for building a following on each:

Instagram

Instagram

With its visually-centric format and diverse user base, Instagram remains a visual storytelling powerhouse where users share photos, videos, and stories. With over a billion active users, it offers businesses and individuals a dynamic space to connect, engage, and build communities. Its visually-centric interface, coupled with features like hashtags and Explore, facilitates content discovery and increases reach.

Instagram fosters creativity, authenticity, and meaningful connections, making it a preferred platform for brands, influencers, and users worldwide. From sharing life’s moments to showcasing products and services, this social media platform continues to shape digital culture and influence social interactions in profound ways. Here are five key strategies to grow your following on Instagram:

  1. Craft Compelling Content: Post visually appealing and engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
  2. Use Relevant Hashtags: Research and include hashtags that are relevant to your content to increase discoverability.
  3. Engage Your Audience: Respond to comments, messages, and mentions to foster connections and build relationships.
  4. Post Content Consistently: Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and attract new followers.
  5. Utilize Instagram Features: Take advantage of features like Stories, Reels, and IGTV to diversify your content and reach a wider audience.

TikTok

TikTok

As one of the fastest-growing social media channels, TikTok has captivated the social media world by storm with its captivating content and vibrant community, allowing brands to reach a younger demographic through short-form video content. With millions of users worldwide, TikTok offers a creative playground where users can showcase their talents, share moments, and explore trends.

Its algorithm-driven feed and extensive library of sounds and effects make content discovery seamless and engaging. From dance challenges to comedy sketches and educational content, TikTok caters to a diverse range of interests and passions. Its addictive nature and viral potential have propelled it to the forefront of digital culture, influencing trends and shaping pop culture in profound ways. Here are five key strategies to grow your following on TikTok:

  1. Consistent Posting: Regularly upload content to keep your profile active and engage with your audience. Aim for at least a few posts per week to maintain visibility on users’ feeds.
  2. Utilize Trending Hashtags and Challenges: Stay updated with the latest trends, hashtags, and challenges on TikTok. Participating in popular TikTok trends can help your content reach a wider audience and increase your chances of going viral.
  3. Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments, and messages, and engage with other creators’ content. Building authentic connections with your audience can foster loyalty and encourage them to share your content with others.
  4. Create Unique and Entertaining Content: Stand out from the crowd by creating original and captivating content that showcases your personality and talents. Experiment with different video styles, effects, and editing techniques to keep viewers engaged and coming back for more.
  5. Collaborate with Other Creators: Partner with other TikTok creators in your niche or with a similar following to collaborate on content. Cross-promoting each other’s videos can introduce your profile to a new audience and help you gain more followers.

YouTube

YouTube

YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform, revolutionizes digital content consumption with its vast library of videos spanning every topic imaginable. With billions of users, YouTube offers creators and viewers a diverse array of content, from educational tutorials to entertainment and beyond. Its algorithm-driven recommendations personalize user experiences, driving engagement and watch time.

As a powerful tool for creators, YouTube provides opportunities for monetization, community building, and global reach. From aspiring influencers to established brands, YouTube serves as a dynamic stage for creativity, expression, and connection, shaping the landscape of online media and entertainment. Here are five key strategies to grow your following on YouTube:

  1. Consistent Upload Schedule: Establish a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and attract new subscribers. Consistency builds trust and encourages viewers to return for more content.
  2. Optimize Your Videos for Search: Use relevant keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags to improve your videos’ visibility in search results. Research popular search terms in your niche and incorporate them strategically.
  3. Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments, ask for feedback, and encourage viewers to like, share, and subscribe to your channel. Building a sense of community fosters loyalty and encourages repeat viewership.
  4. Collaborate with Other YouTubers: Partner with other creators in your niche or with a similar audience size to collaborate on content. Cross-promoting each other’s channels exposes your content to a new audience and can help you gain more subscribers.
  5. Promote Your Channel Across Platforms: Share your videos on social media, your website, or other online forums to attract more viewers to your channel. Utilize your existing online presence to drive traffic to your YouTube channel and encourage people to subscribe.

Twitter

Twitter

The microblogging powerhouse, Twitter, facilitates real-time communication and connection through short-form messages known as tweets. With its global reach and diverse user base, Twitter serves as a hub for news, conversations, and trends on topics ranging from politics to pop culture. Its character limit of 280 characters encourages concise and impactful messaging, fostering engagement and virality.

Hashtags and trending topics amplify reach and facilitate content discovery. From individuals to businesses, Twitter offers a platform for sharing thoughts, promoting brands, and engaging with audiences in dynamic and interactive ways, shaping conversations and driving cultural discussions in the digital age. Here are five key strategies to grow your following on Twitter:

  1. Consistent and Engaging Tweets: Regularly share quality content that is relevant to your audience’s interests. Engage with trending topics, share valuable insights, and participate in conversations to attract new followers.
  2. Utilize Hashtags Strategically: Incorporate relevant hashtags into your tweets to increase discoverability and reach a broader audience. Research popular hashtags in your niche and join relevant conversations to expand your visibility.
  3. Interact with Your Audience: Respond to mentions, retweets, and direct messages to build relationships with your followers. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and show appreciation for your audience’s support to foster loyalty and encourage growth.
  4. Promote Your Twitter Profile: Share your Twitter handle on other social media platforms, your website, email signature, or business cards to encourage people to follow you. Cross-promote your content across different channels to attract new followers.
  5. Collaborate with Influencers and Brands: Partner with influencers or complementary brands in your industry to reach their followers and tap into their audience’s trust. Collaborating on content or promotions can expose your profile to a new audience and help you gain more followers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking and B2B marketing platform that connects millions of professionals worldwide. It offers opportunities for career development, networking, and business growth. With features like job listings, company pages, and professional content sharing, LinkedIn facilitates connections and knowledge sharing within diverse industries. Users showcase their skills, experience, and achievements, positioning themselves as thought leaders and industry experts.

LinkedIn fosters collaboration, recruitment, and personal branding, empowering individuals and organizations to thrive in the digital economy. From job seekers to entrepreneurs, LinkedIn serves as a valuable platform for professional growth, networking, and staying abreast of industry trends. Here are five key strategies to grow your following on LinkedIn:

  1. Optimize Your Profile: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete, professional, and showcases your expertise and achievements. Use a clear, captivating profile picture, write a compelling headline, and include relevant keywords to improve your visibility in searches.
  2. Share Valuable Content: Regularly share informative and engaging content related to your industry or niche. Write articles, share industry insights, and participate in discussions to position yourself as a thought leader and attract followers who value your expertise.
  3. Engage with Your Network: Interact with your connections’ posts by liking, commenting, and sharing. Engaging with others’ content helps increase your visibility on LinkedIn and fosters relationships with your network, encouraging them to follow you.
  4. Join and Participate in Groups: Join LinkedIn Groups relevant to your industry or interests and actively participate in discussions. Engaging in group conversations allows you to connect with like-minded professionals and expand your network.
  5. Network and Connect Strategically: Connect with professionals who share similar interests or who you admire in your industry. Personalize connection requests with a brief message explaining why you’d like to connect. Building a quality network of relevant connections increases your visibility and opportunities for engagement on LinkedIn.

Snapchat

Snapchat

Snapchat is a dynamic multimedia messaging platform renowned for its short-lived nature. Users can share photos and videos, termed “Snaps,” which automatically vanish after viewing, fostering candid and real-time communication. With features like Filters, Lenses, and Stories, Snapchat offers creative tools for self-expression and engagement. Additionally, its Discover section showcases curated content from publishers and influencers, catering to diverse interests.

Known for its emphasis on privacy and spontaneity, Snapchat serves as a preferred platform for connecting with friends, exploring current trends, and accessing fresh content. Its innovative approach to messaging continues to captivate users worldwide, making it a formidable player in the social media landscape. Here are five key strategies to grow your following on Snapchat:

  1. Consistent and Engaging Content: Regularly post content that is visually appealing, entertaining, and relevant to your audience’s interests. Keep your snaps engaging and interactive to capture and retain viewers’ attention.
  2. Utilize Snapchat Features: Take advantage of Snapchat’s features like Filters, Lenses, and Geofilters to enhance your snaps and make them stand out. Experiment with different effects and creative tools to keep your content fresh and engaging.
  3. Promote Your Snapchat Account: Share your Snapchat QR code or username on other social media platforms, your website, or promotional materials to encourage people to add you on Snapchat. Cross-promote your Snapchat account across different channels to attract new followers.
  4. Interact with Your Audience: Respond to snaps, and messages, and engage with your audience to build relationships and foster loyalty. Encourage followers to send you snaps, participate in polls or challenges, and feature user-generated content on your account.
  5. Collaborate with Influencers or Brands: Partner with influencers or brands in your niche to cross-promote each other’s Snapchat accounts and reach a wider audience. Collaborating on content or giveaways can help you gain more followers and increase your visibility on the platform.

Overall, regardless of the platform, building a following on social media requires consistent effort, creativity, and engagement. By understanding your target audience, creating compelling content, actively participating in the community, and building an effective social media strategy, you can effectively grow your following and strengthen your brand presence on these top social media platforms in 2024.

How to Build a Following on Social Media in 12 Proven Ways

Building a following on most social media platforms requires a strategic approach and consistent effort. Here are twelve proven ways to get more social media followers:

Interactive Polls and Surveys

Interactive Polls and Surveys

Use polls and surveys strategically to gain deeper insights into your audience’s preferences, challenges, and interests. Analyze the data collected to inform your content strategy, product development, and marketing campaigns. Additionally, consider using polls as a way to crowdsource ideas or gather feedback on new initiatives, fostering a sense of ownership and involvement among your audience.

Educational Webinars or Live Workshops

Educational Webinars or Live Workshops

Elevate your educational content by delivering in-depth webinars or workshops that go beyond surface-level information. Offer actionable strategies, case studies, and real-world examples to provide practical value to your audience on your chosen social media channel. Encourage interaction through Q&A sessions, polls, and interactive exercises to keep participants engaged and actively learning.

Collaborate with Micro-Influencers

Collaborate with Micro-Influencers

When collaborating with micro-influencers, focus on building authentic relationships rather than just transactional partnerships. Choose influencers whose values align with your brand and whose audience matches your target demographic. Work together on co-created content or joint campaigns that provide mutual benefit and resonate with both audiences.

Create Shareable Infographics

Create Shareable Infographics

Instead of creating regular social media posts, consider focusing more on visual content to capture the audience’s attention and make the message(s) more compelling. A good approach is to design infographics.

designing infographics that not only present data but also tell a compelling story or convey complex information in a visually appealing way. Use storytelling techniques, striking visuals, and concise messaging to capture attention and encourage sharing. Consider repurposing existing content into an infographic format to maximize its reach and impact.

Host Giveaways and Contests

Host Giveaways and Contests

Design giveaway and contest campaigns with clear objectives and strategic goals in mind. Whether it’s to increase brand awareness, drive engagement, or grow your email list, tailor your campaign mechanics and prizes accordingly. Leverage user-generated content by incorporating submission requirements that encourage participants to create and share their own content related to your brand or campaign theme.

Utilize User-Generated Content

Utilize User-Generated Content

Showcase user-generated content as social proof of your brand’s value and credibility. Many social media platforms allow brands to highlight customer testimonials, reviews, and success stories to build trust and authenticity with their audience. Encourage user-generated content creation by providing incentives, recognition, and opportunities for customers to share their experiences with your products or services.

Engage with Trending Topics and Challenges

Engage with Trending Topics and Challenges

When participating in trending topics and challenges, aim to add unique value or perspective to the conversation. Research trending hashtags and topics relevant to your industry and audience, then create content that resonates with current discussions. Monitor conversations closely to identify emerging trends and capitalize on opportunities to join the conversation in a meaningful way.

Optimize Your Profile and Content for Search

Optimize Your Profile and Content for Search

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify high-value keywords and phrases relevant to your niche and reflect your brand values. Incorporate these keywords strategically into your profile bio, content captions, and hashtags to improve your visibility in search results. Monitor your performance using analytics tools to track keyword performance and refine your strategy over time.

Share Behind-the-Scenes Content

Share Behind-the-Scenes Content

Humanize your brand by offering an authentic glimpse into your company culture, values, and day-to-day operations. Share stories, anecdotes, and behind-the-scenes footage that showcase the people behind your brand and the passion driving your mission. Invite your audience to be part of your journey by involving them in decision-making processes or soliciting their input on upcoming projects.

Engage in Community Building

Engage in Community Building

Cultivate a vibrant and supportive community around your brand by actively participating in conversations, responding to comments, and fostering connections among your followers. Create dedicated spaces for community interaction, such as Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Communities, where members can connect, share ideas, and support one another. Encourage user-generated content creation and celebrate community milestones to strengthen bonds and deepen engagement.

Promote Your Social Channels

Promote Your Social Channels

Actively promote your social media channels across all touchpoints, including your website, email marketing campaigns, offline marketing materials, and even your physical storefront. Make it easy for people to find and follow you on social media by including social media icons and links in your communications.

Monitor Analytics

Monitor Analytics

Regularly monitor and analyze your social media metrics to gain insights into what content resonates with your audience and drives engagement. Use analytics and social listening tools such as Brand24, HootSuite, BuzzSumo, Mention, SproutSocial, and others to track key metrics such as engagement rates, follower growth, reach, and demographics, and use this data to optimize your content strategy and improve performance over time.

By implementing these strategies with intention, authenticity, and a focus on providing value to your audience, you can effectively grow your social media following in 2024 while building a loyal and engaged community around your brand.

Conclusion

In conclusion, growing a social media following requires a strategic approach, consistent effort, and a deep understanding of your audience. By leveraging interactive content, educational resources, and authentic engagement, you can attract and retain followers who are genuinely interested in your brand. Collaborating with influencers, optimizing your content for search, and fostering a sense of community are also key tactics for sustainable growth.

Ultimately, success on social media comes from building meaningful connections, providing value, and continually adapting your strategy to meet the evolving needs and preferences of your audience. With dedication and creativity, you can cultivate a thriving social media presence that drives engagement, builds loyalty, and supports your business objectives.


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