But for business users the pressure to actively grow and increase social media accounts is high. Building an audience of engaged followers may seem like nothing more than a ‘vanity metric’ at first but it goes much deeper than that.
Why do companies need to build an audience?
Account growth is important for companies. It can help people to become familiar with and recognise your brand, it can help you to get more likes, follows and shares; which in turn can bring you even more followers.
One of the main reasons that businesses are focused on growing social accounts is credibility. Just imagine, you find a great company and are interested in their products. Wanting to ensure that they are a trustworthy and viable business you will most likely look for things like positive reviews and feedback. Almost certainly you will visit their social media pages.
But what if you land on their Twitter or Instagram page only to find out your new, shiny company has only 26 followers?
Off-putting isn’t it?
In this age of social media and online connections, a low follower count gives the impression that the business isn’t established or trustworthy, This can be very harmful when trying to attract new business as a low follower count will leave your new customer feeling uncertain and wondering why your numbers are so low. You might have an exceptional company with the best products and services in the world, but it won’t be perceived that way, and perception is everything.
Should I buy followers?
No, no, no, and we will say it again, no! Buying followers may seem like a fast and easy fix but it is not the answer. Even though you can get thousands of followers with a few bucks and a few clicks of the mouse it is absolutely not worth it.
Followers bought on like will often be from fake accounts or those with just a couple of followers. These accounts have been created solely to get paid for followers, so they will bring no real value or engagement to your social media page.
They actually may end up doing you more harm than good as many platforms frown upon the practice of buying followers, and real users see right through it. A page with 54k followers that only gets 3 likes per post can be quickly identified as an account which has falsely inflated follower numbers.
Even users who are genuinely interested in your business may be put off by the fact that you tried to con them by looking like you have thousands of followers.
How do I increase followers?
Growing your accounts the proper way is a much more effective strategy, sure, it takes longer, but by the time you finish, you should have an active and engaged user base. There are a few things you can do to attract followers to your accounts and swell your numbers the right way.
Make sure that you log in to your accounts and like, share, and comment on people’s posts regularly. This shows people you are interested and if you can offer help and advice along the way then even better. It will encourage people to connect with you via your social platforms and learn about your business. Get into the habit of posting and engaging on your social accounts regularly, every day or every couple of days. Other users will begin to recognise you and the social algorithms will know that you are an active user, helpful for getting more visibility on your posts.
Along with showing up, the type of content you post can have a dramatic impact on your follower numbers. You are an expert in your industry, so share posts which offer help, advice, and insights. Things like guides, useful insights or problem-solving posts are all useful to potential customers and followers. People will respect the fact that you are giving more than you are taking and may start to follow you or share your posts. This can expand your reach into untapped markets and new areas, creating visibility and raising awareness of your company’s brand.
Find your platform
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat – the list of social media goes on and on. It is impossible to keep up with each and every channel so find out where your audience hangs out and focus on that platform first. As a guide, older people tend to use Facebook, younger people use platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, and many companies and brands use Twitter. If your business is very visual, platforms like Instagram work well, and if you can make short videos they can be posted to Instagram reels or TikTok to gain more followers. Video content can be really powerful when trying to grow accounts and if you are in a business like real estate or landscape gardening, video walkthroughs can be really useful for your clients and serve to attract a wider audience.
Present an alternate view
While you don’t want to risk offending or antagonising your audience with posts that are too controversial, content that offers an alternate point of view can gain you more followers. Presenting your arguments clearly and candidly can spur people to follow you. Being a people pleaser doesn’t work, simply because you can’t keep everyone happy. So stay true to your beliefs, promote your business purposefully and don’t be afraid to articulately voice your opinion. Often a new or even a ‘spiky’ point of view can be attractive to followers.
Find influencers in your niche
Identify and connect with influential account holders within your business community. These people don’t have to have a huge number of followers, sometimes accounts that have just a fe thousand followers can effectively promote and share your posts. Expanding your reach and visibility among their own network. Along with increasing views on your content, the fact that someone else has shared your posts gives you instant credibility.
How can social media help my business?
Maintaining an online presence and promoting your goods and services via social media is an effective way to grow your audience. Attracting followers will help you to spread the word about your business and earning shares can expand your reach further.
But there are other benefits to using social media accounts, for a start, you can connect directly with people. As well as creating trust and loyalty, it demonstrates that you have a real interest in getting to know your followers. People buy from, or do business with people that they like, so this can result in gaining sales and clients.
With the tools available on some social platforms you can add a shop to sell directly from your social channels. This revenue-generating option is a powerful feature which offers ease and convenience to customers. Some companies run a lucrative business from channels like Instagram and Facebook.
Social media can help you to attract a whole new range of people and position you in front of different markets; some of which you may have not even thought about. With the algorithms and tools used by social platforms, your accounts can be suggested to new users, cohorts, or 3rd and 4th level connections of your existing audience.
Having a robust social account gives you both credibility and validity. As users search the marketplace, a healthy and active social account for your business can be highly appealing to followers. So growing your accounts can act as ‘proof’ of your company’s success.
How can I best manage my social media channels?
Keeping social accounts filled with fresh and updated content takes time. There are many tools available to help you create graphics and schedule posts for your feeds, and there are utilities that can curate feeds from other sites. While these can keep your social accounts full, the reality is that it is still other people’s content. It can help retain interest but usually, it is not driving traffic to your site. In fact, shared links and articles can actually drive users away from your site as they click through to read the article you have shared.
For your accounts to grow consistently you will need to post regularly and keep your content engaging. This can be challenging for many business users who find that the demands of day-to-day operations leave no time to craft social posts. Filling up a calendar with meaningful content can be quite labor intensive, and for this reason, many business owners choose to outsource their social media management.
What can a social media management company do for me?
Working with a company or agency to design your social content takes all the pressure off you as a business owner. There will no longer be the need to find time to make posts yourself and content can be generated by expert writers and graphic designers.
A social media manager can create compelling content that is on point and on brand to represent your business online. Things like graphics, posts, captions and hashtag research will all be done for you, and depending on the agency you partner with, costs can be relatively reasonable.
Working together with the design team, you should be able to make suggestions, share ideas and request posts for specific events like a sale or a business promotion. With an open line of communication you will be able to make adjustments, request edits, and adjust your posts until they look exactly as you want.
Along with the time-saving aspect, your new social media team may be able to offer suggestions and come up with new ideas to improve levels of engagement, and many agencies offer specialised account growth services. These can boost your account followers in a strategic and thoughful manner, without using low-level tactics like buying followers.
How do I find the right agency?
Partnering with an outsourced social media management provider isn’t so much about finding the right agency, its more about finding the right agency for you. It can be advisable to check the quality and previous work that the agency has provided, as well as accounts they have managed for clients.
Many agencies specialise in different areas of marketing, so if their primary focus is SEO or link -building, you may want to keep looking for an agency whose specialty is social media and account growth. Aligning yourself with the right agency who have staff that possess the right skill sets can save you a lot of problems later on.
Shop around and check things like prices, and what you can expect for your monthly fee. Does the price paid for social post designs include edits, will captions be added, and for account growth can you expect a minimum number of followers per month? If the terms and conditions seem overly complicated it could be a red flag, so check the small print carefully before you commit.
What’s the average cost of social media account management?
This question is similar to ‘how long is a piece of string’, the reality is that monthly cost will depend on several factors including, quantity of work, type of work, and your budget. Knowing how much you are prepared to pay each month can help you search for agencies priced in that range, but for those who can affords larger budgets, there is almost no ceiling. Agencies can be found who charge less than $100 per month to those that command thousands of dollars for their services.
Depending on what you need it can be a good idea to compare 2 or 3 agencies that fit within your budget and determine the standard and reliability of their work. Too cheap can be a false economy as low budget, poor quality work will not help your accounts to grow, but too high and you could be paying for more than you need, so try and strike a balance. Also, be careful about what you are committing to and check for lengthy contracts and minimum commitment terms, you may not want to be tied in indefinitely so clarify agreements before you sign.
Lastly, ensure that there are adequate ways to communicate with your agency. You should be able to easily contact customer service staff in the event you need help or have a question that must be answered.
Contact Smarcomms today and find out how we can grow your social media accounts.