So, you want to build your brand’s social media following organically right?
I mean, we’ve all spent too much money on social media ads just to see a slight increase in numbers.
Enough of that. You need a sustainable solution, one that you won’t have to keep dumping money into and wondering where it all went.
Here’s some good news, growing your social media following organically is easier than you might think. In this post you will find real, actionable steps that will grow your following.
Spoiler warning: none of these steps involve entertaining your audience with the latest memes in hopes that you’ll go viral. Nope, no fluff here. Just proven steps that generate real results.
How to Increase Organic Social Media Growth
Turn Website Visitors Into Social Media Followers
I know you care about social media, if you didn’t you wouldn’t be reading this. But what’s even more important than social media is your website.
Your website is and always should be your home base on the web. As a home base, one of the things it needs to do effectively is to direct traffic to other places your brand can be found on the web. Like your social media pages.
When a visitor lands on your website, it should be obvious what you want them to do next. If one of the things you want them to do is visit your social media pages, then you should be directing them there.
If you aren’t already doing this, then may I suggest that it’s time to redesign your site?
You need a home based that emphasizes and compels visitors to check out, and follow, your brand on social media.
With that being said, I suggest using one of the templates offered by one of the many leading website builders around. Why? Most of them offer ultra modern templates that are super easy to customize.
Here are some other tips your new site design to maximize your social media followers:
- Include social media buttons above the fold AND in the footer of your site.
- Put a call to action at the end of every blog post inviting website visitors to follow you on social media.
- List all of your social media pages on your website’s contact page.
Repetition helps to make messages stick, so you want to repeat the message to follow you on social media as often as possible.
Integrate Email and Social Media Marketing
Now that you have your site turning visitors into social media followers, you’re going to want to do the exact same thing with your email subscribers.
Let me get on my soapbox for a second and explain why email is still important if you’re investing time in resources into social media marketing.
Even with social media being as popular as it is, users still prefer email. Here are a few stats to prove my point:
- 58 percent of adult Americans prioritize email over any other form of communication.
- 77 percent of people prefer email for receiving promotional messages.
Anytime that you send an email, make a post on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter the chance of your customers seeing that one individual message is relatively slim.
Using email and social media together will improve the odds of customers seeing and interacting with your messages.
As Jay Baer of Convince and Convert puts it, “Surround your customers with options to interact with your brand, and the chances that you will be able to interact with them at all go up considerably.”
See why email marketing is still important? Great! Here’s how to start building your list the right way.
Start Building Your Email List Now (If You Haven’t Already)
Let me go back to the subject of websites for a minute. On that website of yours, another thing you need is a landing page to capture visitors’ email addresses.
I know what you’re thinking already: “I don’t have time for that! I’m busy enough as it is.”
This landing page is where your email subscribers will come from, so direct people to it as often as you can. Here are some quick tips:
- Put a link to your landing page on your home page.
- Link to your landing page at the end of blog posts.
- Disperse links to your landing pages within your blog posts when it makes sense.
- Tweet links to your landing page when appropriate, but not so often that it gets annoying.
- Keep testing your landing page. If you’re not getting as many signups as you’d like, keep tweaking it.
Now that you know how to start building your list, or if you have a list already, I’m going to show you how you can use it to grow your social media following.
Here are some examples of things you can do with email marketing to organically boost those numbers on social media.
Put Social Media Buttons in Emails
The first thing to do, if you haven’t already, is to include social media buttons in your email messages. Link customers to the networks where your business is most active.
If your email subscribers aren’t connected with you on social media, a simple explanation might be that they just don’t know where to find you. Or they haven’t been asked to connect with you.
Let your subscribers know where to find you and include a call to action at the end of each email inviting them to connect with you.
Include Social Media Content In Your Email Newsletters
Give email subscribers an idea of what they’re missing if they’re not following you on social media. Start Including a ‘social media digest’ section in your email newsletters.
In this section provide a summary of your most engaging social media posts over the past month, such as most liked post on Facebook, most retweeted tweet, most re-pinned image on Pinterest and so on.
The idea here is to tease email subscribers with awesome content that can only be found on your social media pages.
Then invite your subscribers to visit your Facebook page to see the post. That will be hard to resist after they see how much your audience enjoyed what you posted.
Like I said earlier, there are only proven steps in this post. If you want proof that this works. Here’s a case study about how Calendars.com built a new monthly newsletter around this same idea.
This case study shows how Calendars.com integrated Pinterest, Facebook and blog content into their emails, which resulted in up to a 71 percent monthly increase in year-over-year open rates.
Offer Incentives For Email Subscribers To Follow You
When being asked to do anything, people want to know what’s in it for them. If you’re going to ask customers to follow you on social media, give them a reason why.
To encourage more email subscribers to like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, or however you want them to connect with you, try offering an incentive like “a special one day only sale will be triggered once our page gets 10,000 likes!”
Or you can take a different route, and let subscribers know about a sale or promotion after it happens.
Here’s how that would work. In a an email newsletter you could announce to your subscribers: “Our social media followers enjoyed a special, limited time fire sale over the weekend. Make sure to follow us so you don’t miss out on the next one.”
This sounds like you’re leaving your subscribers out of an awesome sale, but the key is to have some sales exclusive to your email list every once in a while to balance it out.
Include A “Tweet This!” Button In Your Emails
You may not have heard of it before, but there’s a very handy tool out there called Click To Tweet that can help drive a ton of engagement on social media and more traffic back to your website.
How it works is simple. You just create the tweet you want others to send out, which can include links or images, and Click To Tweet creates an HTML code that you can embed into your emails.
For example, if you’re sending out an email about a new product you might include something like “Our test audience increased their conversion rates by 30 percent in just one week!” followed by a link saying Click to tweet this stat!
When the user clicks on the link you can set it so they tweet out the stat along with a link back to the sales page to buy the product.
Here’s a live example: 82 percent of consumers open emails from companies. Click to Tweet this stat!
Build up hype around your social media accounts just as you would build up hype about the launch of a new product, or the launch of an amazing sale.
Let your audience know that some exciting news will be announced soon. Whether it’s in the next week, or two weeks, or month, or whenever. Set a date and build anticipation towards that date.
The only way your subscribers can get this news is by following you on social media. Remind them of this fact as you countdown the days towards your big announcement
For example, use your email list to hype up your social media accounts announcing something like, “we’re releasing a new product in the next two weeks and our social media followers have the opportunity to get it before anyone else. Follow us now!”
Did any of the above steps sounds too complicated? Did any of them sound like anything you couldn’t do?
See, growing your social media following organically is easier than you thought.
Here’s a basic recap of everything I went over:
- Redesign your website to emphasize your social media accounts.
- Set up a landing page to start building your email list.
- When sending out emails to your list, encourage your subscribers to also follow you on social media.
- Include a ‘Tweet This!’ button in your emails, as well strategically places social media buttons and some incentives to follow you.
Pretty simple, right? If you have anything else to add, I’d love to hear how you’ve organically grown your social media followers so we can learn from each other. Please leave a comment below!
Organic Growth Photo via Shutterstock