Social media is tricky to figure out, and many people don’t know the first thing about engagement or what the numbers mean on their accounts. Still, small businesses should research tips to grow a social media following because it’s one of the most marketable avenues they have to increase their revenue — and it might be less expensive than traditional marketing.
The United States alone has over 300 million active social media users, as of this year. Any small businesses interested in reaching out to people in a different geographical area than they’re based in should be on social media. It’s the best way for a business to find its target demographic and ensure that people see its products and services.
Why Would Someone Need Tips to Grow a Social Media Following?
Social media isn’t for everyone, but no one can deny that in the years it’s been around, it has left a profound impact on society. It’s become an easier way to connect with people and companies worldwide. Many users scroll social media for hours a day, and they could be someone’s target demographic.
Most people use social media for their leisure time, but worldwide, around 40% of people utilize social media for their job, whether it be to make connections or communicate with their team. Some of that number might come from people who are trying to get their small businesses off the ground. Mixing traditional marketing ideals with social media marketing can help small businesses thrive in their sphere, especially when implemented in a thoughtful, engaging way.
Unfortunately, social media doesn’t come easily to everyone. Someone just starting a small business may have no clue where to begin with their social media presence, and it might not be in their budget to hire a social media manager. That’s why people need tips to grow a social media following. It will help their businesses reach more people by using only their smartphones.
10 Social Media Tips to Consider
Because each social media platform has a different algorithm, what might work for some companies won’t work for others. These tips to grow a social media following can help business owners create a social media presence they can be proud of, but few businesses go viral. Companies should strive to put their best forward to impress potential customers and clients on social media.
1. Post Thoughtful Content
One of the easiest ways that business owners can attract people to their websites is by posting thought-provoking content on social media. An inspirational image with a caption that goes in-depth about a certain topic could show people that this business is an authority in its field. While recycled memes might be easy to post, business owners should contemplate why they’re posting something before they post it. If they want to move people, they should post thoughtfully.
2. Start Small
Not every business has to be on every social media channel at the beginning. It’s okay for small businesses to start off small with their social media presence. Business owners should consider the social media platform they’re most familiar with and begin there. Over time, as they get used to a regular posting schedule, they can branch out to other forms of social media. That way, the business can grow its following over time rather than spreading itself too thin initially.
3. Be Genuine
Authenticity is more important than ever in the age of social media. People won’t buy from a business if it isn’t being honest with them. Generation Z, with individuals in their mid-twenties at the oldest, is the generation becoming the target demographic for most businesses. They tend to value companies that are honest about their values and products from the get-go rather than those who try to hide facts away sneakily.
To receive the most loyal customers, a business has to be prepared to be honest. Being honest might include transparency about the company’s ethics and values, as well as where it sources its materials from, if applicable. Being honest from the start is a great way to win over potential leads and turn them into customers.
4. Engage With Audiences
One of the most important tips to grow a social media following that people don’t think about is engagement. Businesses should engage with their followers on social media. If someone asks a question, the company should be prepared to respond with a knowledgeable, polite answer. Responding to comments shows people that a business is active and takes a customer’s satisfaction seriously.
Some people will use social media to complain, especially about a faulty product or service. Anyone running a small business’s social media should have a good understanding of customer service and support so they can help an upset customer through whatever troubles them. The social media manager should also respond to comments of praise and interact with the audience as a whole.
5. Stick to a Posting Schedule
Planners will love this tip. Planning out what to post for a month can help businesses understand what their profile will look like. It can help them set up ad campaigns or other specials. Small businesses will find that having a set social media schedule will help them better manage their posts and comments from customers. It might take a bit of work initially, but once a small business owner can work out a plan, they’ll always know what to post next.
6. Hop on a Trend
One of the easiest ways to potentially get noticed on a social media platform is to take part in a trend. However, most people will skip past these trends, as they involve many people doing the same thing to the same audio file. Business owners should consider adding their own spin to things if they want to join in on a trend. Switch up the video, and people will be more inclined to watch it and see what you have to say.
7. Pick Hashtags Carefully
It’s easy for posts to get lost in a sea of hashtags. Still, hashtags are one of the easiest ways to ensure that someone sees an important post. To ensure all posts are getting seen how they need to, business owners should consider their hashtags carefully and try not to go overboard on the volume-heavy hashtags. Mid-size and smaller hashtags that don’t have as many posts are an excellent way for a business to get noticed online and within its niche.
8. Use Every Part of the App
If an app has a feature, a small business looking for growth should use it. For example, Instagram has feed posts, story posts, and reels posts. Any small business that wants to be favored by the algorithm should go out of its way to ensure it posts engaging material in all three of those categories. Feed posts could have more inspirational, longer captions, while story posts are a great way to reach out to an audience directly and ask them for their opinions. Once a small business knows how to juggle all the features of an app, it will thrive.
9. Take Advantage of Alt Text
Alternative Text, also known as “Alt Text,” offers a text-based description to a user who may not be able to see the media. Alt text is a great way for businesses to show that they are inclusive. Screen readers can’t always accurately describe images, so alt text gives them something to read to a user. When a small business owner puts alt text on the photos they post or captions the videos they take, they’re telling people who need accessibility tools that they matter, too.
10. Create a Routine
Routines are some of the most natural things humans can fall into. It takes a bit of willpower to build a brand-new practice, but it could pay off well. While nobody should spend all day on social media, business owners or whoever manages the accounts can choose to check social media a few separate times each day. One time might work well for interacting with followers, and another time might be time to post and put the phone away. Once in a routine, small businesses will find it easier than ever to maintain their social media presence.
Grow a Social Media Following Substantially
Purchasing followers and gaining huge numbers overnight is not the best way for a business to get noticed. In fact, it makes the company appear inauthentic, which is a significant negative on social media. Instead, small business owners should try tips to grow a social media following naturally. While it might take some time, small businesses can rest assured that their following will be organic and have great engagement from the people who love their companies.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.