Remember the elated feeling you got when you acquired your first social media or blog follower that isn’t your mom? It’s great when someone from the outside is interested in you and what you have to offer!
Yet there’s many people out there who follow others on social media just to promote themselves (and have no interest in following anyone or anything). These people follow you in the hopes you’ll visit their page and follow them back. Then, once they get the numbers they need, they delete the accounts from their follow list, and go to the next bunch.
However, as someone whose worked on personal as well as company social media accounts and blogs, these people make it frustrating to organically grow a following that sticks. They’re all over WordPress, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and every other social media platform. These accounts consistently try to inflate their numbers without genuine interest in following any other account.
But the quality of followers you have matters. It’s better to have 100 engaged followers than 1,000 followers who don’t care for your content. The goal is to drive engaged followers to your account, not simply grow to a certain number.
So how do you grow your blog and social media accounts to have a real, genuine followers? Here’s five ways you can start targeting more engaged accounts today.
Engage With Like-Minded Individuals or Companies
One of the first ways to start growing your social media and blog presence is to start engaging with people in your industry. These people have followers of their own that are interested in the same genre you take part in, and they might show some love back if you give them love.
That’s right: you need to give other bloggers and social media accounts attention if you want attention yourself. It’s rare that your digital presence can just go live and do well by itself. That means you want to support people who care about the same topics as you.
But aren’t they my competition? Technically yes, but you shouldn’t view them as a negative. The more people interested in your genre, the more opportunity there is to connect and find something unique.
You should also engage with people who follow your blog or social media. That means responding back to their comments or sharing a video they made based on your work. This can help build your community and show people you care about them following you!
Target who you Follow and Endorse
When you follow someone on your blog or social media account, you’ll want to do some research before following them back. After all, you don’t want to engage with people who aren’t actually serious about the genre you’re posting in.
That means you should research each and every person you want to engage with. Check out a few pages of their blog, scroll through their social media timelines, and find out if they align with your values. You don’t want to choose random people to endorse when building your follow strategy, since every person you interact with should be intentionally chosen. Their audience should be your target audience, since you’re looking to build your brand.
After you carefully research, you can start engaging with their content and asking to do things such as guest post on their blog. While you might not get a return on every person you follow, you should still strive to engage with others. This can help you network and build your digital presence.
Keep Posting, Even with little Results
The simple answer for this doing this is the more you post, the more chances you have to get noticed. There’s no questions that quantity can help boost your visibility and expose yourself to new people.
The most successful blog and social media accounts keep posting no matter how much attention their posts get. Even if you get 0 likes or views, your post will still build your content base for when you start getting traffic.
Think of this way: Let’s say you write five posts that don’t do well. However, your sixth post gets attention, likes, and comments. A fraction of those people might be interested in what else your blog or social account has to offer, and they’ll scroll through your posts to find more content.
In a way, think of that content as a way to build your presence. If someone scrolls and sees nothing, they’ll likely bounce and go onto the next account.
Posting often can also help swing the search results in your favor. Google and other search engines prefer to direct people to active websites, so if you post often, eventually search engines will catch on. They’ll crawl your website and start putting your blog posts on their search engines.
…But don’t post just to post
But didn’t I just say posting more often can help build your blog or social media account? Yes, it does, but you also can’t just post to post.
Posting to post actually has the opposite effect, since it makes you seem like a spammer and that you don’t know what you’re doing. If people see subpar content, they’re likely to leave and not follow you back.
You’re growing a brand on your blog or social media account. That means you want to make everything something you’re proud of, even if you don’t post every single day. It’s better to post three times a week than put out something every day “just because.”
Every post you make should be 3 things: targeted, quality, and relevant. Let’s take a look at these three items:
- Targeted. Your writing for an intended audience in mind, whether you realize it or not. You might be tempted to say “Well, this post is for everybody,” but there’s always going to people who aren’t interested in your topic and never will be. Always start your post with, “Who is this for?” This can help you choose tags and phrase your writing accordingly.
- Quality. When putting content together, you want everything you put out to be quality. Even though posting more often can grow your social accounts, you want to make sure your delivering on your promise to only put out quality. That means you should ask yourself if you’d read, watch, or engage with the content yourself. If the answer is no, then you’re better off skipping it.
- Relevant. Sometimes as content creators, we get lots of ideas. There’s so much to create, but that doesn’t mean every idea you have necessarily relevant to your audience. That doesn’t mean you can’t go outside the norm every once in a while, but you should use the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be relevant, while the other 20% is related but experimental.
Over time, your quality posts will build on one another. Take the time to plan your content out, and scrap anything that doesn’t help build your platform.
Manage your Schedule
Another way to attract loyal followers is to stick to a well-managed posting schedule. After all, the people following you want more content, and if they don’t get it, they’ll unfollow when they clean out their follow lists.
Try to maintain a regular schedule when it comes to making and uploading content. It could mean posting every Monday and Friday for sure, with leeway to add other content the other days of the week. Your followers who like and regularly engage with your content will look forward to getting the notification you posted on these days.
You can manage regular posting by setting it up in advance. Get Hootsuite, Buffer, or another scheduling software to help schedule your posts. This will not only help you save time, but you’ll also be able to post while your on vacation or unable to get to your laptop.
Target with Length
When you’re looking to attract and keep genuine followers, the length of your content matters. While the length genuinely varies by genre and interest, people don’t have a lot of time to stick around anymore.
That’s right — the length of your content matters. People would rather read short, sweet paragraphs they can briefly glance at or watch a video that’s less than ten minutes. That’s because people want content that gets to the point, since they perceive their time as limited.
Your blog and social media posts should be short, sweet, and engaging. If someone sees your content will take a huge time commitment, they’ll immediately leave the post. That means you need to make a strategy to make your content something they’ll want to read.
One way to do this is to keep the introduction engaging but short. You want your followers to immediately know what your content is about, but you shouldn’t go on a tangent or give them a whole backstory on why you’re talking about this. This will help minimize people from unfollowing you because they are immediately getting the content they subscribed for.
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