Your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete, your Pinterest page looks perfect, and you’ve mastered Twitter’s 140 character limit. Congrats! Now comes your next challenge: How do you grow your network of followers?
1. Become a Follower Yourself
The Golden Rule applies to social media, too: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simply following or friending someone else will encourage them to reciprocate. Be sure to choose social media personalities with a healthy group of followers who may also enjoy your content. Bonus: If your post is shared, you know it’s being sent out to a crowd of like-minded people you can possibly attract.
2. Be a Good Listener
Not many of us enjoy one-sided conversations in the non-digital world. The same is true with social media. Take time to read what your followers are posting and sharing. Be aware of what is meaningful to them in the moment and offer helpful advice. This not only shows your followers you care, but it adds real value to the conversation and will encourage your current network to stick around. In addition, advice is easily shared and is an important strategy for exposing your content to potential new followers.
3. Build Your Personal Brand
Networks are built around a common theme or interest. Be focused and relevant with your content. This could mean sticking to specific topics or maintaining a strong personal voice. Write down your personal brand mission, read it before every post and ask yourself, is this the message I want to be sending? Consistency will increase the likelihood your current followers will share your posts with fitting connections.
4. Take Advantage of Sharing Tools
Social media platforms in their essence are places for sharing, so be sure to know and understand all the tools and features that make it easier to accomplish this. Comment on current Twitter conversations using the relevant hashtag, for example. This can expose your Tweets to a network of thousands of users who aren’t following you. Add social media buttons, such as Facebook’s “Like” button or Google’s “+ 1” button to your platform. Warning: Don’t go overboard and overwhelm your followers with too many sharing options.
5. Go Offline
Growing your social network is just as feasible offline as it is online. Don’t overlook your “real world” networks, such as an exercise group or book club as promotional outlets. Chances are, those who are interested in staying in contact offline may want to know what you’re up to online as well.
As you work hard to increase your social media network, don’t forget about your current followers. Your followers are the crucial element of social media that make sharing possible at all.