Follow the Leader

9 May

You’re all set up on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and Pinterest. You’re putting out posts of a predictable schedule, making sure to find that sweet balance between scarcity and annoying. You publish interesting content that is relevant to a wide audience yet specific enough to make an impact. The only question is – WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

Actually getting followers can be one of the hardest parts of social media. It seems like the biggest names have all the followers, and the rest of us small businesses are left to a few dozen or so. So, how do you get more followers?

1) Start with your inner circle: Check you lists. Are you family, friends, co-workers, group members all followers? If not, a simple request will sometimes be all that you need do to bump your numbers. Having a high number of followers is a signal to potential clients that your profile is something worth paying attention to. Why not employ your closest network to help boost your online reputation?

2) Join a few groups: It’s always helpful to have a support system. Take a search through Facebook’s Groups, Twitter Lists, and blog groups (such as BlogHer and Women 2.0), for a few groups of similarly interested people that you can join. Make sure you find one where people post and respond frequently.

3) Create opportunities for interaction: Don’t just make your blog a repository for your own opinions and information. In order to gain readership, you should try to make your blog (or other social media page) for interactive. Do this by posting polls, asking readers to respond to a question, or responding to each and every comment. If people who just glaze over your blog see that it is active, they are more likely to subscribe.

4) Publicity: Make sure to include links to your social media pages on your e-mail signature, your business card, your website, and even cross-reference one site (ex. Twitter) on another site (ex. Facebook). Also, register your sites with websites such as StumbleUpon and Pinterest, that way people are more likely to randomly come across it.

5) Tags: Tagging, hashtags, keywords – these are all ways to increase the frequency that your page shows up in a search engine inquiry. On Tumblr and WordPress, they are called tags. On twitter, they are hashtags. You can enter multiples, multiplying the frequency that you appear. For example, if I did a blog post about an art show I’m having, I would tag it: art show, water color, Metro DC art, Arlington, painting, show, art.

6) Bribe: When all else fails, bribing always works. I, personally, have followed a number of blogs just because I know that they tend to do giveaways. The Pioneer Woman , for example, has been known to giveaway KitchenAid Stand Mixers, SLR cameras, even iPads! Your prizes, of couse, don’t have to be nearly that elaborate. If you know that you can give away something small, you could ask your followers “Leave a comment on our blog to be entered into a contest for xyz.” Give away extra entries if they like you on Facebook, Retweet, etc.

What social media sites do you follow, and why?


One Response to “Follow the Leader”

  1. Stefanie May 9, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Great list here! Super helpful tips! Another good option is to network with successful bloggers that can help to plug your company and social profiles. You can also ask to interview thought leaders in your industry, this is great for posting on your blog and it lends credibility to your business.

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