So you’ve already mastered the art of the social media post, and now it’s time to invite friends to the party. Your account is decorated with fresh, new content, but how do you get people to actually come see it? If your social media pages are feelin’ lonely, these are the essential tactics for attracting more followers on any platform:
- Cross-promote. Include calls to action on your email signup “thank you” pages, in your “welcome” emails, in the “P.S. section of emails, and at the bottom of every blog post. Ask your Facebook users to follow you on Instagram, or tweet a link to your Youtube channel asking people to subscribe. The more your accounts are seen, the more chances you have of attracting new followers.
- Wear a badge of honor. Add “like,” “tweet,” “follow,” or “subscribe” buttons to allow visitors to immediately follow all your accounts without leaving the page. You can even install a page badge to share your Facebook page on your website and affiliated blogs: unlike widgets, badges are simply images and will load much faster. But be careful: this design can appear junky depending on the layout.
- (Social) networking. Build partnerships by actively commenting and liking posts from related organizations to increase the exposure of your own handle. Repost their content when applicable.
- Assemble your ambassadors. People are often more likely to interact with and trust a human than a brand. Ask staff members to follow your social media pages, invite their friends to follow, and to like, comment, and share your recent posts. Don’t forget to have all employees include your social media handles in their email signatures and social media bios.
- Incentivize clicks. Create incentives for following your account, such as requiring people to follow all of your social media accounts to be considered in a contest or to get facetime with a speaker at an event. There are platforms and tools that allow you to run giveaways and contests through social media to build your followers.
- Pop them on over. You already use popups to drive emails (right?), so why not try using popups to drive followers. Confused? Check out our guide on pop-ups.
- Use your Adwords. Create campaigns to direct traffic to pages with clear social media related calls to action. Here’s more information on how to get (and maximize) the AdWords Grant.
Download the Guide
Not every platform is created equal. What are the best platforms for your organization, and how can you leverage them for greater impact? Learn more with The Nonprofit Organization’s Guide to Social Media.
Looking for more followers on a specific platform? Here’s a breakdown of the ways you can get more social media followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube:
How to Get Facebook Followers
- @ Your Followers. If you host or attend an event with several of your fans, take pictures, post them to your page, and ask your fans to tag themselves in the photos. Their friends will see the photos and it will bring traffic to your page.
- Call and Respond. Everyone who has commented on a post gets a notification when someone new comments. So commenting on popular posts (especially ad posts, which are primarily reaching new users) will trigger a notification to anyone else who has commented.
- Find your Niche. Join relevant Facebook groups and share helpful content on their pages for more targeted reach to a captive audience. Find pages with missions or followers similar to yours, and offer to share their page in exchange for them sharing yours.
- Invite People Who Like You. Pull a list of people who have liked or commented on your recent posts: Facebook will give you the option to invite them to like your page, which will convert people who have already shown interest in your content into fans.
- Pay to Play. Facebook has changed its focus to family and friends rather than brands and organizations, so spending a little on boosting posts (but not directly buying fans) can indirectly increase your reach and build sustainable followers.
- It Never Hurts to Ask. At the end of relevant content, such as an awesome blog post about social media, include a call to action linking readers to your profile.
How to Get Twitter Followers
- Spread the love. You get 1,000 likes to use everyday, which should be treated like free advertising. When you like someone’s tweet they get a notification, it will help you get broader exposure, and they might follow your account. Like good content produced by your high-klout followers to create a brand impression.
- Shoot for the Re-tweet. People are more likely to follow and re-tweet someone who re-tweets them. It embeds you in the community and shows that you aren’t just a content creator, but also a content curator. Quote/re-tweet good content to join in on the conversation while adding your own personality.
- #Bio. Put relevant hashtags in your bio and people will be able to find you better when they perform searches.
- Make a Good First Impression. Twitter is primarily mobile, so make sure you have a good mix of 3-5 tweets “above the fold,” or before the mobile app adds a banner advertising similar accounts. This could include a great/highly shared tweet pinned to the top of your page, a re-tweet, some images, and a video.
- Visualize. Speaking of images and videos, be sure to post them natively to Twitter, even when you are also posting a link. Twitter wants people to stay on Twitter, so they prefer when users can see the content without being redirected. Also, people love visuals, and they can allow you to expand on the 140 character count by adding text to images.
- Keep Lists. Make and subscribe to public lists. You can follow a user’s public list without following that user. Adding a user to your list will give them a notification so they will be exposed to your account, and following other lists will give you awesome theme-specific feed information, as well as exposure to the list owners and participants.
- Stay trendy. Twitter is all about the present, and trends, memes, and hashtags are constantly going in and out of style, so act fast or don’t act at all. See what’s trending and try to find a conversation your organization can take part in. Take time to familiarize yourself with the platform and observe how Twitter evolves so your account doesn’t become dated. Learn how to gather, analyze, and act on your data to jump on the next trend in a way that drives real impact with our Whole Whale University Course, Be Your Own Social Media Guru: Using Engagement Data to Drive Nonprofit Impact.
- Chit Chat. Find Twitter chats about relevant topics, engage, and reach out to hosts about co-hosting. You’ll be able to show your knowledge, target a specific demographic of people waiting to connect, and find new followers.
How to Get Instagram Followers
- Connect to convert. Share your Instagram photos on Facebook and Twitter to convert followers on those platforms to follow your Instagram account.
- #Explore. Research relevant hashtags in your niche. Click on the “explore” tab (the magnifying glass icon) to see what people are talking about. Use hashtags that are known and popular and tailor them to fit your content (for example, #tbt, #instagood, #photooftheday).
- Share your location. Use geotags whenever you can. This will broaden exposure for your posts.
How to Get Youtube Subscribers
- Keywords to success. Use keywords in the video description. Use your AdWords account to see what words and phrases give your site the most traffic and incorporate them into your video titles and descriptions.
- Always embed. Embed videos in emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts. This will make it easier for mobile viewers to click through, and posts that natively embed media get preference on these platforms.
- Just ask. Include a call to action annotation that points the viewer to the like or subscribe button within videos. Many accounts even add on a few seconds of video at the end of their content explicitly asking users to subscribe.
- Sort out your priorities. YouTube gives more weight to the first tags, so use your keyword tags first.
Got some social media #hacks up your sleeve? Share your tips with us & Tweet @WholeWhale.