When you start a new business, the first thing you need to do is create your social media pages and start building an online presence. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of expecting thousands of followers the moment they create their Page only to get frustrated when they struggle to get recognition.
Sometimes, all it takes to gain momentum in building an audience is one viral post. However, this is easier said than done, and you may often find yourself feeling like you’re just sharing posts in a vacuum. Here, eight experts from the Young Entrepreneur Council share their best tips on how a new company can gain those first few followers and start building an audience.
1. Find an audience who really cares
The number of followers you have is not an indicator of your success on social media. You can have thousands of followers, but they don’t read your posts or even click on links. What you need is an audience who truly cares about your brand. Your first followers will always be people you know, so keep them engaged, like holding contests. This is also an effective way to get new people to follow you! Contests like caption and comment contests to win, trivia, and photo contests can help increase your engagement and audience. – Kyle Gauguin, Bowtrack
2. Give them something of value first
In the beginning, you want to avoid promoting yourself in your social media at all. Focusing on content marketing and selling will only drive away people who come across your profile. Instead, engage people first by giving value first. Create free how-to videos, give gifts, and make fun and entertaining stories. When you provide quality content to your audience, you will earn them and attract more followers. Moreover, you can start promoting your brand or product while still sharing the posts that your audience wants to see. By creating non-marketing content first, you’ll easily build your audience and then nurture them into customers later. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
3. Look at the resources you already have
Look at the resources you already have: friends, family, and any professional partners interested in what you do. Connect with this pre-existing network and ask them to follow your new account. This doubles as a great way to not only reconnect, but also to share that you’re starting something new. If you are comfortable, you can ask them to share your new account on their social media sites. Creating accounts on all social networks, and making sure they are linked together, is crucial. Creating an account on only one platform is less efficient. Then, use these accounts to interact with other businesses in your space. Eventually, those original, authentic links will accumulate organically, and if your content is solid (shareable content is always better!), you’ll be able to make a real impact. – Ryan D. Matzner, Fuel
4. Document your daily routine
Most people who try to grow their social media following organically do so in the most non-organic way possible. They over-strategize a character from fabricated photos or videos and strategize them too much and out of context with their normal lives. Instead, try to document your daily routine or events. Whether you use photos, video, or both, think about how to tell the story of your daily journey. For example, a video walking to a meeting, a quick shot of heading to the gym early in the morning before work, or a quick Boomerang movie in which you cook dinner late — you’ll find people who connect with you more and they’ll start interacting with your credibility. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.
5. Collaborate on jobs with influencers
Increasing your followers for a new social media page can be challenging. But there are ways to gain exposure quickly. One of them is reaching out to influencers for collaboration posts. It’s a great way to interact with a whole new group of people who already follow the influencer you’ve collaborated with. But before doing that, make sure you create some useful and engaging content for your page, so that if anyone visits your page, they will have some content to interact with. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
6. Dealing with accounts with the same audience
Dealing with similar target audience accounts will generate followers. It is important to provide quality content that meets the needs and interests of this target audience. Additionally, posts with an attractive title can be shared across multiple platforms for more publicity. Either become a smart social media user by following these steps or find already successful people in the target demographic on the social media platform you want to use so that they can follow you. If it isn’t possible or practical to find someone else in the target demographic of your favorite social media platform, really sign up through other means. Commenting on posts always grabs the attention of big accounts because they know their audience really cares. — Devesh Dwivedi, Idea2Inception
7. Create a social media calendar
It may seem like an unnecessary first step, but creating a social media calendar is critical to your social media efforts. Calendars help you create relevant and engaging content so you don’t miss out on opportunities to find potential audiences. Many social media calendars also encourage team collaboration and allow you to get feedback from everyone in your company and marketing team. Some of the social media calendars I like are ContentCal, Falcon.io, or Hootsuite. With these, you can plan, schedule, edit and post across all your social networks, which in turn will allow you to attract those first followers and start building a committed audience. – Shu Saito, all filters
8. Take advantage of social media hashtags
Use the hashtag. Hashtags offer free acquisition opportunity to customers. Even better, “followers” on social media is not a one-time opportunity; The user on social media continues to follow as long as the content is valuable. People follow hashtags on social media to find content that might interest them. However, hashtags are often misunderstood. For example, while the hashtag #mydoglikesmailmen may be funny, it doesn’t have followers. When deciding which hashtag is best to use, refer to the social media platform. For example, on Instagram, a quick search reveals that about 22.6 million people follow the hashtag #bitcoin. As such, the first step is to decide who you want to reach. The next step is to tag your post with a relevant hashtag. Finally, if your content is good, you will gain followers! – Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation