Growing your social media starts with strategy. Any individual or business looking to increase the number of followers, likes and comments needs to consider the fundamentals of each platform and how users engage with the platform. On Snapchat, follower count and number of likes means nothing. On the other hand, gaining Instagram followers and getting likes is crucial. As for Facebook, you may not care about the number of Friends you have, but you would prefer to have more likes and comments on your photos. And who doesn’t want more Twitter likes and followers? Whatever the case may be, there are plenty of reasons and solutions to growing social media strategies.
Growing Social Media: Followers
Social media may be a relatively recent invention, but still falls to cliches: quality over quantity. A large following can be helpful for any platform, whether Facebook Pages or individual Instagram accounts. But keep in mind your following is your audience. In order to build your audience, you need to identify the WHO. Rather than asking who do you want to follow you, ask who wants to be following you? Look for people with similar interests: food, travel, fitness, social media, fashion. After identifying your audience, move forward with these tips:
- Trending Hashtags: Use relevant trending hashtags to join in conversations when possible. However, people are likely to check your profile after reading a tweet before following. So as long as you have quality information (rather than spammy content with trending hashtags) your follower count can increase.
- Observe Social Media Influencers: Learn from accounts with a similar audience. See what hashtags they use. Try following some of their followers. Experiment with their success!
- Avoid Phony Hashtags: There are plenty of accounts that use hashtags like #teamfollowback but don’t follow through. It may be best to avoid these users at all costs so you don’t get your hopes up and ruin your ratio of followers to following.
- Sync with Contacts and Facebook: While you may have synced with your phone contacts during your initial social media sign up, don’t forget to revisit this option! Every few months you may be adding new contacts that could be interested in following your social media accounts.
Growing Social Media: Likes
- Be Generous: A like for a like. If you expect people to like your statuses and photos, you need to initiate and maintain this through your own account activity. You will learn who your biggest supporters and reciprocate with likes on their pages.
- Maintain Activity: Now, you may be liking a ton of photos or posts, but if you don’t update your own accounts, you may be losing others’ loyalty. Post frequently, without annoying your followers. Find a rhythm based on social media influencers. And remember, people may be more generous to like your content when they have content awaiting likes. Capitalize on this and post when your feed is somewhat busy (as long as your account won’t get lost in the noise).
- Check Other People’s Activity: Know when your followers are online. If a lot of people appear in Facebook Messenger, or are busy liking photos in the Instagram Following Activity feed, they may still be live when you share your post!
- Visit Celebrity Instagram Pages: This trick is only slightly more sustainable than following related hashtags. Regardless, it can work. Many celebrities, like the Kardashians and especially Kylie Jenner, have people commenting offering “like for likes.” Because this is against Instagram’s policy, the lingo changes almost every week: from LB to instant row. Learn which users do actually like back. Perhaps consider following them; liking their photos in return for likes can become an unspoken agreement!
Growing Social Media: Comments/ Mentions
- Request your Family Members: For personal use, if you want more comments… you may want to accept your aunt’s pending friend request. Parents are using social media more and more, and they have a tendency to leave thoughtful comments. It’s certainly something worth considering, assuming you’re ok with them seeing everything you post (otherwise, limit their settings).
- Controversial to the Common: Or, take the opposite approach. Rather than posting family-friendly content you can see the reaction for “controversial to the common.” Think of what people are passionate about, in both directions. While perhaps better suited for content sites than personal accounts, but posting something political will certainly heat up the comments section. Exhibit A.
- Leave an Engaging Caption: Another organic way to get more comments is to create an engaging caption. Asking a question may inspire people to leave their own two cents. But again, it has to be something people will feel compelled to answer.
- Tag Your Friends: Tagging people in your social media posts and photos will increase your chances of gaining more comments (and likes). Firstly, because the tagged people may feel required to respond or chime in. Secondly, because their own followers may participate in conversation. But only tag when it’s pertinent! Don’t lose followers because of this.