3 Ways To Grow An Engaged Social Media Following From Scratch

An engaged social media following can be an invaluable asset to any business. In fact, a loyal and engaged following can help to amplify your marketing to new heights.

However, it isn’t just enough to post some nice pictures and get followers…

We learned this the hard way with our own social media channels.

But having worked with brands with hundreds of thousands of engaged followers and raving fans, we’ve been able to reverse engineer what really works.

SPOILER: It’s not because they created a fancy tile grid on Instagram, or spammed invites on Facebook.

At the core of this, you need to build a community and be consistently engaging with your followers in order for them to become true advocates.

But before we get into what those 3 things are, let’s talk about what to avoid:

What To Avoid When Growing A Social Media Following

There are a number of things NOT do when trying to grow a social media following.

In fact, some of these things can actually do more harm than good by annoying your followers; not to mention putting your account at risk from deactivation!

The other risk is that platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn will usually limit your reach depending on your engagement rate (this is the percentage of your followers that, like or comment on your posts).

That means that if you build up a lot of fake or uninterested followers, your engagement rate can plummet, putting your account at risk of going dark (meaning your visibility and reach will become almost non-existent). As a result, your dream audience may end up missing your posts! That’s why it’s so important to build an engaged social media following from the start

❌Follow/Unfollow techniques – this Is often used by cheap social media management companies as a way of growing a superficial follower count. They do this by following hundreds of profile a day and hoping some of them follow back. Then at the end of each week, they will unfollow the majority of accounts so their followers look more genuine.

❌Buying followers – we’ve seen companies that actually sell social media followers – these accounts are usually fake profiles/bots meaning you will get ZERO engagement from them. As such, this can seriously hurt your reach and visibility over time because your overall engagement will be so low

❌Constantly promoting your brand – this is a big mistake we see a lot of brands making when starting out. You have to remember people aren’t on social media to be sold to. They want to be entertained, educated or inspired. If you’re only ever promoting or talking about your company, people will soon switch off.

So now that we’ve talked about what to absolutely avoid when growing a social media following. Now let’s talk about the 3 of the most impactful things you can do to grow a truly engaged following from scratch.

3 Ways To Create Raving Fan Followers on Social Media

1. Personalised Messages

It’s all too easy when growing a social media page to see your followers as just a “number”. However, it’s critical not to lose sight of the fact there is a human on the other end. When you’re starting to build your following from scratch.

Something that can really help to boost your engagement and customer follower loyalty is to acknowledge your individual followers. Doing this can help you create raving fans that will not only engage with your brand, but will advocate for you! For example, this might mean sending each new follower a personalised video or voice note via DM (voice notes and video can be highly impactful as they cannot be faked and people know it’s not a copy and paste).

This can be done in as little a 10 seconds, and for the impact it makes, it’ll be worth every second. Just think how you’d feel if a brand personally reached out and acknowledged you.

Here’s an example…

2. Giveaways & Competitions

Giveaways and competitions can be a highly effective way of building a following whilst having fun along the way. The prize(s) you giveaway will ultimately be dependent on your budget; but it’s important to make them highly specific and relevant to your brand. Otherwise you run the risk of gaining followers who are just trying to get freebies.

There are a number of ways you can structure a giveaway, from incentivising people to like and follow your page to having fun quizzes relating to your niche/audience.

A great tool that can help with this is KingSumo which will also help to build your email list at the same time.

3. Collaborations

This is an extremely underutilised method for growing an engaged social media following!

Collaborating with others not only demonstrates authority and build credibility, but it also helps you tap into other audiences outside of your reach.

A collaboration could mean doing a podcast, an Instagram live hangout or chat, or even sharing each others posts when you see something that resonates.

When you gain new followers from collaborations, they tend to be much more engaged as there is already some trust built up from the person you are collaborating with.

The best way to begin doing this is to build out a Dream100 List; a term coined by Russell Brunson. In a nutshell a Dream100 is a list of influencers/thought leaders or just other brands in your industry that you’d LOVE to collaborate with.

When you’re just starting out, it can be a good idea to start by finding people that are just ahead of you in terms of followers, as they will usually be more willing to collaborate. However, that’s not to say you can’t aim higher sometimes! When we built our first online festival last year with Om & Bass, we managed to collaborate with influencers with over 1,000,000 followers just by being authentic and sending voice notes/videos via DM (for reference, I only have 349 followers on my personal profile). The key is to be real and authentic!

BONUS: GaryVee’s Dollar Eighty Strategy

GaryVee coined a new term a few years back called the Dollar Eighty Strategy. The strategy is built on the foundations of becoming a part of the community your business serves by engaging with others.

The strategy involved creating a list of 10 hashtags that relate to your industry or niche. Then leaving your 2 cents worth of thoughts, comments or appreciation on 9 posts in each hashtag.

But this doesn’t just mean doing copy and paste responses on posts. It means, leaving genuinely thoughtful comments, maybe even a few sentences! As that’s exactly what will make you stand out and increase your chances of gaining a truly engaged follower.

For the full step-by-step, check out Gary’s blog here.

So there you have it! 4 of the most impactful, effective and proven ways, we’ve come across to building an audience of truly engaged followers on Social Media.

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Tom Peyton
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