It’s the question that everyone asks at one point or another: “How do I increase my following on social media site _____?”
It’s a legitimate question even for educators; the obvious problem is that increasing this number is much easier said than done.
But even if you don’t have access to a blog or site, there are a number of ways to increase that number. While you can promote your social media accounts by placing widgets and follow buttons on your site, this post will focus on what you can do on each site internally.
Before You Start
It should be stressed that before you begin following any of the advice below that getting more likes or follows isn’t a means to an end. What you should be concerned about is interaction and how your followers communicate with you. If you determine success by the number of likes and follows you get, then you’re ignoring the real purpose of social media. Sure you need followers and fans to hear your message, but there’s a reason they’re following you in the first place
Also, just in case it needs to be mentioned, don’t resort to buying likes or followers. Doing so and then posting/tweeting to this new audience is the equivalent of speaking in a room full of mannequins. From a distance, it might look like you’re popular as you have a high follower count, but ultimately you’re not communicating to anyone, which is of no use to yourself or your brand. Also, you will be exposed a lot faster than you would expect as people will quickly notice the spike in followers.
1. The most versatile social media platform gives you much impetus for interaction and actively encourages it. Perhaps the most popular method is to post multimedia links on your page. The best way to do this is to post images regularly so you have a better chance of standing out.
2. Even if you’re just posting a status update, it’s better to give it an accompanying image so that it will catch the eye of your current followers. What you’re aiming for is interaction: The more shares, likes and comments your posts get, the more likely it will appear in people’s news feeds.
3. Running competitions is another great way of increasing fans and getting people to engage with you. However, it’s very important that you read Facebook’s competition rules first before you do anything as the company is rather strict about what you can and can’t do so refer to it first before you attempt anything.
4. Following the same principle as Facebook, images are a great way of increasing engagement. With the likes of Instagram and Camera+ allowing Twitter integration, it’s easier than ever to tweet images. There’s no harm in cross posting from different social media sites so don’t be afraid to link to a Facebook or Pinterest post if it’s interesting. Better yet, post the image and provide the link to the other site.
5. While it can be overlooked, your bio is an area that can win or lose you followers. You should state what you do (in education) and if you tweet content from external sites, mention what topics you cover. Not only does this give potential followers a better idea of what you do, but it also informs them about what content to expect when they start following you.
6. A handy way of gaining a few new followers is to use hashtags when tweeting. While there are always trending topics, you shouldn’t latch onto them for the sake of it. Instead, identify hashtags that are relevant to your brand and tweet witty or useful information using it. If you provide value, you could be retweeted, which will result in more exposure and some new followers.
Also, Twitter has its own set of rules for competitions while not as strict as Facebook, you should refer to it and see what is acceptable.
7. Building up a following on LinkedIn is more difficult than the other sites as there isn’t as much scope for posting content. While posting relevant and interesting content on your page is the first way to increase your following, getting involved in groups and discussions is another way of getting your brand name out there. In this case, you will be promoting yourself more than the actual page, but your strategy should be about building up your own reputation and subsequently your brand.
With its entire premise based on visuals, Pinterest has a dedicated following that is worth engaging with, even if your content isn’t exactly visual.
8. The first step you should take is to pin high quality images. Your followers are going to judge your pins based on its appearance – which is of no surprise considering the medium – so use the best quality images available. If it’s a case that the images available aren’t up to scratch, then you should manually create the pin instead and attach a high quality image to it.
9. Something else worth remembering is that for each Pinterest page, each board has its own number of followers that might not even be following your page. If you have a number of boards, check to see just how many people are following and prioritize the boards with the most members. That doesn’t mean you should neglect your other boards, but it can be useful to focus on one or two boards as you build up your following.
10. One of the best ways to get your content out there is to post in Google+ search. On your home page, enter in the keyword or phrase you want in the search bar and you will be presented with posts relating to that topic. Anything you post here will be published with that term attached to it, which is good when you’re trying to reach out to a specific audience.
This is also useful from an SEO perspective as Google’s own search engine will use that keyword and bring up your content whenever someone searches for it.
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