It’s top-of-mind for every DTC brand—how do we grow our social media presence to outpace competitors while still giving viewers an authentic brand picture that inspires them to purchase? It’s a big question, and if you’re expecting your brand’s social media to work hard for you, then you need to work hard on your strategy. Here are 7 actionable, long-term strategies to grow your social media follower count while maintaining an authentic brand voice (no spammy, free followers included).
Post high-quality and valuable content. Goes without saying, but you won’t get very many followers if every Instagram picture is just your product or offer with an aggressive appeal to buy, buy, buy. Take the time to post content that’s valuable for your followers, whether that’s recipes, tips, customer profiles, etc. Stasher Bags (yes, we do in fact name-drop our clients) is one great example of this.
Focus on a few platforms and slowly expand out. It’s easy to run yourself ragged by posting on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. multiple times a day… Focus on two or so that are the best match for your brand and core consumer, and move out once you’ve gotten a solid fanbase and posting strategy for these.
Post during the days and times that your viewers are most active. This depends on the platform you’re using and the demographics of your core audience. We’ve found Thursdays and Fridays to work well for most of our own clients. This article from Hootsuite goes into more detail on the best times for different platforms, and your Facebook and Instagram Analytics should provide more detail on your own profile trends. On Instagram, for example, if your post gets a lot of engagement in the first few hours of being posted, Instagram will typically favor it and expand its reach.
Use relevant hashtags. This is also especially relevant for Instagram. Take the time to research popular hashtags in your niche and apply them to your posts. Don’t spam with a bazillion hashtags, though, and don’t use non-relevant hashtags just to try to gain traction. Additionally, it’s good practice to choose a personalized hashtag for your brand (just make sure it’s not already being used or doesn’t have any negative connotations) and apply it to your posts, and after a while of posting with this hashtag you’ll build up a library of content, which is worthwhile for branding.
Provide incentives for following. If your company exists as a brick-and-mortar (such as a clothing brand) you can offer an one-time discount or reward in exchange for a follow on your platform of choice. You can also offer customers rewards or recognition for tagging your brand in their posts.
Consider a partner giveaway. If you’re friends with related brands or services, see if they’d be willing to partner in a social media giveaway. Viewers can enter the giveaway by following all of the participating brands, or commenting/tagging friends, etc. Just be sure to clarify that Instagram/Facebook, etc. is not affiliated with the giveaway (more rules here) and know that there can sometimes be a follower drop-off of people who follow you just for the giveaway and then unfollow you.
Take advantage of trends. Maybe you’re an organic food brand who can make a post relating to that ubiquitous Instagram egg. Maybe you’re a clothing brand who can demonstrate how to create a Halloween costume of Eleven from Stranger Things. Take advantage of trending topics, especially those that are relevant to your core audience.
These are the best strategies, in our opinion, to connect to your social media audience and grow your followers sustainably. In order to convert these followers to purchasers, a fast next step is paid social ads, which, when paired with a strong organic strategy, can take your brand’s social media to the next level. That’s where we come in. *Drops confetti* If you have more questions, book a free consultation with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to chat through questions big and small.
*This blog post was originally posted on Quora by MAKA Digital team members.