Building The Right Type Of Following
I am often asked, “how do I build my following with the right type of people?”.
ENGAGMENT, ENGAGMENT, ENGAGEMENT!
That is hands down, the best and most cost-efficient way of growing a really great following and an authentic following.
How do I do this?
By engaging with others. This means going out and reaching out to the type of people who you want to follow you, and engaging with their content. By observing their content, engaging and starting conversations with your perfect audience, that’s ultimately the best way to build your following. Yes, it does take time. Yes, it’s hard work, but who cares when it comes to the fact that it’s free, it doesn’t cost anything to sit there and make some valuable and fair comments to the sort of people who you’d love to follow you.
So, let’s just say you’re an art gallery and you know there are people in the community who would really value your art or the type of art that you sell. What you can do is look for those people on Instagram, a lot of them have public profiles, and the first thing you want to do is follow them. If you think they’re valuable, follow them first. Then look at their content and try and start a meaningful and engaging conversation with them. For example, say they post a photo and they’re out having breakfast at a local cafe, you now have the opportunity to engage with them. Say “hey I love this café, they make a beautiful granola bowl”, or “that looks delicious, where is this café located, I’d love to try it out”. Once you start having these conversations, it is likely that these people will go to your profile and check you out, and if your profile piques their interest, they are likely to follow you.
It’s about having meaningful conversations with those people and ensuring that you’re doing it in a way that’s authentic, that’s not forced, and doesn’t appear like you’re trying to sell something.
Things to consider, and what not to do…
Don’t go on there and comment ‘hey, look at me, follow my page, check out my feed’. Nobody likes that. Offer value in the exchange first. Engage with their content and don’t make it all about you.
Single emoji comments. I think we can all do a bit better than that. Show that you care and offer a thought-out response, don’t just respond with a smiley face. This type of comment is hard to respond to and the conversation will likely come to an end.
Now that you have the conversations flowing nicely, another really quick strategy is to start looking for the hashtags that are trending that are relevant to your business. Spend the time and find the sort of content that’s being posted by your potential customers or the type of people that you want following your business. Find what’s trending and then do the exact same thing. Go and find those top posts, the top people and simply engage with that content. Write meaningful comments, have a chat, have a bit of a laugh, show a bit of your personality and I’m absolutely certain that that’s going to gain you a following. People will start to pay attention to your comments, they’ll start to pay attention to your page and that’s a really great way of driving traffic to your profile.
The same concept goes for Facebook. Start paying attention to the Facebook pages that are relevant to your customer, look at the people your perfect audience are already following, and look at the public profiles of the people you want the attention of. This way you can start to gauge the type of content that interests them and incorporate that into your content plan.
Another avenue to do this is through LinkedIn. Start looking at the content that your audience and network are liking, sharing, posting and start commenting and having meaningful conversations with the content they are putting out there. Do this in an authentic way and just make it meaningful, make it real, don’t try and force it, just have good conversations with people and you’ll instantly grow your following one person at a time.
I am currently writing about how you can use micro influencers or ambassadors to help build an authentic and valuable online following, so stay tuned to find out more about the different ways you can build an online following. These pieces of content will also be available on my Podcast channel, so make sure you are subscribed so you can see when this comes out!
I hope that helps. Feel free to check out my content on my Instagram or Facebook pages, or my Website where I produce regular blogs that give away tips and insights into marketing, digital and social media. If you want to learn more about the digital space, take a look at the book I recently authored ‘I Just Want It To Work, A Guide To Understanding Digital Marketing And Social Media For Frustrated Business Owners, Managers and Marketers’.