In 2021, 92% of U.S. marketers in companies with 100+ employees expected to leverage platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest (among others) to reach and engage with target audiences.
Companies can use their social media presence to increase brand awareness, run promotions, generate sales, create a community, and even take care of customer service.
If you’re new to social media, you may wonder about the best way to grow organically. Happily, there are several ways to grow without spending a dime. Just follow these steps for success:
Set your goals
Take a moment to define what “growth” on social media looks like for your business. Maybe it’s an increase in followers; if so, determine a specific number or a percentage to aim for. Make it clear, such as “We want to increase our follower count by 15% over the next three months.”
What do you want to gain from the growth? Identifying why you want to expand on social media will provide guidance for growth tactics along the way. Once you know why you want to grow and have outlined specific goals, document them so you can refer to them as you’re creating your social media strategy and publishing content.
Make sure your profile is complete
Whether you’re trying to grow on several social media platforms or one in particular, your profile page is valuable real estate for company details, including how potential customers can contact you and a link to your website.
Take a look at ManyChat’s Instagram profile:
It includes a little bit of information about who we are, the hashtags we use, and a link to resources for potential and current customers.
Ensuring your profile is complete and includes any branding—such as the logo for the profile picture—will assure visitors they’ve come to the right place when they look for your business.
Follow relevant accounts
Part of acquiring a larger following on any social media platform entails following other accounts. Who you follow says something about your brand, so only follow accounts that make sense for it.
Furthermore, who you don’t follow says just as much about your brand as who you do. Don’t follow every account that follows you, and make sure you don’t follow any accounts that are inappropriate, spammy, or don’t align with your brand’s values.
Consider following other businesses in your industry, relevant social media influencers, brand ambassadors, and business partners. If you have dedicated customers, give them some love by following them—it’s an easy way to show your appreciation for their business.
Publish unique content
Now you’re ready to start creating and publishing unique, relevant content.
While it’s tempting to post content that has done well on other profiles, staying true to your brand’s identity—through appropriate imagery and messaging—is more important than duplicating content from other profiles. This will also help your content stand apart from the competition. Use what you know about your target audience to guide what you publish.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should ignore what your competitors are doing; you can learn a lot from them. What are they doing well? What’s not working so great? Take note of their results and use them to inform your social media strategy.
Make a commitment to stick to your branding with every post to ensure your social media profiles are cohesive in voice, color scheme, and messaging. You don’t ever want a potential customer to wonder if they’ve come to the right place when they see your social media profile.
Don’t forget about captions
While the visual portion of a social media post often receives the most attention, don’t forget about the written part. Use keywords and hashtags to help your posts appear in searches and content clusters for greater reach.
Just remember to keep everything in moderation. A social media post with too many hashtags looks spammy and desperate.
Interact within the app
Social media is the epitome of the saying, “You get what you give.” You need to actively participate on a platform if you want to get something in return.
Use tools such as Brand Mentions or Sprout Social to stay on top of social mentions and industry conversations. They provide feeds of mentions and comments you can reply to via an easy-to-use dashboard.
Replying to followers, liking, and commenting on posts all reveal a personal side to your brand. It’s also a way to handle customer service if customers reach out through social media with questions or comments regarding a purchase.
Promote your profile everywhere
Now that your profiles are complete and you’ve started publishing content, tell the world about it! Put icons and links to your social media profiles everywhere, including:
- On your website
- On the company blog
- Crosslinked from all social media platforms
- In your email newsletter
- In promotional campaigns
- In your email signature
- On printed marketing assets
Promote your social media profile in as many places as possible to help spread the word.
Host a contest
Hosting a contest or a giveaway is a terrific way to boost engagement, gain new followers, and collect valuable personal information from social media users. You can run a giveaway by incentivizing your audience to share your brand with their followers and their information with you in exchange for a chance of winning a relevant prize.
To host a contest or run a giveaway, gather information by asking your social media audience to interact with a post by leaving a comment or sharing it. Just make sure you understand the platform’s policy on any such activity before running anything. The last thing you want is for your account to get flagged for a policy violation.
There are plenty of ways you can get more social media followers and expand your brand awareness—all without spending a dime. Now go and see how they work for you!
Start building your brand online with ManyChat + Instagram. Start free today.