Pretty please don’t try to buy social media followers. You’ll most likely get bots and inactive accounts who most definitely won’t be engaging with your posts.
It’s easy to get nervous about a small follower count when you’re first getting started, but before you start buying followers … ask yourself this question:
Would you rather have a lot of followers or would you rather make money?
Seems like an easy answer, right? Many brands think these two things go together 100% of the time, always. It’s true that follower counts help, but it’s not the only answer.
Remember this, when you start SPENDING MONEY to gain followers you’ll quickly learn it’s a LOSING GAME because most of those followers aren’t even real. EEK! And you can be “punished” for this, because when your high number of followers aren’t engaging with your posts, the algorithms will show someone else’s content before yours. Why? Because it looks like you’re not posting valuable content.
Instead, grow your followers the hard, time-consuming, organic way to ensure you have a REAL audience who’s going to engage with your brand and actually buy from you. It takes time and it takes work, but I promise it’s worth it.
Here are a few ways to get started in the right direction …
There are a few things you can do on your website to gain followers.
1. Pop-up on website. Include a pop-up or call-out on your website that allows visitors to easily click a “follow” button. You can focus on one social platform at a time, so you don’t overwhelm them with options (once a user is overwhelmed, you’ll lose them). You can even set up rules on the backend of your pop-up that says “if someone saw the Facebook pop-up, serve the Instagram pop-up next” for example.
2. Play up Pinterest. Ensure your content is easy to pin on Pinterest by including a “pin it” button with your content. Make sure you have a great image to go with your content! Otherwise, your site visitors won’t have anything memorable to pin. You can also pin your own content on Pinterest as soon as you post it, just to get it into circulation on the platform.
3. Social share buttons. Make it super obvious that users can share articles, blogs, recipes, etc. on social media. Put the share buttons right in their faces on your site!
Social media platforms obviously provide an ideal place for you to gain new followers. Here are a few ways to go about it.
4. Influencers and advocates. A great way to spread the word is to work with influencers and advocates. There are plenty out there you can pay to post about your products and services. I encourage you to get creative here and redefine who’s an influencer or advocate for you. Look closely at employees, clients, local celebrities, and other affordable or free options that may end up bringing in even better audiences.
5. Share posts from regular people. OMG us regular folks LOVE it when a brand shares our posts or highlights us and you know what? Our friends and family love it even more! They will share those types of posts until the end of time. Yes the images might not be professionally taken and the content might even have a typo. But it’s REAL and people love that stuff!
6. Cross-promote social channels. Remind your followers that you’re on multiple platforms. Make it worth their time but providing different types of content on different platforms. You don’t need to make every post different on each platform, but every so often throw in something special on each platform to make them slightly unique.
7. Engagement post. Create a post where you ask followers to tag a friend. This is a great way to get new eyes on your content!
8. Contests. Take your engagement post to the next level by running a contest. Ask your followers to tag a friend, like your post, and like your social page. Their friends can do the same to enter the contest.
9. Create a content series. Just like your favorite TV show that you want to tune into, you can do the same on social media. Create a series of posts that your audience will want to keep coming back for. Make sure to remind them to share with their friends and family.
10. Boost posts on Facebook. When you boost a post, you're placing your content in front of more eyes. Boosting allows you to target specific types of people. If they feel drawn to your brand, they will like/follow your page and hopefully purchase from you.
We’ve covered your website and your social accounts. What about all other forms of communication you send out to prospects and current customers? Take a very close look at EVERYTHING you send out. It should have your social handles included!
11. Transactional messages. Look at all of your transactional messages. They should have your social media info included. This could be invoices, welcome email or letter, follow-up emails, invitations, etc.
12. Product labels and packaging. Include your social handles on all product labels and packaging. This is a “hot” customer – they just purchased from you and are excited. Use that momentum to turn them into a follower on social media as well!
13. Promotional displays. Do you have displays set up in retail stores or a booth at an event? Make sure your social handles are on display, too! If a potential customer doesn’t buy from you TODAY then make sure they have a way to connect with you before they leave. QR codes are great for this, too!
14. Share button in emails. If you’re providing tips, ideas, advice, recipes, etc. via email newsletters or promotional emails, make sure you also provide a way for the audience to share the ideas on social media.
15. Include social handles on business cards. You’re spending a lot of money on these business cards, make sure they can connect with you EVERYWHERE, not just via email and phone.
Keep in mind that growing an audience organically takes time. It can be frustrating to see low follower counts when you want to appear more “established” but you NEED to grow your audience the right way if you want long-term success.
Trust me when I say that “bot buying” (i.e., buying followers) will hurt you in the long run! All platforms go through and clean out bots and spam accounts every once in a while, when this happens many brands will lose hundreds or thousands of followers if they’ve been buying followers. Plus, like I said earlier - you will lose the algorithm battle when it looks like you have horrible content because you have horrible engagement because you are followed by bots and not real people who are eager to engage with you.
First, I'm the mother of three crazy, sassy, sarcastic, hilarious children. Second, I work in the world of social media, email, digital marketing. Third, I'll probably try to tell you what to do.