If you are on Facebook (FB), you have had this question, “How do I increase my follower count?” Here, I refer to businesses/organisations that have FB pages and not personal accounts. Most of the answer is actually common sense or what we would call intuitive and there are a couple things that might need a little bit of technical knowledge.
The first thing to do though, would be to make sure you have clarity in your reasons for being on FB and that should be more than, “because I should be.” You have to understand that FB is one of the many marketing tools available to you. Once you have a certain number of followers, what you know for sure is that –
the new content/information you are about to pass on to is reaching to a certain number of people
those people are the people who are interested in your product/brand/content.
It is not a mere ego trip, it is an actual tangible number of people who are interested in what you say.
The case against buying followers.
The ways you go about increasing this number then, is actually very intuitive, but it is not very easy. The first thing you need is patience, in abundance. Online presence and popularity grows slowly because you want it to grow organically and not just by buying followers.
Say what you will, but buying followers is false satisfaction. These bought “likes” are they going to server the purpose you have set yourself up for above?
Are they going to make your content reach more people? No. Because these are most likely fake accounts that like your page. They aren’t going to ‘like’ your post or ‘share’ it and most certainly aren’t going to buy your product.
Even if there is a small percentage of genuine accounts, are they interested in your product?
So, these aren’t going to produce the marketing momentum that you are aiming for.
The Quantity vs Quality struggle.
Frequency is important but not at the risk of increasing the noise value in the signal to noise ratio. There is already a lot of content vying for your reader’s attention. The last thing you need is your conent competing against your own content, defeating the purpose and making all your attempts futile.
Of course, you need to post regularly so that you stay on your followers’ timelines. In this age of blink and forget, brands are certainly, “out of mind if out of sight.” Even so, you don’t want to post just for the sake of posting content.
Creating quality content is unavoidable. As an individual, would you ‘like’ or ‘share’ content that isn’t what you define as good? It follows logically, that for individuals like to you propogate your brand’s content it has to meet quality standards.
Your brand’s FB posts –
should be worth reading
should be worth sharing
should be short and sweet to cater to short attention spans
should contain images to catch attention
should have some updates that don’t relate to you directly, but are relevant to your set of followers. That way you are imparting interesting information.
should have giveaways/discounts/offers
can repeat same content – given the speed at which FB timeline’s of your followers travel, it doesn’t do harm to repeat information. The right balance might actually find balance in getting your content seen by more people across time zones, etc.
You should create a schedule for your updates, such that the quantity of your quality content is controlled.
Cross-linking across your other social media platforms.
Each person has figured or eventually will figure his own way out of handling the enormous flow of information that comes his way across various social media platforms. Your input in his timeline is just one of the thousand things he reads on a daily basis.
If he has landed on your content via twitter, but is a frequent user of Facebook rather than twitter, he will want a Facebook link handy on your twitter account, so that he can access your content through a medium he likes. Make sure that link is there.
On a similar note, use the share buttons on your other content. Adding the FB ‘like’ button on your blog post will help people on your reader’s FB timelines reach your content. In many ways, it does become like a ‘share’.
Publicise: Automatic vs. Manual.
You can set up your site/blog content in such a way that as soon as you publish there, your content gets posted across your social media platforms including FB. You have to weigh the pros and cons though. Automatic updates could be monotonous thus boring and irrelevant because not all your site/blog content might be of interest to your FB followers.
Use relevant hashtags.
Using hashtags makes your content searchable. So, people who are looking for content that is related to your product, they will find you more easily. At the same time, do not use so many hashtags that there is no “non-hashtag” content left in your update.
Use targeting options.
Facebook has a lot of ways in which you can pick who your content gets to. You can pick the age groups, gender, geography and other things like interests, likes under Facebook Ads. For this you need to target a specific audience to show your ads. You might also want to try Facebook retargeting pixel to show your ads, as it is a better and a much more targeted strategy for more conversions.
Connect with your own followers.
Interacting with your followers not only retains their interest in you, the comments they leave on your page also show up in their timelines making the content visible to their friends. This makes your content accessible to more people and if they get interested you have organic growth in your numbers.
It is not rocket science. It is intuitive, most of it at least. Implementing it though requires patience and perseverance. Good luck and let us know if your experience has shown different results or if you have tried anything else that has worked for you.