Lots of followers can be great, but numbers aren’t everything. If they were, then there’d be no shame in using fake accounts and bots to boost the amount of followers you have. When it comes to using social media as a marketing technique, then you want more than just followers - you want potential customers. Followers are far more likely to convert to paying customers if they join organically. But how do get an organic following, and what techniques should you use to ensure you stay on the right path?
What it means to get organic followers on Social Media
It's no secret that having a strong follower base on social media is the key to stability, but what exactly is a strong follower base? There are some accounts with thousands upon thousands of followers, but they still struggle to convert those followers into paying customers. Why?
One reason is because their followers may not be organic. By organic we mean that they took genuine interest in the account due to either the content or the content creator. Examples of people interested in the content creators would be viewers who follow celebrities or influencers. People interested in content may follow because the account pertains to their hobby, work or for entertainment or educational purposes.
Having an organic following is like having a loyal fan base. They can be a great source of support, and can help spread the word about your content, products, or services - which can lead to even more organic followers.
Not only that, but having an organic following also makes your brand look more credible, since it's proof that people actually like your content and believe in what you're doing - as opposed to being found out as being a fraud who has multitudes of fake followers.
However, growing an organic following is difficult. There are thousands of different accounts about thousands of different topics with a thousand different content ideas, and while this is great to use as a resource for content ideas, it also means you are going to have to work hard if you want to join the ranks of countless others who are trying to rise to the top on social media.
Tactics to Avoid when Trying to Gain Social Media Followers
When it comes to social media, the key to success is having an engaged following of real people. But how do you get there without resorting to less than honest tactics? Some of the techniques you want to avoid are obvious, and others may be a bit less than so. Let’s take a look.
The obvious ones to avoid are, well, obvious:
Don't buy followers.
Don't use bots.
Don't follow everyone and everyone's mom just to get them to follow you.
These are what desperate people do. Desperate is not a good look for anyone, and should be avoided, but you already know that. So here are some not-so-obvious tactics people use to gain followers, which can also have downsides.
Don’t sway too much from your focus to try to attract new followers. This may get you some new followers, but in the end, it doesn’t do much when it comes to attracting potential customers. They likely started following you for the content that was disconnected from your niche, and thus when you try to pitch your product, you’re likely not going to see much action from them because that’s not why they started following you.
Don’t spend too much time trying to create viral videos. Viral can be good, but don’t think of it as getting your big shot. Many videos go viral from unheard-of accounts, and those accounts are still relatively unheard of. Obviously, it’s great going viral, but compare it to spending time working hard in your area of expertise versus spending time buying a lottery ticket. One is more reliable and constant, whereas the other could end up being nothing more than your 5 minutes of fame.
Don’t hop on trends that don’t align with your focus or person. If you spend too much time on trends that are disconnected from what it is you do, then you’ll only water down your content, and could even dissuade potential followers if they have difficulty pinpointing what you are all about (which brings us to our next point).
Don’t be too general/unfocused. Remember, “jack of all trades, but master of none.” It’s not bad to broaden your scope, but if you lose focus on what your account was all about, then it becomes difficult to establish yourself as an expert which could make it harder to convert followers to paying customers.
All of these tactics have the potential to end up hurting your organic following.
Tips for Building an Organic Following on Social Media
There's no such thing as overnight success on social media - it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But don't worry, if you follow these tips, it will help you begin developing an organic following.
1. Consistent Posting
The key to success on social media is consistency. By posting regularly, you'll stay top of mind with your followers, and they'll know you’re brand is alive and active. Social media is a cost effective way to give your brand an online presence. Don’t let people forget about you - even companies who have been around for over 100 years continue to pay for advertising. “Out of sight, out of mind” - in order to not be forgotten, you need to post regularly so you are the first business they think of when they need something you offer.
2. Share Quality Content
You know the phrase "content is king," well, it's true. Quality content is what will keep your followers engaged and coming back for more. Share interesting, helpful, and entertaining content to keep them interested. Visual content like images, videos, and GIFs are especially popular on social media and can help you stand out from the crowd.
Social media creates an easy opportunity to engage with your followers and build relationships with them, but also, make sure you are creating opportunities for your followers to engage you. Engagement is a two-way street. Don't be afraid to respond to comments, answer questions, and interact with people.
4. Know Your Platforms
Finally, learn your platforms. In order to ensure you are reaching your intended audience the best you can, you need to research what works best on each platform. For example, Instagram likes it when you diversify your content by posting reels, carousels, singles, etc. Some don't like it when there is a watermark from another app on your videos. You're more likely to find more success by learning what each platform rewards its users for doing.
5. Collaborate with Others
Reach out to others in your industry or niche and collaborate on projects. This is a great way to cross-promote your content and build relationships with potential followers. Plus, it can help you reach a larger audience who is still interested in your niche.
Focus on creating authentic content and engaging with your audience. Post regularly and be sure to respond to comments and messages. Put in the effort to build natural relationships with your followers and they will reward you with their engagement.
The Benefits of an Engaged and Organic Community on Social Media
Having an engaged and organic community on social media is like having your own personal cheering section. They love your posts and can’t get enough of your content. It’s a great feeling, and it brings with it some awesome benefits. Here are a few of the advantages of having an engaged and organic social media following.
1. Increased Exposure
An engaged and organic community on social media will help get your content out there. They’ll share, comment, and retweet your posts, and their followers will see your content. Before you know it, you’ll have all sorts of new followers, and your reach will continue to grow.
2. More Interaction
Having an engaged and organic community means that they’ll interact with your content because it's on a topic they are interested in. This is a great way to start conversations and build relationships with your followers. Plus, it’s always nice to know that your posts are being seen and appreciated.
3. Establishes You as an Authority
Having an engaged and organic following is a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your field. People will see that you have a strong following, and they’ll trust you more when it comes to topics related to your industry. It’s a great way to boost your brand.
How Organic Followers Can Lead to Long-Term Social Media Success
To attain long-term success on social media platforms, having a base of organic or natural followers is essential. Natural followers indicate that people genuinely like your content and find it engaging enough to interact with frequently. Building a follower base starts by expressing yourself honestly and maintaining genuineness throughout the entire process.
There's no substitute for originality when it comes to creating an engaged community of organic followers on social media. Displaying honest character traits and inner values goes a long way towards winning over audiences, earning their trust followed by their loyalty.
You must make conscious efforts to ensure relevance in terms of what kind of conversations or topics that appeal most to your audiences while also gauging their user sentiment toward topics via analytics or anecdotal data collected through direct interactions. Ultimately, these actions result in generating positive buzz around metrics such as increased traffic flow or growing follower rates which bolster brands' visibility online.
If you ever need help with branding or media for your social media accounts, then reach out to see how we can help streamline your social media marketing to help save you time and win some potential leads.