If Your Social Media Following Isn’t Growing: Ask Yourself, Are You Someone Worth Following?
Have you been stumped on how to grow your social media following and therefore grow your business? Maybe you’re posting regularly, highlighting your product or service with great photos, adding Stories, and yet still, your following doesn’t really seem to be growing and you don’t seem to be gaining any new customers from it.
So what gives? The most important question to ask yourself is…
Are You Someone Worth Following?
This can be a hard question to answer for yourself without any bias. So maybe grab a few trusted friends and talk through the following questions:
What value do you add to your followers’ feeds?
When looking through your feed, do you see that you just talk about and sell your products/services all the time?
Do you give away anything of value or any expertise?
Now that you’ve thought through these a bit, let’s get into what things we’ve seen followers value on Instagram.
What Makes Someone Valuable on Social Media?
The term “value” can mean something different to everyone. For some it may mean financial incentive for your social media following through exclusive deals or giveaway. For others it may mean valuable information or expertise in the form of helpful tips and tricks. While for others it’s a personal connection to another business owner through a behind-the-scenes look at you and your business.
While value can mean many different things to different people, we’ve put together a short list of some things that are considered universally valuable across a wide audience.
1. Get Personal
Owning a business can sometimes feel really lonely! No one ever truly prepares you for how much entrepreneurship takes over your whole life. So providing a behind the scenes look into your life and your business can be really valuable for other business owners. Share your wins, your losses, and the lessons learned, because chances are, someone who follows you has been through it or will go through it at some point! Social media really is about connection after all.
2. Answer Questions
A great idea is to keep track of the most frequently asked questions, then spotlight and respond to one at least weekly on your social media platforms. You can even make this interactive through Instagram Stories. Once a week or once a month (whatever you have time for), you can put up a Question Box in your Story and then do either a Live Q&A or answer each question in a separate Story.
Pro tip— Also add some of those to your main feed with a great photo!
3. Hold Contests & Give Special Discounts
It’s a great idea to host giveaways and contests exclusive to your social media followers. Offer a special discount every now and then in your Stories or create a contest in the comment section of a post. This gives your followers an incentive to make sure they check your content regularly and not just scroll past.
Pro Tip— Team up with other local businesses for your giveaways. This helps grow both of your followings. And local businesses supporting each other is just amazing on every level.
4. Involve Your Online Community
Your social media following can be really useful to you in helping you learn and grow professionally. Ask your community their opinion. Utilize Polls in your Stories. They’re essentially a free focus group. When you involve your audience in decision making, whether it be picking a new service, a new color, or a new scent (etc, etc), they feel like they’re really a part of something they love. And community is everything online. (Have we said that already?)
You can even encourage them to post about you on their own pages (AKA: User Generated Content) by sharing tagged posts on your own feed.
5. Give Away *Some* Knowledge
We’re not saying to give away all your hard-earned secrets or proprietary information, but it is important to give your followers some value through education or tips & tricks you’ve learned along the way. Pick some 3000-foot-level tips to share regularly. Get your audience wanting more! We’ve actually found the more you share, the more some people value your expertise enough to contact you and become a client!
A Few Don’ts Before You Go
Now that we’ve talked about what TO do, we feel the need to mention just a few things NOT to do.
1. Don’t just show your products— As we briefly mentioned earlier, followers come to social media to ENGAGE with you, not just to be sold to. If you’re only sharing product info and photos, people may get sick of it after a few months.
2. Don’t spam— If you post too much, especially in Stories, people will become numb to them, then annoyed by them, and then unfollow your account. So post regularly, but make sure those tick marks aren’t little dots day after day.
3. Don’t post “canned” captions— People want to engage with REAL people with actual personalities, not Instagram bots. So be sure to show them a real idea of who you actually are. Canned captions are not only basic, but they actually may trigger the algorithm as non-unique content, which the algorithm doesn’t like.
If you don’t have time to do a lot on social media, that’s okay. Something is better than nothing. The most important thing to remember is not to JUST sell. If you can only create 10 posts a month, make sure they have diverse content and provide something worth a follow. And as always, if reading this stresses you out more than it helps, we’re here to take this off your plate!