So, you’ve got this awesome new idea. And you’re ready to start marketing. Ready to open up your doors. Ready to share your idea with the world.
And you know social media is the perfect avenue to help you reach all your business goals. So you sign up for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You queue up your first tweet, press send, and say hello to the world.
And you wait… and wait. But no one says hello back. Where are the followers? Where are the likes? The shares?
You know your business is solid. You’ve done your research. You’re passionate about it and you know your customers’ are too. You know you’re onto something.
But why aren’t people following? Why aren’t they engaging with you?
That’s what this post is for. Keep reading for the 12 step formula to get your first 10,000 followers and beyond.
The Value of Social Media
There’s no asset more valuable to your brand, than an engaged following on social media.
Social media is advertising, branding, public relations, customer service, customer acquisition, community building, and influencer outreach all blended into one. It’s by far, the most versatile and effective marketing platform known to man.
While with traditional marketing channels like SEO, pay-per-click, commercials and other paid media you’re renting a channel for a specified period of time, you own your social media channels.
It’s something you can build, grow and invest in over a long period of time. Something that you can count on 5, even 10 years down the line.
If the crazy world of social media has escaped your brand, I’m here to help. This guide is going to teach you everything you need to know to start building a real, engaged tribe of passionate followers on social media.
12 Steps To Get Your First 10,000 Followers
1) Be Focused
The biggest mistake new brands make on social media is trying to be everywhere at once.
They sign up and feel they have to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and more. In trying to be everywhere, they end up being nowhere.
Don’t underestimate how much time and effort each platform takes to grow. Which is why I recommend new brands to choose the 1 or 2 (3 max) platforms where their audience is most present, then go all in. Instead of trying to grow 5 communities at once, build 1.
Then, once you’ve saturated one platform, you can use it to expand into others.
2) Be Active
Most brands look at social media as a 1-way street. As another form of outbound communication for their company.
They view each post as a press release of sorts. They set up a couple of posts promoting their business, sit back, and wonder why people aren’t following and engaging with them.
They don’t realize social media isn’t like traditional advertising channels. It’s not a way to talk at your audience, it’s a way to talk to your audience.
To give value back to your community. To build real, human connections. And that requires you to be active. To follow people. To start conversations. To build relationships.
3) Be UsefulThe name of the game when it comes to social media is adding value. Click To Tweet
You have to find a way to make your audience’s life better. Find a way to make yourself useful to them. And there are a couple ways to go about this.
In general, you can inform, entertain or inspire people. It’s all about your target audience and what makes them click.
It’s your job to find out what your audience cares about, then give them real, tangible value. And keep giving until they start to trust you, fall in love with your brand, become brand advocates, and ultimately customers.
4) Be Creative
Now, you might be thinking, “I’m a dentist, what the hell am I supposed to post?” You might think your niche is boring. But you’d be wrong.When it comes to content marketing, there is no boring niche. Click To Tweet
Let’s take a dentist, a niche most marketers might find boring. You could come out with a blog with strategies to keep your teeth white and your gums healthy.
OR you could create a Twitter personifying the tooth fairy and post quirky videos with sarcastic, funny advice on keeping all your teeth.
The point is that you’re only limited by your imagination.
5) Be Visual
On social media, visual content is king.
There’s millions upon millions of brands vying for the public’s attention online. And if you want to stand out your content has to be spectacular. Head and shoulders above everything else in your niche.
If you’re serious about building a following online, you need to invest in high quality graphics and videos. It’s the only sustainable way to rise above the noise online and build an engaged following of rabid fans.
You might think you can get away with making your own videos or graphics, but your audience can tell if your visuals are professionally done in a couple of seconds. And first impressions on social media are everything.
6) Be Unique
There are countless social media accounts out there. No matter what business you’re building, you have thousands of competitors on social media competing for your audience’s attention.
It’s easy to curate quotes and articles from thought leaders, but everyone is doing it. These posts might get you some initial engagement and followers, but after awhile you’ll start to bore your audience.
You have to give your audience incentive to follow you by posting content that they can’t find anywhere else. Content that is completely unique and exclusive to you.
Don’t be afraid to infuse your content with a little personality. A little special sauce to separate you from the competition.
7) Be Engaging
Most brands look at social media like a press release. As another way to talk at their audience. But they’re missing the point.Social media isn't a lecture, it’s a conversation. Click To Tweet
Most people tend to focus on likes and shares to evaluate social media, but I like to look at comments. If you want to build relationships you have to engage people and get them talking.
It’s called ’social’ media for a reason. It might be online, but it’s built on human connection and human emotion. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers questions, ask them to tag their friends, even ask them to like your pictures.
Remember, don’t talk AT your audience, talk TO them.
8) Be Concise
Only post when you have something to say. When you have real value to give to your audience.
Too many people start on social media and hold themselves to too high of standards. They try to force themselves to keep up with an unrealistic quota. In trying to post 10 times a day, each post suffers in quality.Always remember that 1 quality post is better than 10 posts lacking in substance. Click To Tweet
Your audience has more options for content than ever before. If you want to stand out you have to be better. And the best way to do that is to cut down on the quantity and increase the quality.
9) Be Emotional
Websites like Upworthy, Buzzfeed and Viral Nova may catch a lot of flak for their shameless headlines, but the truth is that these companies have mastered something very powerful: how to create emotionally compelling content.
They also teach us something else. Creating highly shareable content is a skill. Something that can be learned, honed and strategically put to use. It’s not magic, it’s science.
Studies have shown that content that evokes emotion has a far greater viral potential than neutral content. Which is why it’s imperative that you understand your audience on a personal level.
Once you do, you can reverse-engineer content that resonates with their ideal-self and makes them want to share.
10) Be Consistent
Consistency is an essential variable to every content marketing strategy. You have to show up day in and day out. With every post you have to give your audience a reason to follow you.Content marketing is a game of momentum and a game of trust. Click To Tweet
It’s best to use a Content Calendar and a tool like Buffer or Hubspot, to post at the same times each day, every week, so your audience can learn to count on you. Over time, your followers will start to look for your content and even work to fit you into their busy schedule.
For example, if you post an affirmation every morning, your followers will learn to check their feed before work to get a little extra daily motivation.
11) Be Sociable
The good news about building a following on social media is that you don’t have to do it alone. There’s thousands of willing partners in every niche just waiting for you to reach out.
An important part of every content strategy is an influencer outreach program. This could entail things like reaching out for a S4S (share for a share), participating in Twitter takeovers, or just showing love and supporting other top pages in your niche.
By partnering with people with similar audiences, you can use their following to springboard your growth.
12) Be PatientSocial media isn’t just about selling; it’s about connecting with people and building relationships. Click To Tweet
It’s a long-term game and there are no shortcuts. And it takes a consistent flow of valuable, useful content over a long period of time to produce results.
Don’t expect to start marketing on Monday and have traction by the weekend. You have to earn your audience’s trust and build relationships, one by one, day by day, post by post.
Don’t think in terms of days or weeks. Think in terms of months and years. Give as much value as you can to your audience everyday, and let the rest take care of itself.
There you have it. 12 steps to get your first 10,000 followers. Now that you have the formula for success on social media, it’s time to start building your following.
The best time to plant a seed was yesterday. The second best time to plant a seed is today. Building a following on social media doesn’t happen overnight. The sooner you can start, the better.
It takes time to build trust. Time to build relationships. Time to build a tribe of passionate followers. Which is why there’s no better time to start building your presence than right now.
If you don’t know where to start, email me. I’ll shoot you some creative ideas to get you started. Seriously, reach out. I’d be happy to help you anyway I can. No strings attached.