Increasing your connections using social media

If you want to increase the number of your followers then you need to think about mechanisms in order to engage your new audience. The mechanisms for increasing followers are pretty much the same whatever social media tool you use, and reasons that make a Tweet get broadcast across the Twitterverse are pretty much the same as getting a huge growth of hits on a YouTube video.

Your thoughts should include the fact that once you’ve identified your audience, you need to get them to follow or subscribe to you and the most important thing here is to get them engaged. Your broadcasts need to have useful, relevant and informative information to get them engaged and keep them engaged. This information could be in the form of news about an up and coming event / product / business item, it could be a "How to" (like the "how to fold a t-shirt" videos on YouTube). Whatever it is it needs to be useful enough for people to recommend it to their connections, who recommend it to their connections and the message gets amplified.

Unfortunately lots of poor quality social media campaigns get things wrong. They continually spam their followers with the same message over and over again. Adverts like "Don’t pay for tooth whitening. This Mom discovered the secret to white teeth for under $5" repeated across your social media tools will not give you the profile you desire. If the tooth whitening solution is one of the few products that you market, then you need to be creative about different ways you can broadcast your message. Here are a few tips I’ve gathered along the way by watching and learning.

  • Find the social media leaders in your industry and follow them. Subscribe to their blog, follow them on Twitter, connect with the people that they connect with. You’ll then get great insights into the way they use online marketing to effectively get their message across.
  • Search for the types of people you want to notice you and follow them. Use keywords to narrow your search to the target market.  If you follow people in your industry and post interesting things, it’s likely that they will follow you back
  • Decide on a sensible name for your channels. People are much more likely to follow realistic companies like "Teethglow" than they are to follow channels such as "Awesome Tooth Whitening miracles"
  • Make sure your channels are populated. People won’t subscribe to a blog which isn’t updated regularly, nor will they follow a blank Twitter feed or YouTube channel.
  • Try to broadcast realistically. Talking about your amazing Tooth Whitening products all the time, will appear to be spamming your audience. Try instead to ask questions like "Which tooth whitening product is your favourite?" or "Which tooth whitening product would you try?" .
  • If you are using Twitter as your only method for communication, make sure that you don’t follow everyone. You will be overwhelmed with information and will miss out useful snippets in the fire hose of communication.
  • Post interesting news and information about your product, and advertise your message regularly. If others post relevant and interesting news on Twitter, use Retweet to broadcast this to your own followers. Re-share Facebook pages to your friends with interesting links and broadcast interesting video uploads. Use Trackbacks to link to blogs with relevant content.
  • Use URL shorteners so that your links can be forwarded easily. You might have been publicising a link on your blog, or on Facebook. Use one of the many URL shorteners to create a smaller link that people can easily share via Twitter.
  • Search for your brand name on Blogs, Videos, Twitter etc. Respond to any comments or questions . If there are any issues , then make sure that you try to get a solution for the customer.

There are loads of other ways to do this – but hopefully this will give you a head start…

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