How to grow a social media following from scratch

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Jobs and careers are becoming a thing of the past for many people: these days, a substantial social media following is helping people make a living from just posting on social media about what they love to do.

Having discovered the true value of different types of influencers at SocialWage.com, we recommend turning yourself into the brand. People carry more influence than regular brands. For example, a popular Instagram model is more influential among their audience than an Instagram page about fashion.  

With a thousands, or even millions of followers subscribed to your account, you’ll be able to not only influence culture but earn your very own fan-base. As a social media influencer, having a decent-sized following is particularly important.

When you’re monetising your social media, followers are more than just numbers, representing likes and retweets – they’re committed followers who value your page and the content you produce.

 

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But of course, we all have to start somewhere. Nobody’s going to usurp Selena Gomez, the reigning Queen of Instagram, overnight – and good luck matching Katy Perry’s following; she’s been the most followed person on Twitter for nearly three years now.

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But with over two billion active social media accounts worldwide, there’s plenty of followers to go around, and there’s no time like the present to start growing your account. Read on for the essential step-by-step guide to building a social media following from scratch…

 

 1. Learn from the pros

Before you begin any task, it’s best to do your research, and growing your social media following is no different.

Scour the social networks, do some Googling, and spot who’s doing it right. Obviously you’ll want to retain your own style, but there’s no harm in taking some tips from the best in the business.

 

As a starting point, why not check out some of the most famous social media influencers – like Kayla Itsines or PewDiePie.

 

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Ask yourself what they’re doing right – is it the quantity or quality of their posts? Their friendly interaction with followers? Take note – because those are the things you’ll want to be adopting to get yourself more followers.

 

2. Let’s get started…

Now you’ve done your homework, you can start putting your research into practice.

Begin by outlining your approach. Decide on your account’s style and tone, and stick to it. Will your posts be advisory, packed with banter – or somewhere in between the two? Whatever your style, make sure you and your account are on the same page.

 

3. Aim for bullseye!

When you’re building an online profile, setting goals is a great way to track your progress.

Break your calendar down into manageable, monthly chunks, and set targets for your follower count.

Top tip: this isn’t the time to be overly-optimistic – targets ought to challenge you, but they should also be achievable. That way, you can reward your success whilst ensuring you’re constantly progressing, and growing your following.

 

4. Plan, plan, plan

If you’re serious about upping your follower count, it’s time to get organised.

You’re aiming to get users to click that little ‘follow’ button – so you need to convince them your page is worthy of that commitment.

 

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Nobody’s going to waste their time subscribing to an inactive page, so keep your updates regular. Why not set yourself a schedule, so you can plan the timings of your posts? Planning will help you to stay on top of updates, and any potential followers will quickly catch on to how regularly you post. It’s a win-win situation.

But one more thing: once you’ve set yourself a posting schedule, stick to it! Most followers aren’t impressed by influencers going off-radar – and once you’re starting to gain those much-longed-for followers, the last thing you want to see is your follower count ticking downwards again…

 

5. Learn the social media 101

Every community has its own set of cultural norms and etiquettes, and social media – in its own way – is no different.

Take note of how others interactive online, and clock what behaviour is considered polite – and what’s on the receiving end of bitchy subtweets and snarky emojis.

One thing to definitely avoid on social media is stealing others’ images and passing them off as your own. Bloggers and Instagrammers are particularly protective of their work, and they or their followers will ALWAYS notice! Just recently, social media users called out Love Island star Kady McDermott for stealing a photograph from the fitness Instagram page, instafitsociety.

Trust us: breaking the rules of social media isn’t worth the hassle – and it certainly won’t go down well down with any potential followers, who will quickly notice your blunder and are unlikely to forgive it!

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6. Make a good impression

We all know how important first impressions are – so make your social networking debut count.

Always be polite and friendly in online interactions. Not every social media user will be as amiable in return (after all, we’ve all met our fair share of trolls online), but don’t sink to their levels. You never know who might see the exchange – they could be a future follower you’re looking to impress.

 

7. A little help from your friends

It’s not only important to be friendly to potential followers – being on good terms with your fellow influencers won’t hurt your follower count, either.

Use social media to network and build rapports with other social influencers. If you make a good impression, they’re likely to give you a shoutout and direct new followers to your account.

It’s common for top social influencers to share a similar core fan base – social media starlets like Zoella and Louise Pentland share many of their subscribers – so it will always come in handy to make connections in the online community.

 

8. Get ‘The Look’

If you’re looking to transform your social media account from a pastime to a revenue stream, you’ll need your page to look the part.

Social media may be a platform for casual chat between influencers and followers, but professionalism is still vital if you’re looking to gain a large following.

Jazz up your page with individualised banners and logos – they’ll showcase who you are and what your content is about. With branding, your page is more user-friendly and will appear more professional –  but make sure it’s consistent across your various social networks – not only will that certify your status as a serious social influencer, but followers will find it easier to find your different accounts. Also it’s important to becareful with what you’re saying – some brands don’t want to be associated with swearing, misogyny etc. so be prepared.

 

9. Do what you do best

Whether you’re a witty sports commentator on Twitter, a fitness-inspo Instagrammer or a quirky fashion blogger, keep doing your thing. At the end of the day, followers will come if you give them what they want – be that entertainment, advice or simply #goals to lust after.

With fresh content that’s unique to you and interesting to other users, you’ll see your following grow sooner or later.

 

10. Don’t give up!

And whatever you’re doing, keep at it.

Growing your following can be a long and frustrating game. With billions of other users also broadcasting their comments and images online, every minute of every day, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve gotten lost in the social media cosmos. You might start thinking nobody will ever notice your fierce makeup skills or witty tweets.

But hang in there.

The best thing about social media is how unpredictable everything is. You can never predict the next big online trend, piece of advice, or meme  – and you also never know when your big break is just around the corner, complete with a social following to rival even the most popular of social media influencers.

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Already built yourself an impressive social media following? Why not get in touch with us at Social Wage to find out more about turning your social media posts into a salary?

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