One of the most important metrics when measuring the success of your social media campaign is FOLLOWERS. Learn what growing your social media following can mean for your business and, more important, learn how to increase your follower count.
WHAT IS A FOLLOWER?
A follower is someone who finds your social media account worth stalking on the Internet.
They may also tag, like, comment, and share your messaging all over the web. It’s a fabulous way to stay in contact with existing and potential customers after hours. Whether you have inspired them by proximity, product photos, or inspiring quotes—congrats. You are worthy.
Having followers is one of the most important metrics of social media success. From a marketing perspective, it’s all about the numbers.
More followers = more engagement = more products and services sold. In the world of ECPs, more followers equal more glasses and eye exams.
And what about bragging rights? Having more followers than your competition across the street kinda feels warm and fuzzy. And lastly, having reached certain follower milestones such as 100, 1K, and the elusive 5K validates your online marketing efforts. Yes, you are a marketing genius.
HOW DO I GET FOLLOWERS?
Growing followers takes a little bit of effort and a good amount of creativity. Here are my four tried-and-tested ways to grow followers. They are creative, inexpensive, and fun.
Laminate and bring this cutout to every office meeting, as you will want to keep your followers growing. Because, goals.
1. ASK FOR THEM.
The easiest way to grow your followers quickly is to ask every existing customer to follow your social media pages.
Shy? For around $20, you can have a beautiful social media sign made on etsy.com that can do your asking. Place these signs strategically around your business—waiting areas, dispensary tables, and restrooms.
And when you ask for it, be specific with your call to action. Your sign should say “Follow Us.”
2. EXCHANGE FOR THEM.
When it comes to asking for things in person, it’s a little weird not to offer something up in exchange. You scratch my back, I scratch yours, right?
At the time of dispensing glasses, simply let your customer know that you are running a fun social media campaign. “We are giving out a free lens spray for following us on social media. Would you like to follow?”
The answer is 99.9% of the time—YES! Who doesn’t love free lens spray?!
3. PARTNER FOR THEM.
Double your effort by partnering up with a local business for followers. Preferably this business is within walking distance so your customers can easily execute on the request. In 2016, Oakland Vision Center partnered up with a donut shop five doors down.
So far, we have handed out 3,000 2x2-inch cards and they have provided the same amount of donut holes.
Here is our verbiage: “Thank you for coming in today. We are having a super-fun social media campaign. Just follow both our Instagram accounts and bring this card over to Donut Savant for a free donut on us.” And... mic drop.
And guess what?
The donut shop has done well. Not only has it significantly grown its followers, but it has also grown its business with repeat customers.
4. PURCHASE THEM.
Creating a promotion on your Facebook business page will garner followers depending on how much you are willing to spend. For as little as $1 a day you can “Promote Your Page” to your target market by selecting their sex, age, proximity, and interests.
What I love about Facebook (in addition to making me a marketing genius) is that it opened Oakland Vision Center up to a new demographic we never knew existed. In our case, the middle-aged hipster with computer eye strain. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure can buy lenses with all the bells and whistles.
The “Promote Your Page” option specifically asks users to LIKE PAGE. When someone clicks the thumbs-up button, they automatically opt into following your page. Your social media posts will be seen in their feed and you will be listed in their “liked” directory for their friends to see. This is what we call a win-win-win situation.
Let’s not forget the basic principle of social media—inspiring photos tell the best stories. The goal of these three steps is to create beautiful product photos using the VSCO camera phone app.
Step 1. Increase the exposure by +2 to +4 points to brighten the product so that details are more visible.
Step 2. Increase the contrast by +1 to +3 points to add depth so that colors appear more vibrant.
Step 3. Use the sharpen tool by +9 to +12 points to tighten up the edges so that the product appears high-resolution.
The after photo is successful because it is visually pleasing while making the product the center of attention.
GET TO WORK
It’s your high school crush all over again. Do they even know I exist?
Half the battle of growing your business is letting your target audience know that you do exist. The goal of these two tasks is to let your potential customers know that you’re alive and kicking—and that they should be following you back.
GET LOCAL FOLLOWERS
Seek Out Local Businesses.
Search for local businesses on Instagram and start following and liking their followers. Think of every local restaurant and business that you have visited. Every. Single. One. If you love the gift shop down the street—wouldn’t it be great if their customers became your customers? A good goal is to like and follow at least 50 new local accounts a week.
Seek out Local Hashtags.
One unique feature on Instagram is the ability to quickly search and follow hashtags. In the Instagram search bar, insert your town name and select TAGS. The most popular hashtags related to your local area will pop up. The goal is to like at least 50 and comment on at least 10 user accounts a week.
See another relevant local hashtag while scrolling? Pursue it. Because, serendipity.