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9 Rules of Thumb to Grow your Audience on Social Media

Growing a following on social media can seem like an impossible, daunting task. Everyone wants more followers, but how do you get them? There is no exact way to do it. No formula to follow. No quick solution. But that doesn't mean it can't be done. Here you'll find an extensive list of all the steps you can take to grow your audience on social media.
Virginie Dardenne
Last Updated
October 22, 2021

Post Consistently

Stay consistent - try to post 3 to 5 times a week

First & foremost - stay consistent in your posting! Imagine consistency as your foundation for a killer social media presence. Without consistency it is impossible to improve your socials and there is no sense in building on your foundation if you don't have a steady posting routine.

What is the best way to stay consistent?

Maintain your weekly cadence, whether it be 2 posts a week or 5 posts a week. Once you've decided what the frequency is going to be, stick to your posting schedule. This is where Willow can be one of your biggest assets! 🚀You have the ability to plan ahead of time what you intend on posting and how often you would like to do so. This way you can hold yourself accountable to post weekly, because your content will already be pre-scheduled.

Don't take time off from posting.

Keep the same rhythm of posting every week. There should be no gaps in your social media if you want to continue to grow your following. Going MIA for a week or two could really hurt the community you've worked to build.

PRO TIP: Create a slot in Willow for whatever content category you like to post and set the frequency to weekly.

recurring task in willow content calendar

Provide valuable, informative content to your followers 🙇

Be a thought-leader & a generous one, at that.

Present yourself as a trustworthy source of knowledge to all of those who follow you. You want to give other social media users a reason to follow you. There needs to be something in it for them and in this case that something is valuable knowledge and information!

Share typical questions/answers that clients ask across your platforms.

Start to brainstorm the typical questions your clients come to you with. Now take those questions and answers and provide them to your followers. You could do so in the form of weekly tips or answering weekly questions. Be generous with your knowledge and in return your followers will be grateful. Do you have a blog or an e-book? If so, share it across your social media platforms.

Respond to all comments, comment on other profiles, like & follow other pages

Make sure you are engaging on social media.

It's called social media for a reason, isn't it? Let's not forget our purpose here: to engage in social activity. There are millions of ways to do this.

Respond to all comments, tags, shares & follows.

One of the most clear and easy ways to engage on social media is to not let any comment go unresponded. You need to start viewing each and every interaction on your social media channels as a lead. Every comment, every tag, every share, every like, every follow. So make sure to respond and engage back.

Interact with pages that are relevant to your company.

If those comments and likes aren't rolling in naturally, then go out and hunt them down. Engage with other pages' content! Increase your visibility by commenting on other pages or in other groups. Like other people's posts and pages. Or feel free to share content from other profiles to your page. Supporting others in your community or other companies that you like is a great way to increase your audience and maybe they will do the same in return.

Follow relevant accounts.

When they come to check out your page they will see that you share similar content and they'll want to follow back. Watch out for that follow/follower ratio, though. You don't want to follow a million accounts and have 100 followers yourself.

Use the rule of thirds to help define your content mix

The rule of thirds: 1/3 social engagement - 1/3 curated content - 1/3 original content

Social Engagement: Directly sharing your employees' posts or sharing insightful posts from customers or industry colleagues

Curated Content: Carefully collected articles, videos and blog from outside sources; industry news that has an impact on your customers

Original Content:

  • Promotional Pieces: Product or feature highlights. Some amazing stats from your business. Customer testimonials.
  • Original pieces of content: Helpful tips, e-books, presentations, case studies, podcasts, blog summaries, employee highlights, webinars, event posts etc.

Helpful Tips:

  • Don't post the same sort of content every single day. Keep your content varied. We don't want to bore users; we want to entertain. The more variety that you are able to display in your posting, the better.
  • Sometimes it can be really hard to come up with new ideas of what to post. It seems like you've hit a roadblock. Here are some helpful post ideas for when that happens.

PRO TIP: Create a social media calendar on Willow that looks like the rainbow! The more colorful the better. 🌈  If you find yourself in a rut, constantly posting the same category of content, head over to the Ideas tab to look for new post inspiration.

content calendar in the willow platform

Make sure to utilize #Hashtags

Why are hashtags important?

Hashtags are important for a few reasons and it's beneficial to use them for all they're worth.  First off, you should be adding hashtags to all of your posts. We recommend adding at least 3 to 5 to every post. Hashtags help new users discover your account. If they follow a particular hashtag that you use, then your post will show up in their feed. That's a great way to have your profiled viewed! Nice & easy 😎

Don't overuse hashtags.

But, be aware, there are more to hashtags than meets the eye. They're a little delicate, so be careful with your usage. You don't want to spam each post with 30+ hashtags as this tends to look a little tacky. You also want to avoid hashtags such as #like4like or #followback. These will never produce any sort of beneficial or long-lasting follower. Rather do a little bit of research and find hashtags that are popular in your industry and community; hashtags that are quality, relative and produce the best engagement.

Helpful Resource:

If you are feeling a little lost when it comes to hashtags and how best to utilize them, then check out this helpful article. Inside the article, you'll also find a handy website that helps you figure out what sort of hashtags you should be using for your business.

PRO TIP: Keep a list of hashtags in your Willow account under Settings. At the end of each post, pop on a few hashtags from that list.

hashtags in willow platform

Your employees are your most valuable resource 👫

How can your employees help to grow your audience?

Your team members are some of your biggest assets whether you realize it or not. Urge your employees and coworkers to share your company's social media page across their personal pages. It's an easy and simple way to increase your network. Imagine if each employee has 200 followers and you have a team of 10 employees. That's casting a visibility net of 2,000 with just one simple re-post by your employees. Motivate your team to engage with your content, as well. This will help to boost your post a little more - having those automatic likes and comments.

Other ways to leverage the power of your employees on your social platforms.

Show off your employees in posts! Schedule photos of them as a source of content and include a story about them. People respond well to other people. Posts of employees tend to do very well when it comes to engagement. Always remember to keep people at the center of a majority of your posts. Never lose that human influence across your social platforms.

screenhot of linkedin post gratitude employees

Ask your friends, family & acquaintances to connect with you online

Tap Into Your IRL Network!

I guarantee that you have a pretty solid and supportive network in real life. Well that is a wonderful place to start. Work on getting that network to be your audience on social media as well. Invite friends to like your page, share your page on your personal account, post about your company in local groups or industry-related groups, talk about your company when you can, spread the word however works best for you.

Don't forget to tag locations and other users when posting

Tag, tag, tag!

Make sure you are tagging when posting. Tag anything that you can! Locations, relevant users, brands. You can also encourage others to tag you. For example, "Tag us @ in a photo of".

What you can tag in posts:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Other relevant businesses
  • Colleagues or employees
  • Someone who taught you a skill or told you about something you share in the post
  • Anyone who appears in the post

Attach visuals to the majority of your posts

Why is it important to attach visuals to any post you can?

It is a proven fact that photos and videos attached to a post do much better engagement-wise than simple texts to. Visuals are crucial! Avoid posting text-only content. A post that contains a photo are video is 3X as likely to perform better.

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