10 Ways to grow your Social Media Presence
As a small business, you’ve probably already set up several social media accounts. But what do you do when all your friends, family and customers have followed you or liked your business page?
What if new followers have slowed down, and the number of likes and shares has stopped growing? It’s time to re-think your strategy for reaching and engaging with a wider audience to find new customers and clients.
If you’re competing with big brands that have teams of social media specialists, don’t worry. Here are 10 quick fixes to grow your social media presence:
1. Know your customers and limit your accounts
If your goal is to increase your followers and reach a bigger audience, you need a good understanding of who you’re aiming at, what they like and which social media accounts they’re most likely to have.
With limited resources, it’s better to limit yourself to the 2 or 3 networks that your customers use. So you need a good understanding of how the main platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube – work and what the key advantages and disadvantages are.
2. Tell people to find you on social media
Use all your business communications to let your customers know which social media networks they can find you on, including:
- Your website
- Business cards
- The footer of personal emails from you and your staff (don’t worry about including social media icons)
- Email newsletters
- Printed literature such as leaflets, cards, brochures, flyers and catalogues
- Product labels and packaging
3. Use images, video and useful content
It’s important to make sure that your images look good and are the right size for your page headers and posts. It’s easy using an online tool such as.
Since you only have a few seconds to stop someone from scrolling past your post, video is a good way to keep their attention. Videos can take up a lot of memory on your devices, so YouTube is ideal for storing and promoting them. From YouTube, you can share videos to your other social media accounts and embed them on your website.
In addition to posts about your business, share content on subjects that are connected to your business that you think will be interesting and useful to your target audience.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask
If you put ‘Please share’ or Please retweet’ in your post, very often people will. This is not something you can do all the time, but it does work.
5. Include hashtags in your posts
Putting a hashtag (#) before a word or phrase in your post makes them searchable. This means your post is more likely to get noticed by people looking for that word or phrase.
If you want your name or your business associated with any topic, product or service in your industry or profession, use hashtags to become recognised as an expert in those areas.
Also use hashtags for your local town or area as well your business type. Hashtags can reduce the readability of a post, though, if you put too many in (this doesn’t apply to Instagram).
6. Tag other people and businesses pages
‘Tagging’ means mentioning people and businesses in your posts by using the @ symbol before their account name. This way more people will see you and decide whether to follow or like you.
Many people tag influencers with a large number of followers to engage them. This can really help to raise your profile and spark interest in you or your business so you pick up new followers.
7. Run a competition
Social media competitions can have a huge impact if they’re planned and executed properly. First, you’ll need to establish what you want to achieve – a competition can attract more followers, boost engagement, promote certain products or raise awareness, or it can generate new leads and names for your mailing list.
Then you need to decide on how the competition will work and the rules, choose the right platform, promote the competition and moderate the entries, while also making sure you comply with any legal requirements. It’s worth searching online for advice on how to run a successful social media competition before you start.
8. Make the most of groups
On Facebook and Linkedin, find the groups relating to your local community, industry, sector, service or specialty. By posting in these groups you can gain wider exposure among interested people.
Most groups have rules and are moderated, and you probably won’t be allowed to blatantly advertise your business, products or services. So make sure your posts are interesting and relevant to the group members.
9. Answer comments and messages quickly
Engagement is one of the great advantages of social media, allowing you to have conversations with your audience. It’s best to make sure someone can keep a watchful eye on comments and messages as they may be enquiries about your products or services.
Comments can also be a public place for customers to leave reviews and feedback. People will want to see how you reply, even to negative comments, in deciding whether to follow you or like your page.
10. Allocate a small advertising budget
Although social media is free, you can make a huge difference to the reach of your posts by spending a small amount on advertising.
This is particularly true on Facebook, where posting for free can have a limited effect. It only costs a few pounds to boost a post to people in your local area.
Look online for advice
You’ll find plenty of ‘how to’ articles on the internet. Check out your local chamber of commerce, business group or the Federation of Small Businesses to see if they have any training sessions or resources that can help you.
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