I know what you’re thinking. With a headline about how to get love on social media, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wait, is Stuller about to give us dating tips?” Well, technically we could. We do often boast about our matchmaking skills, as a number of Stuller employees have met their spouses right here in the building. But that’s a story for another time and, well, this isn’t Tinder.
So, if for some reason you WERE here for dating advice, now’s the time to swipe left. But if you’re here to learn how to grow your social media following, keep reading.
FACEBOOK – Promote
The key to growing your Facebook following is diligent promotion. Put that little lowercase f icon everywhere— it’s the best tip I can give you! It needs to be in all of the following places:
This tip is one of the more modern ones I’m going to give you today. Add your Facebook link to your business cards. In this day and age, your customers (especially the millennials) are already on Facebook. Asking them to connect with you online is more probable than them calling or emailing. Want me to blow your mind? Some business owners are handing out social cards in lieu of business cards. These little cards contain links/handles to all social media accounts rather than typical contact info. I know, crazy right? Until it starts to work . . .
If you do any kind of email marketing, your social media icons need to be built into your email template (Read the website section below for placement). I know it’s pretty basic, but it’s important. The other tip I have for you is to send out social-specific emails. For example, we send out a Valentine’s Day email inviting readers to shop our most-pinned styles of the season. This achieves two things for us:
1. It raises awareness of our Pinterest account. We see our following spike over a 2-3 day period every time we send one of these out.
2. We still get some ROI. It’s a misconception to think that you can’t do both at once!
You have some options when it comes to exact placement of your icons on your website, but each location has its pros and cons. Some sites feature social buttons on the sidebar that follows users as they scroll up and down the homepage. This leans toward a more in-your-face approach and some users may not perceive it as a pleasant experience. Prime location is right up at the top of your website layout. Having them up top allows users to discover them, finding your social accounts when that wasn’t necessarily what they were looking for. Here’s a drawback: Some say having social buttons at the top of your homepage diverts traffic from your website before they have the chance to convert (I’m a social media junkie, so this is where I’d put them). Finally, you can put the icons at the bottom of your page. Users have to be looking for them to find them, BUT here’s the good news: we ARE looking for them. If we want to find you on social media, visitors will scroll all the way to the bottom of your page! My advice? Test out all three locations. Rotate your icons through each of these placements for equal time periods and track the clicks. Use that data to determine their forever home.
Promote your page itself if you have the budget for it. On the left-hand side of your Facebook Page, beneath your tabs, there is a Promote button. When you click on this button, you are prompted with the following: How would you like to grow your business? “Exponentially!” you would say. Just kidding. Select Promote Your Page and it will guide you through building a campaign specifically for page likes. This is different than any other type of advertising we have walked you through before, but Facebook makes it really simple when you go this route and targeting (the hardest, most important part) is the same. Check out this post if you need a refresher on building a target audience.
INSTAGRAM – Engage
Instagram gives you the opportunity to grow your social media by creating a community around your brand. The platform is unique in the fact that content from business owners, employees, potential customers, and influencers can all be found relatively easily. That’s because Instagram has made discoverability simple with hashtags and geotags.
For anyone who may not know, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a # that is a clickable link to related content (FUN FACT: hashtags actually began on Twitter. Most of the social platforms have adopted the technology, but Instagram is where the real #Magic happens today). So anyway, how do we use them to grow our community? The best way to use hashtags is to join conversations that could be relevant to your industry. For example, as I write this post, #ValentinesDay2018 has been used 68,305 times. Hop in that conversation by using the hashtag on your post and start showing your content to users who are already interested in Valentine’s Day — and subsequently Valentine’s Day gifts. :)
Another way you can use hashtags is by developing one specific hashtag for your brand (We use #HowIStuller). Once you choose the right tag, use it in all your posts and encourage others to use it too! Your employees can use it when posting about a new collection they love at work. Your customers can use it when posting about their latest purchase. And your BEST customers, the ones who are repeat purchasers, will use your hashtag frequently and are what we call Brand Advocates in the social media world. Brand Advocates are the modern day word-of-mouth and THAT is how you get more followers on Instagram.
Geotags are not new to Instagram, but they are semi-new to Instagram Stories. These tags are location-based and when clicked, they show your store’s location on a map within the Instagram app. This is especially useful for brick and mortars who are trying to use social media to draw foot traffic to their stores.
You can also use this strategy in Instagram Stories by adding the Location Sticker— it’s really simple! After you’ve taken your photo for your Story, choose the sticker option; the Location Sticker is the first choice. Once you click it, you’ll be able to search for your store’s location just like above. My advice when using Geotags on Stories? You can get away with using it about once per day. Add the Location Sticker on the first Story of your sequence. Make sure it’s large enough to see, but not so large that it distracts users from your story’s message.
The best part about either of these types of tags is their discoverability. When users click on #ValentinesDay2018, your post can show up in the results whether they are following you or not. Likewise, when users click on your geolocation, a feed of your other recent content pops up. That means that introducing new users to your brand and content is just a few tags away! Now all you have to do is make sure that content is engaging enough for them to tap the Follow Button.
PINTEREST – Optimize & Curate
Pinterest is a search engine. It’s Google, except sparkly. So if it works like Google, we’ve got to optimize it for Google. Here’s how:
Enhance Your Profile
Fill out your Business Profile settings completely. Add accurate contact information, use your logo as your profile picture and write an About Me that is concise, yet descriptive. There’s a lot of spam accounts floating around Pinterest these days, so take the time to give your settings a look to boost your credibility.
Claim Your Website
THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and it takes 30 seconds or less! You know what? Why don’t you open a new tab right now? Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Now, go to Pinterest.com/Settings. Choose Claim Website on the left-hand side. Copy and paste your website URL. Click Claim to unlock exclusive website analytics, your logo featured on all of your pins, and early access to new tools. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Keyword Rich Descriptions
Your original pins (the ones you create from scratch, here’s how) should have captions that are filled with relevant keywords. Creative, catchy copy works well on other platforms, but Pinterest is a search engine at the end of the day. It’s really important to write clearly and use words that describe your pin’s subject accurately.
So you’ve optimized your Pinterest profile for the search engine that it is. You’re beginning to understand the platform and that’s the first step to gaining more followers on it! The next step? To curate.
Pinterest is a place users go to plan. They plan their next vacation, they plan their next milestone, they plan their next meal — you get it. In order to grow your social media and be effective on any platform, you have to learn how people use it. On Pinterest, people curate ideas and save inspiration. So should you!
Your curated vs. original content ratio should be at least 50/50 — maybe even as high as 80/20. Basically, you should be re-pinning more of other users’ content and less of your own. That’s a pretty intimidating piece of advice, I know, but take baby steps if you must. Change your Engagement Rings board to a Dream Wedding board today and start re-pinning wedding planning tips, color schemes, six-tier cakes and more. Speak to the woman who is dreaming up the best day of her life and gain a follower who now sees you as a knowledgeable, trusted source. Plus, she’ll be interested in learning more about your business. Master this Optimize and Curate concept and one follower will multiply into a strong, passionate community in no time!
I’ve offered you my best tips on growing your social media following today. Usually, I would wrap it up right about now by saying, “I hope these ideas help you rock the social space,” or “Good luck out there in the crazy world of social media!”
Instead, I’m challenging you. I challenge you to take ONE tip from this blog and schedule some time right now to implement it into your social media strategy. Write it down on your calendar. Add an alert on your phone. Put a neon-colored sticky note on your computer. Make it really bold and bright. Do whatever it takes! You made it to the end of this, so you might as well take action.
IF you made it all the way here AND dedicated some time in your busy schedule to grow your social media following, comment down below and let me know! If not, good luck out there in the crazy world of social media!