“How do I get more followers?” It’s the age-old question…well, of the Internet age, that is. Now that we can all be celebrities from our couch and smartphone through social media, we find that building up a following is often easier said than done. But while it’s not as simple as “if you post it, they will come”, there are many simple tricks you can utilize to help out. Because more followers means more potential customers to buy your amazing designs. Here are some tips on how to get more followers on social media,
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Post great, interesting, shareable content
What would make YOU follow you? Post the content that you’d be interested in seeing! Sharing interesting content that isn’t just self-promotional gives people a reason to follow you for the discovery factor. An article in TIME put it best when they described “meformers” vs “informers”. Meformers talk about themselves; informers deliver cool information in their posts, and they have twice the followers. Let’s look at Artist Shop owner Jake Lawrence (@TheTimeCowboy). People follow him for his comics and humor, but he has a healthy balance of his own comics/Shop promos and retweets that introduce his followers to artists and opportunities they might be interested in.
Posting quality, relevant content helps your potential audience know who you are and that they should follow you. Interesting content from other accounts and creators – like blog posts, podcast episodes, comic strips – make you shareable and a source of information.
Be active and post, post, post!
Social media posts are the fruit flies of the internet: they’re all about the buzz and don’t live very long. According to Rebecca Coleman and Moz, the lifespan of a tweet is between 15 and 18 minutes. Instagram is a little better, a post earning most of its engagement within 24 hours. Social media is all about what’s fresh and new; if you’re not actively posting, your account is going to look dead, and dead accounts attract no followers. Plus, social media is global. The times you’re tweeting and awake, a portion of your followers may be asleep. (Automating your posts can help.)
According to data from The American Press Institute, 71% of Twitter users check Twitter several times a day. That’s a lot of opportunities for you to attract attention to your account. In fact, tweeting more consistently is linked to having more followers. Artist Shop owner Christopher Cooper told us in an interview, “As far as tips [for social media], the more photos/video/art, the better. People are bored and want something to catch their interest!” Post regularly at an appropriate level (here at Threadless, our typical rule is 1-2 times on Facebook, 3-6 times on Twitter (including retweets), and 2-3 times on Instagram.)
Post about your promos
Impact BND reported that only 20% of your content should be endorsing and promoting you, but the other 80% should be adding value to your brand by posting things people will actually be interested to see in their feed (see “Post Interesting Content” above!) That being said, a Nielson Twitter study showed that 52% of Twitter users follow brands to find out about deals, promos, and sales. When you slash prices or offer free shipping for your Shop (which you have until December 15th!), post about it in a fun way! Create a special graphic for your sales, make your post copy fun, post awesome lifestyle photos – get creative. You can also create an easy social media post right on your Dashboard as a Shop update!
Post at the right time
If you want to get extra-scientific with things, there are ideal posting times and days for certain social media channels. Our Digital Marketing Director gave us some insight on general posting times:
“Facebook is morning and evening (with the top performing posts boosted), Twitter is multiple times throughout the day and Instagram is also morning and evening. That ensures you’re at least posting when all time zones are awake. Whatever does best, use that as a guide for future posts!”
One of the keys to proper posting isn’t so much specific time, but rather the consistency (see “Be active and post, post, post” above!)
Get featured by an influencer
I’ll say the same thing that we’ve all heard when asking if we should ask somebody out: “the worst they can say is ‘no’.” Try reaching out to an influencer to see if they’ll give your product a shoutout! One way to do this is to hit them up and offer to send them one of your products for free if they’ll share a photo of them using/wearing it on social media and tag you. For you, it’s serious promotion. For them, 1: they get a cool free thing and 2: you can give them some cross-promotion as well by sharing their post on your channels! We did this with Chicago blog Foxtail and Moss on a “How to Make a Gallery Wall” post. We sent her some prints and she gave us an awesome tutorial on how to decorate with them!
Talk to people!
What if you went up to somebody in real life, said ‘Hi! You’re awesome!”, and they just looked at you and walked away? Chances are you probably wouldn’t feel too great. Same goes for social media. If someone comments on something you’ve posted, engage with that person! This can come in the form of:
- Responding to comments you get (be nice!)
- Retweeting someone saying something nice about you or rocking one of your products
- A funny poll
- An Instagram story where people can vote on things with a “YES/NO” button
- Giving your customers something to talk about (post “What are you watching on Netflix rn?” “Looking for a podcast – what do you recommend!” etc.)
This is also a great way to do customer support, too. If there’s a customer tweeting at you with questions, don’t wait to respond! Talk to your customers and followers. You don’t have to respond that minute, but try not to wait too long – social media attention spans are short.
Promote yourself with ads
Facebook Ads don’t just have to be about making sales. And the best part about FB ads? They can go on Instagram too, so you’re promoting on two platforms. You can also set up ads that are meant to boost traffic and followers! When asked to set up a Facebook ad, you’ll get options for what you want the ad to accomplish. To gain followers and to encourage people to check out your page, website, Shop, etc., the two best options are Traffic and Engagement.
The Traffic option is meant mainly for sending people elsewhere – to your Artist Shop, to your website, your blog, etc. The objective here is to get a boost in visibility…which doesn’t necessarily mean more followers. The Engagement option, on the other hand, takes traffic a step further. You’re gaining visibility and traffic, but there’s a specific call to action to follow your Page, engage with a post (for, say, a giveaway!), etc.
We’re shallow creatures. Eye-catching images on social media are your visual foot-in-the-door to pique interest. Plus, who doesn’t love to follow accounts that post great photos? Take note of the pilot that gained 500k followers by posting pictures of hotel carpets. For your own profile, post work in progress images of designs you offer in your Shop, or behind the scenes images of your workspace. Experiment with your Facebook cover photo (you can have an animated one now!) And when it comes to Instagram, have a consistent look and vibe to your photos. If you use filters, try using the same one on every photo to give your account a curated look. Artist Shop owner Steven Rhodes does a solid job of keeping a consistent look and theme to his account:
Follow relevant accounts
Following relevant accounts isn’t just a great way for you to find content that would be worthy of sharing – it’s also a great way to gain followers! Think about it: you follow people similar to you and your interests because they’re relevant and interesting to you. The same goes for others with your account. Also consider doing little shoutout days, like Follow Fridays (#FF). On Follow Fridays, you can send out a tweet mentioning a few Twitter handles of awesome people to follow. Besides being a nice thing to do, it might inspire the people you mention to retweet you, therefore getting you some attention, and might just inspire them to do the same and mention you in the future!
Anywhere you can include links to your other social media channels, DO IT! On your Facebook Page ‘About’ section, include links to Twitter (and link your Instagram to your Facebook Page so that’s already connected). On Twitter and Instagram, take advantage of where you can link to your website and link it to your Shop, site, etc. Artist Shops makes it really easy on the About Page because you can include all of your social links in one place.
Fully fill out your social media bios
This might seem like a given, but filling out your social media bios is super important. Aside from boosting your SEO (search engine optimization aka you’ll queue in a browser search more often) it also gives people an idea of who you are, your voice, and what you’re all about. We befriend people we like, therefore people follow who they like – help potential followers get to know how awesome you are in your bios by getting creative with them!
Follow your competitions’ followers
Have you ever followed an artist on Instagram and then got hit with a few followers who are kind of similar? They may have been scoping out the followers of that account you just followed to swoop in and follow their followers. It’s a good way to find people who might also be interested in you, your products, and your designs.
For even more information on each of these topics and more, here are a few sources!
- How to Get Your First 1,000 Followers on Every Major Social Network – Buffer App Blog
- 10 Tried-and-true Bits of Advice on Follower Growth – TIME
- 10 Reasons Why People Follow Brands on Twitter – Twitter Marketing
- How to Build a Massive Following on Instagram – Shopify Blog
- How I Went From Zero to 380,000 Twitter Followers Without Spending a Dime – Entrepreneur
- Social Media Marketing: The Importance of a Two-Way Conversation – Impact
- 50 Free Ways to Increase Your Instagram Followers – Forbes
- 9 Simple Tips That Will Instantly Improve Your Instagram Feed – The Preview App
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Featured illustration by Katie Lukes
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