Guest post by Maren Williams.
It’s 2018 and brands are looking for fresh ways to get Instagram followers and Facebook likes. We’ve rounded up some tips for each channel to make 2018 your most successful year yet!
First, it’s important to note, great content marketers know that followers on Facebook and Instagram alone aren’t enough—you also need to work on your social engagement to see real brand results for these channels.
But, if you’ve mastered the art of engaging your visitors, it’s now time to broaden your efforts and specifically work on increasing your social following.
After all, having more followers often increases the likelihood of capturing the attention of a potential lead or customer!
You may have created your Facebook profile years ago, or maybe you just recently opened the account.
But either way, make sure to cover all your bases. It’s easy for users to get frustrated with a page that looks out of date, and by having a detailed “about” section, you increase your credibility as a business.
An updated profile on Facebook includes:
- A professional “about” section and company overview (this is your “elevator pitch” or tagline for your company, with some additional detail for the user).
- Updated URL to your website.
- Updated email for users to contact you.
- Make sure your profile photo and banner are current and designed to specifically fit the Facebook template space.
- Add your opening hours if you’re a business that operates during specific times.
- Include your location and tag your company category.
“Set it and forget it” is no longer the status quo in the Facebook realm. Marketers are strategizing every post, and testing to see which are working better than others.
For example, which posts get the most engagement (likes, clicks, comments, and shares)? Those posts might have a common theme or a specific tone of voice to which your users your users favorably respond.
Go “down the rabbit hole” and use your top posts to create more posts—soon you’ll be optimizing your top content in a strategic way to increase your engagement, and followers along with it.
And don’t shy away from the paid feature on Facebook. If your page is dormant for a while, or needs a boost, think about putting down a small amount of money to circulate a post already performing well to an even larger audience. (In fact, after reading this article from DigiDay, you may want to try some paid posts sooner rather than later!)
This way, you’ll leverage the best of your page—and don’t forget to target your paid posts toward people already with the same interests as your brand (but just haven’t discovered your brand … yet!).
For example, if you’re a shoe company, consider boosting your post that got 50+ likes recently on a new running shoe to audiences interested in marathons and 5Ks.
In the Facebook world, relying on organic only might be necessary if you’re a nonprofit or lack the funding to boost posts. But if you can afford it, it’s a great way to increase your followers and gain brand awareness on this channel.
Lastly, don’t fall behind on the trends. Be sure to research ideal post length, hashtag use, algorithm updates, and how to use images to best utilize the channel (for details on writing the perfect social media post, check out our article).
Facebook Brand Interaction
Like all other social media sites, Facebook is a two-way street. This means, you can’t just share your own content and wait for users to stop by and like your page.
It’s important to interact with your users, share content from others, and generally respond to comments, likes, and shares from other pages on the channel.
If someone tags you in a post, like that post and comment (“Thanks for the share!”). If you see great content that another page or brand is sharing, don’t be afraid to post it, linking back to them.
While counter-intuitive for some, you’re essentially linking to someone else’s relevant content, it only strengthens your brand standing. In fact, it does the following:
- Makes the other page or brand aware of you in return (they could follow you, share your content, or reach out to you!).
- Shows users you’re active in your field of business and interested as a company in other brands out there.
- Solidifies your brand is secure enough to share other ideas and concepts without taking away from your own.
No matter what your brand, company, or product is, you can certainly up your followers by making an increased effort on Facebook through updating your profile, upgrading your posts, and interacting with your users/other pages.
It’s so important to optimize your Instagram profile, as it’s the first thing users see when landing on your Instagram page.
- Rule number one (and this is a no-brainer): Is your profile set to public or private? Make sure you open up your account publically or else you’ll miss out on a lot of follower attention!
- Add your URL to your bio, but if it’s too long, be sure to use a link shortener to make it easier. The goal is to make sure everything is readable in such a compact space.
- Another important thing to remember about your profile—did you choose a name that’s easily searchable?
If your company name is “Snowboarding City” and your Insta handle is @Snowboardingisawesome, you’ll miss out on valuable discoverability points.
- Make sure your profile photo matches your brand. You want to be easily recognizable to your followers—so if you have the same company logo on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts, it makes it that much easier for your followers.
- Is your bio short and to the point? If not, reduce it into a single tagline. On Facebook, a more detailed description is OK, but on Instagram you’re working with far less space and characters.
Plus, don’t overwhelm your visitors with a long description. Keep it short and sweet, while still on-brand.
Now, you might have a whole team that loves Instagram and wants to post on behalf of the company—almost everyone has a smart phone and may be excited to share the latest updates.
With filters galore and a whole range of options (video, multiple photos, tagging, etc.), the space can look disjointed if too many people are logged in and posting for your brand.
At the end of the day, think of your Instagram feed as if it were a magazine cover representing your brand. Think: are there any photos there that would confuse your user as to what your brand symbolizes?
And don’t forget about live Instagram stories! It’s the biggest thing since sliced bread, and you can bet 2018 will be the year of live stories for many brands.
To start, think about which events are coming up for your company—from the major (hosting a thought leadership session or attending a conference) to the minor (team lunch or happy hour). Depending on your brand, consider showcasing some of these occurrences in a live story to further engage your visitors and increase your followers.
Or, try something new. How about a live Q&A with a member of your company? Or even a giveaway or competition? The sky’s the limit—and when engagement goes up, you can bet your followers will increase, too.
Instagram Brand Interaction
Instagram at its core is a photo-sharing app—so don’t forget to brush up on your photography skills, and hashtag, hashtag, hashtag!
If you’re a blogger for example, how can you showcase your writing desk/office area in a beautiful way? Once you snap your photo and add the filter, tag the photo and catch the interest of other writers/bloggers to increase your follower count.
Use a site like “All-Hashtag” to generate some relevant key terms for your post, and add a description line to explain some context (“It’s easier to write in such a beautiful space! Where are your favorite places to write?”).
Another idea is to utilize “Instagram Pods,” which basically are group chats on Instagram, with the goal of encouraging and increasing engagement to your posts—therefore, widening your reach on your Insta-feed).
Like Facebook, Instagram’s news feed is ranked by engagement, not just time of posting. So, many of the same rules from Facebook’s engagement apply to Instagram.
Remember, no matter what your business or brand, you can increase your followers by implementing these tips. We hope this helps to kick-start your brand this year and beyond!
Don’t forget to make it easier for your followers to find you on your website! Use the AddThis Follow tool to grab Facebook and Instagram buttons.
Last modified: March 14th, 2018