With social media, it’s easy to fixate on followers. However, a large following doesn’t always mean influence...
You should know that Creative Social Media is more about impact than ego. While I'm addressing how to grow followers today, we're more about helping you achieve offline goals through your online presence, fulfill your artistic calling through digital content, and ultimately, make the world a better place.
You truly can make your own opportunities and success online—but you need an engaged following. So how do you garner and develop an adoring audience? Content and community.
1. Publish Great Content
You want more followers? Great. My question to you: What’s in it for me (your audience)?
Put your followers first. Look at your channels and content through their eyes.
Why should people care? Why should they follow you? What value can you provide? Social media is a place to give (or share), not to ask.
Start thinking of yourself as a publisher. Remember it’s social media. Aim to publish super high-quality content that people want to share/retweet/re-gram/re- pin/etc. Usually, that’s informational, inspirational, or entertaining content!
Play the role of editor, too. What media does (or doesn’t) belong in your digital magazine? Make strategic choices from your profile picture down to how/when/where/why you share posts.
2. Create a Community
Remember it’s social media. Focus on relationships—a strong connection with each member of your audience. In the marketing world, this is often called establishing a community or tribe.
Like any singular relationship, growing a mass amount of strong connections takes work! Just like offline relationships, make sure you're always listening and communicating. Be generous with your hearts, thumbs up, gold stars, and more.
I believe in social karma. Give and ye shall receive. The good energy you put out will come back to you.
Be sure to always include your personality and share some personal stories. Don’t forget to acknowledge the real people listening and responding in commentary that follows! Similarly, when someone else is sharing their story, listen and support as much as you can!
When you authentically and consistently engage with your audience, they're going to more consistently engage with you.
I'll close by saying please avoid the “black market” of social media—those selling superficially solicited followings. When you master content and create a real community, you’re bound for social success.
Don't forget about social networking! While 10,000 followers might get you an occasional free product or appointment... one carefully cultivated and nurtured VIP relationship can fast track you to huge success!
Focus on being a great human and artist. Fame, fortune, and followers will arrive!
Who are your favorite artists to follow online? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.